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Edinburgh Guide to Michelin Star Restaurants in the city

Put down that sausage roll and don’t even think about reaching for that deep fried Mars Bar! Scotland over the years has been responsible for some gastronomic travesties, but today its capital city is home to a sparkling quintet of Michelin starred restaurants, world-class eateries that actually make the most of the superb produce Scotland has long boasted in such abundance. Kicking off on Princes Street Number One is a hotel Michelin restaurant worth staying in for at Edinburgh’s stately Balmoral Hotel. Descend to this subterranean oasis and savour the likes of beef sirloin, tongue and sweetbreads, laced with asparagus spelt risotto and a truffle sauce. For a real treat the nine course tasting menu is on hand, matched, of course, with a glass of wine to accompany the multitude of courses.

The Michelin Mile in Edinburgh
Number One still shines brightly, but most of the real gastronomic action has moved north to Leith with 21212 heralding the start of the ‘Michelin Mile’. 21212 won its Michelin star  in 2010 only eight months after opening with Paul Kitching steering his tightly run ship into Edinburgh’s most experimental waters. His cooking is more Heston Blumenthal than Chicken Balmoral. Take extravagant signature dishes like chicken with cheesy chips, bacon, blue cheese, prunes and flapjack. It sounds outrageously confused, but the intense flavours are actually surprisingly complementary. There are gorgeous rooms upstairs if you over-indulge a little too much.

Onwards into Leith proper the ever-consistent Martin Wishart well deserves his Michelin star, though many city foodies think the uber chef well deserves another. Wishart is a serious Francophile who uses classical techniques paired with the finest of Scottish ingredients, like langoustines from the Kilbrannan Sound and Orkney beef, to create immaculate dishes. The six course tasting menu is perhaps the city’s most classic and is pretty much faultless with the likes of ceviche of Gigha halibut with mango and passion fruit followed by roast loin and civet of hare spiced with caramelised onion and grey chanterelle on brioche and braised cabbage.


Michelin Star TV Chef in Edinburgh Restaurant
Near neighbour Tom Kitchin opened his eponymous restaurant in 2006 and has become something of a TV personality since. His mantra is ‘Nature to Plate’ and he has always been something of pioneer through his passion for sourcing fresh local produce and often unfashionable types of produce too. Take his crispy pig ear salad or the likes of sea urchin bisque. In season there is the glorious very Scottish treat of a whole roasted grouse. Dinner is not cheap, but lunches are some of the best value Michelin meals in Edinburgh.

Kitchin is also behind the newest arrival on the Edinburgh Michelin scene. This time it is his Castle Terrace where there are superb three-course lunch and six-course dinner menus. Again the ‘Nature to Plate’ philosophy comes roaring to the fore in the shadow of Edinburgh’s landmark Castle. Savour dishes like roasted tail of wild North Sea monkfish wrapped in Ayrshire ham and served on a salt cod brandade with crisp potato.


Edinburgh’s next Michelin Star Restaurant?

The big questions today are who will be the first Edinburgh restaurant to join Perthshire’s Andrew Fairlie with two Michelin stars and secondly who will be the next star attraction joining the Edinburgh Michelin firmament? The answer to the first question is surely only a matter of time away. The hot money on the next Michelin restaurant is on The Pompadour, the slick, smooth Francophile gem re-opened late in 2012 in the city’s Caledonian Hotel, which has just undergone a massive revamp under Waldorf Astoria. The famed Galvin Brothers are now at the helm here and that it may soon be Edinburgh’s sixth Michelin star restaurant says it all about how far the Scottish capital has come from those sausage roll and deep fried Mars Bar days.

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