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Occupying the first floor of the Hotel Missoni (but entirely separate), Ondine is a clean-lined, contemporary space with a crustacean bar holding centre stage, plus a jazzy helping of baroque
fabrics and jaunty art. Lunch could start with brown crab soup and a crispy crab cake, followed by a chunky mackerel curry with shahi rice and raita, with butterscotch pudding for afters. At
dinner, there’s some more flashy stuff such as roast monkfish with tomato, chorizo and chickpea stew, plus big shellfish platters and some meaty options including fillet of Orkney beef with roasted
bone marrow. Veggies also get a look-in, and the fish-friendly wine list includes plenty by the glass. Chef/proprietor Roy Brett learned his trade with seafood guru Rick Stein, and is hot on
ethical cooking – Ondine is accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council for its sustainable sourcing.
I’ve stayed in the Missoni hotel a couple of times, but never got around to trying out the food at their Seafood restaurant, Ondine. Today I decided to give them a go. Although part of the Missoni, Ondine is found next door to the hotel, which is located near the picturesque Grassmarket and the old Castle. Ondine consists of a bar area and a main restaurant. As I was dining on my own, I decided to sit by the bar...
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Fish has always been rather a taboo subject for me; a food I know I should like but one that I’ll normally pass on a menu in favour of meat. I get annoyed at the price of it, the amount of waste preparing it produces and the fact that after all that effort it generally just ends up tasting ‘OK’. I’m also aware that being in London we’re a bit of a way from most of the large fishing ports meaning a fresh fish might in cases be a day or two out of the sea. I’ve always thought that being near the source of a food will make me enjoy it more (like Bakewell tarts bought from Bakewell) so I put this theory to the test at Ondine in Edinburgh...
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