A six course tasting menu that changes every six weeks is what we can expect from Glasgow restaurateur Nico Simeone’s first venture in Edinburgh. Each menu reimagines a nostalgic food memory, and recreates it in Simeone’s signature fine dining style. The current menu theme is “The Chippie”, a playful nod to the nation’s fondness for everything deep fried.
The first course, ‘Chips & Cheese’ is a sublime concoction of confit potato, crisp mustardy crumbs and Parmesan espuma, cut through by a rich curry oil. The second starter is a riff on scampi, featuring wonderfully meaty Scrabster monkfish cheek offset by a tart and vinegary pea and herb ketchup and smooth, sweet bergamot jelly.
Nico’s take on a ‘Steak Pie’ is delicious, with tender, pastry-topped Speyside beef shin highlighted by rich caramelised onion. The ‘Fish Supper’ is a complex dish with hearty Shetland cod lifted by delightfully vinegary pickled mussels and crunchy sweet onions.
For the star of the show, lids are dramatically lifted off the ‘Smoked Sausage’ dish, exuding tempting applewood smoke. Cleverly constructed, the melt-in-your-mouth Ayrshire pork is encased in impossibly thin, crisp pastry for the perfect combination of textures.
The chippie-inspired dessert doesn’t disappoint either, taking inspiration from the infamous deep fried Mars Bar. In this version, it is made even more magical, boasting a dark and creamy salted caramel nougat matched by a rich luxurious orange cream.
This is complex, delicious food in a fun, unpretentious eatery and at £28 for 6 courses, it’s tremendous value.
Words: Sue Hitchen