British, Modern Restaurants in Edinburgh
1. Number One, Balmoral Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Princes Street - EH2
“Still-fantastic food, service and a very special location” again win powerful support for this landmark hotel’s cosseting and sophisticated basement – long one of the city’s heaviest culinary hitters. And the arrival of new head chef Mark Donald – still under the hotel’s executive chef, Jeff Bland – has caused n’er a ripple in reports. Even a rare reporter who isn’t wowed by its luxurious below-ground setting feels “the excellent standards make it a worthwhile destination nonetheless”.
2. Gardener’s Cottage British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road - EH7
“The menu is fixed and you sit at one of three large tables with others” at this quirky venture, which occupies a stone cottage in Royal Terrace Gardens. You get what you’re given from a mystery tasting menu on which sustainability is to the fore, with many of the ingredients grown by Charlie the gardener. On practically all reports the food is well-rated, and they must be doing something right having last year now opened The Lookout (see also).
3. The Stockbridge British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 54 St Stephen's St - EH3
2019 Review: Consistently good feedback once again on this stylish and “cosy” picture-lined basement in Stockbridge, which produces quality Scottish-accented cuisine.
4. 21212 British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 3 Royal Ter - EH7
Paul Kitching’s Georgian townhouse – named for the number of options for each section of its five-course tasting menu – celebrated its tenth year in 2019: “it’s a small dining room looking through glass onto the kitchen so you can see the large number of chefs working hard”. His trademark culinary style is “never dull”, although “some dishes have so many distinct flavours it can become confusing”. That’s always been a part of his gastronomic DNA, however, even when he was at Juniper in Altrincham, so why Michelin chose last year to take his star away is a mystery to us, and for most reporters this remains “a little gem in every way”.
5. Timberyard Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 10 Lady Lawson St - EH3
“I would travel a LONG way for these exceptional, innovative flavours” says a London-based reporter about this Fountainbridge fixture, opened in 2012 in the “charismatic” space of a converted Victorian warehouse, and serving a selection of Ben Radford’s Scandi-influenced tasting menus (from four-courses to eight-courses), offset by a “long” wine list of exclusively natural wines from small European producers.
6. Condita British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 15 Salisbury Place - EH9
“An exquisite five or eight course surprise tasting menu is sure to tantalise your tastebuds and create a truly unique dining experience!” – so say fans of Conor Toomey and Mark Slaney’s spacious (just six tables) and elegant yearling. Rated on still-limited early feedback, it’s certainly “a welcome addition to the ever-expanding Edinburgh dining scene” and Scotsman restaurant critic Joanna Blythman left ‘utterly enchanted’ by the cuisine here. To book, you email in advance.
7. The Walnut British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 9 Croall Place - EH7
This “real gem” on the road to Leith – “family-run with flair and passion” – “uses unusual cuts of locally sourced meats and seasonal produce to keep the cost of lunch to £10”. It’s “intimate and cosy, but on a hot summer’s day, sitting outside sipping wine and eating the amazing fresh food the kitchen sends out is a real treat”.
8. The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh Calton Hill - EH7
“The setting is lovely” at this intriguing, all-day yearling (open from breakfast): a cantilevered structure, partially suspended over Calton Hill, with panoramic views across Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. It’s a partnership between The Gardener’s Cottage restaurant and Collective (the organisation that has redeveloped the City Observatory), and all reports say it serves “great” modern bistro fare.
9. Purslane British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 33A St Stephen Street - EH3
“Tucked away” in a “cosy” Georgian Stockbridge basement, chef Paul Gunning’s ‘casual fine dining’ venue serves “exceptionally delicious” cuisine “at a fraction of the price of other restaurants serving food of this quality”. “I’m amazed by how good the menu and dishes are for such a small restaurant”.
10. The Little Chartroom British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 14 Bonnington Road - EH6
Ex-Castle Terrace head chef Roberta Hall and restaurant manager Shaun McCarron strike out on their own with a new, little (just 18-covers) French/British-inspired bistro in Leith. Early feedback suggest it’s worth a visit: “tiny and hard to get in, but the food is great and front of house spot-on.”
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