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2 George IV Bridge
Occupying a first-floor space above Victoria Street with wraparound views of Edinburgh's landmarks, Ondine is a “sleek but unpretentious” space with a crustacean bar holding centre stage, plus a jazzy helping of baroque fabrics and jaunty art. This is ‘a proper seafood restaurant’ declares chef/proprietor Roy Brett, who learned his trade with fish guru Rick Stein, and is renowned for his use of sustainably sourced, “super-fresh” produce (Ondine is accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council). Fixed-price lunch and pre-theatre deals might bring oyster ceviche ahead of Shetland mussels with soy, black beans and ginger, with lemon meringue pie for afters. Things move up a notch in the evening, when the kitchen offers more flashy stuff ranging from roasted shellfish platters and fruits de mer to sea bream curry, brown crab risotto with butternut squash or grilled Mull scallops in the half-shell with Chanteraise sausage and garlic butter. Although meat eaters might be offered rib of Orkney beef with oyster mushrooms and chips, Ondine is really about “the best seafood served by the friendliest staff”.
SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2018 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2018. Thousands of readers took part and the results were moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The UK survey does not include any restaurants in London. Click here for the full list of SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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Best restaurants in Edinburgh
2 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh Station 155m
Haymarket Station 2km
St. Giles High Kirk, Edinburgh 148m
Edinburgh Castle 488m
Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5.30pm-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 3
booked this restaurant as it's next door to Hotel Missoni, where we were staying, and it's a fish restaurant. Although the restaurant continued the Hotel's cool and chic feel, we found the food didn't live up to its reputation. If you are not into crustacea (there were four lobster dishes on the menu) naped in garlic butter there was little choice of fish. Shellfish platters and fish curry aside the only choices were sea bass or plaice. We both pumped for the sea bass.(I believe farmed), which was average. A meal for 2 cost £150 (thanks largely to an expensive wine list) and I think there are much better alternatives nearby.
Food + drink: 5
We ate at Ondine whilst in Edinburgh on a little honeymoon. It was recommended to us by the lady who ran the guesthouse where we were staying. She said it was a special place and indeed, it was just right for our special Honeymoon meal.
Just after we sat down, two rather stylish businessmen arrived, one having told the other was vegetarian. After looking at the menu, this matter arose. There ensued a conversation where the host, proclaimed, without any malice, ‘…but I though vegetarians ate fish…’ followed by ‘Hang on, …so you dont even eat chicken?!?’. It certainly made us smile. Still, it seemed the guest was happy, as Chef seemingly arraged something just as delicious as the rest of his menu for Mr Vegetarian.
We were booked in for the early sitting, and arrived to see a cool, classy but textured interior and smart, smiling staff. Being on the first floor, with glass throighout gave a lovely light and airy feeling. Throughout the meal had fantastic service, with all the staff knowledgable and attentive, especially the waitress who looked after us. One of us was always going to have the fish soup to begin, and it was delicious being fragrant, creamy and very moreish! My starter the potted shrimp was lovely, and not greasey at all, which can sometimes be its downfall.
My wife had the fish curry which was delicate and flavoured. Different from the asian restaurant version that I'd tried, in that the curry was delicately and beautifully placed on the fish rather than being a stew. I chose the fish of the day, Plaice served with a peperonata, which was fantastic.
It is clear that Corporate Social Responsibiility matters to the establishment, with envelopes for donations to protect the local fishermen on each table. I just wonder if they couldn't go further, and increase the numbers of fish on the menu from sustainable stocks.
We had a terrific meal, with great service. The manager came over at the end, and we were delighted to tell him how much we'd enjoyed our visit. One slight blemish was the length of time it took to get our bill, but overall, this was a very minor point. However, it did stop me giving top marks on the service.
It seems, the awards this restaurant has picked up many awards in its short time, which I'm sure are to be joined by others very soon!
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