Earning itself a Michelin star in 2020, Edinburgh’s Condita has quickly become one of the city’s culinary sweethearts, creating a buzz within the local food community over the past few years. The point of difference here is that beyond simply offering a tasting menu – which is pretty par for the course at restaurants of such a standard – Condita takes patrons on a blind journey. Guests are unable to browse the menu before their visit, with the team serving up a surprise set of dishes to diners each evening. Rather, visitors are handed a quirky pictogram menu on arrival, which denotes the main ingredient of each dish to come, also indicating how many courses are to be expected.
The concept is headed up by chef Conor Toomey whose passion for produce is evident in his championing of seasonal, Scottish ingredients. From mackerel straight from the cold waters of northern shores through to the very best of the country’s crab, this is a celebration of Alba’s iconic larder.
While each menu is a surprise, previous feasts have included dishes such as dehydrated turnip with pickled turnip, nasturtium, miso emulsion and olive oil and a roast suckling piglet dish paired with a sticky ballotine, a fermented gooseberry gel, broad beans, girolles and dandelion. Much of what makes it onto plates is grown in Condita’s own allotment, a neat walled garden and Victoria glasshouse set-up that produces plenty of the herbs, fruits and vegetables that the kitchen uses.
The talented kitchen brigade is completed and complimented by a hyper-professional yet friendly front-of-house team who are on hand to make excellent wine pairing suggestions for each course.
Guests are asked to carve out around three hours for the full experience, which will set you back £140 per person. Because of the format of the meal, we’d suggest leaving the kids at home for this one.