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Restaurants, Scottish Leith
5 out of 5 stars

Seasonal menus with big flavours in a stripped-back space that lets the food do the talking

Chef Scott Smith used to work at the Michelin-starred Peat Inn, across in Fife, but he opened Norn with his wife Laura in spring 2016 in stripped-back premises. It's a simple, neat space with a self-conscious absence of interior design – although the effort that goes into the food more than compensates for the lack of decorative panache.

With three courses at lunch (two choices per course) and a kind of tasting menu affair in the evenings (four or seven courses), Norn is clearly not your typical starter-main-pud kind of place. The kitchen takes its cue from suppliers who have an ethical, seasonal and sustainable approach, so menu items come and go depending on time of year and the quality of what’s available day-to-day, week-to-week.

Flavours are intense, from the homemade bread and fantastic butter onwards, while presentation is remarkable: edible abstract art miniatures on chunky, designer crockery. At dinner, the first dish might be crab, artichoke and oca leaf, followed by halibut with cauliflower, cobnut and nut milk, then comes mushroom, turnip and cheese – and so on. The simplicity of the words on the menu do scant justice to what appears at the table.

By: Keith Davidson


Venue name: Norn
Address: 50-54 Henderson Street
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