Edinburgh Food Studio, Edinburgh, Scotland.

One of my closest friends from Singapore is now living in Edinburgh, and I was excited to be able to squeeze in a short trip to visit her last time I was in the UK, and to check out the Edinburgh dining scene.

After a bit of research, and some very kind Twitter advice from the ever brilliant Marina O’Loughlin, I narrowed it down to Timberyard, Edinburgh Food Studio  (EFS) & The Gardeners Cottage (I ate at the excellent Kitchin last time I was in Edinburgh) and as Timberyard was closed for a private party (next trip!) settled on lunch at EFS and dinner at the Gardeners Cottage.

EFS is owned by Ben Reade, a former Head of Research and Development at Noma restaurants Nordic Food Lab, & anthropologist Sashana Souza Zanella, a graduate and latterly a tutor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, whilst their head chef James Murray worked at Michelin-starred Nur in Hong Kong,  Le Manoir Aux Quat’saisons, and most obviously from looking at their menu, Lyle’s in London (one of my favourite restaurants)

As at Lyles, lunch is offered ALC, whilst dinner is a (beautiful looking, but somewhat restrictive)  multi course tasting menu. I was advised to order 2-3 dishes, and so set about trying to narrow my choices down, from a lovely seasonal menu that was everything I had hoped for in terms of modern Scottish cuisine.

I was tempted by the Duroc pork leg, but the waitress (upon asking) advised me that it was quite a fatty cut of meat, and so I swerved to the Duroc pork heart (£12) (I must be the only person to order offal over fatty meat!) which she explained was served skewered, with homemade crumpets and cherries (YUM) as well as the Mackerel, Sea Aster & Gooseberries (£12) and the Cep Mushrooms with Egg Yolk (£12)

My Ceps arrived first, with the egg yolk having been aged in beef fat and served with the Ceps and their cooking juices. I was thankful for their delicious homemade bread for dipping into the rich egg yolk, and mopping up every last bit of the earthy mushroom juices.

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Next, came the Pork heart, served as described; slightly spiced, skewered and served with a beautiful cherry compote and home-made crumpets (that I would say were slightly more akin to pikelets than crumpets, but they were absolutely delicious all the same) and a little yoghurt to cut through the sweetness of the cherries. I had been worried it would be too intimidating for me, but I must say it was one of the best things I ate during my 3 weeks in Europe and I would definitely go back to Edinburgh simply to eat at EFS again. (and of course to see my lovely friend L!)

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My last savoury dish was a delicate mackerel served with sea aster leaves, and stewed gooseberries. The sea aster leant a sort of nutty flavour to the dish (perfect with the sourdough croutons) whilst the tart gooseberries cut through the rich, fatty fish with a lovely fresh tang. A perfect summer dish.

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I ended with a simple dessert of local raspberries and aromatic meadowsweet ice-cream with brown butter cakes. Fresh raspberries, cherries and nectarines are my favourite of the European summer fruits and I definitely ate my fill this trip! The Scottish raspberries were probably the best of the ones I enjoyed whilst I was in Europe, and although I’m happy to be back somewhere where pineapple & mangoes are plentiful (when in season) I’m not sure anything would please me more than another bowl of raspberries right now!

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Service was excellent, so friendly and attentive, not to mention wonderfully informative, and I really had a fantastic experience at EFS – absolutely on a par with the best London restaurants I ate at, and unmissable if you are visiting Edinburgh or the surrounding areas.

I spent around £70 as I enjoyed a couple of glasses of rather lovely wine from their beautifully put together wine list, but there were people there who had popped in for one dish, a soft drink and coffee and were in and out for less than £20 – I reckon I had it the right way around though 😉

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy M says:

    It all looks divine! Love that one of your dishes came with crumpets—don’t see them on the menu a lot near me but looks like they worked well with the dish! x

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