One of our favourite ever episodes of ‘Masterchef’ involved Tom Kitchin taking a young wannabe to task for wasting good, Scottish ingredients. Frankly, the young lad should have known better. Anyone familiar with Kitchin’s ‘from nature to plate’ philosophy knows he’s a man who takes his food pretty darn seriously, and it’s a tenet tastily reflected in his excellent Michelin-starred restaurant in Leith.
An increasingly familiar face from the small screen (‘Great British Menu’, ‘Saturday Kitchen’, etc.), Kitchin takes local ingredients and uses classic French techniques to create beautiful plates of modern British cuisine. Having opened ‘down the Shore’, on the Leith waterfront in 2006, the flagship restaurant picked up a Michelin star a year later, affording Kitchin rightful kudos as Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef-proprietor. Today, his commitment to great food remains, and so too his star.
Set in a former whisky bond warehouse, the restaurant’s stylish, pared-down look – wooden furnishings, dark tones, the odd flash of wallpaper from Scottish designers Timorous Beasties – is reflected in the menu, where precision and style are at the fore. This is simple, beautiful food, with flashes of real brilliance.
The à la carte menu is a veritable love letter to Scotland’s larder and waters: from the hand-dived Orkney scallops and mackerel from nearby Newhaven to the Scrabster monkfish tails and rabbit from the Scottish borders. The tasting menus, though, are the absolute stars of the show.