There can’t be a restaurant with a better view of Edinburgh than aptly named The Lookout. High above the city, this small glass box surveys the streets and scenes below that stretch out to the seaside in the east and to the castle in the west.
Clean, Scandinavian-inspired interiors are kept pared-back and simple - the light wooden tables contrasting with black metal chairs. Dark walls are illuminated by the wrap-around windows and whether you come day or night we suspect they frame the city impressively.
The slightly serious looking chefs brigade work from a small serving kitchen in the dining room itself, and they’re not afraid to push past tried and tested combinations into slightly experimental territory. A mackerel tartare paired with horseradish and beetroot kicks things off in a fairly safe way, before turnip and orange play supporting roles to a golden-crusted piece of cod in a plate that seesaws between fresh notes and earthy tones. Two perfect rounds of blushing venison find their plate partner in a blue cheese purée that adds a bit of funk. Both of the latter divide opinion at the table, which proves that if nothing else, the food isn’t boring.
A little work of art for dessert is crowned with a cinnamon dusted white chocolate disc, precisely crafted to look like a paper-thin piece of fungus. Hiding underneath is another creation layered up with big, bold flavours. There’s a hazelnut sponge, berry gel, chocolate mousse and peppery whisky jelly cubes all competing for top spot on your palate.
The laidback service ensures there’s no unnecessary fussing, but staff are simultaneously informed and friendly. They deliver the interesting wine pairing with ease, sharing anecdotal details that help pique interest in the coupling of each with its chosen course.
So much more than the sum of its parts, The Lookout is the very definition of destination dining, offering a trifecta of accomplished cookery, an unforgetttable setting and exceptional hospitality from the front-of-house team.