“One to remember”, Tom Kitchin’s highly regarded Michelin-starred restaurant on Leith’s reenergised waterfront comes complete with lots of attractive features, including a whisky snug and a temperature-controlled wine cellar – not to mention views of the kitchen from a specially designed window.
Inside, there are hints of Scotland’s heritage - think tartans, sheepskins and silver birch – but for the most part, this is a cool and modern dining room, completed by exposed grey brick, comfy chairs in shades of duck egg blue, and studded velvet banquettes. There are also a variety of menus to choose from, at prices which are fair considering the standard on show here. You can enjoy the à la carte at dinner, alongside a timely ‘chef’s celebration of the season’ menu, while a ‘chef’s surprise tasting menu’ comprises of seven delicious courses chosen by the kitchen team. If you’re visiting earlier in the day, there’s a great value three-course lunch, with a vegetarian alternative also available.
When it comes to the food here, Tom Kitchin’s highly distinctive cooking is still founded on seasonal produce from regional growers, producers and fishermen. ‘From nature to plate’ is the mantra, and that translates into clever, complex ideas “presented with flair and wit”: a ‘rockpool’ of local seafood, sea vegetables, ginger and Newhaven crab consommé; boned and rolled pig’s head and langoustine tail with crispy pig’s ear salad; stuffed saddle of Highland lamb with braised shoulder, a salad of raw vegetables from Ken Holland Farm and black olives.
To conclude, consider one of the delectable fruit-based desserts such as Calvados crêpe filled with apple mousse and topped with a Granny Smith apple sorbet, but don’t ignore Kitchin’s “melt-in-the-mouth delicious” soufflés. The cosy dining room creates just the right mood, value for money is seldom in doubt, and visitors appreciate the chef’s personal touch as he greets everyone individually in the bar.