The Dining Room
- Telephone 0131 220 2044
- Opening times Mon–Wed 9.30am–11pm; Thu–Sat 9.30pm–midnight. Sun 11am–9pm (members only)
- Bar open Mon–Wed 9am–11pm; Thu–Sat 9pm–midnight. Sun 12.30–9pm, members only.
- Food served Mon noon–2.30pm; Tue–Sat noon–2.30pm, 5–9.30pm. Closed Sun.
- Pre-theatre times Tue–Sat 5pm–6.30pm
- Average price £18.50 (set lunch); £32 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £18.50
- Website www.thediningroomedinburgh.co.uk
This review is taken from the current (2013) edition.
The aroma of whisky permeates this elegant ground-floor restaurant set within a Georgian townhouse. As befits the dining room of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society a carefully selected complimentary dram is presented to those eating from the a la carte menu. Unlike the bar upstairs, the restaurant is open to the public, and it has the atmosphere of a house party filled with characters dreamt up by Alexander McCall Smith. High-quality Scottish ingredients form the backbone of chef James Freeman’s fine-dining cuisine. Flavours range from delicate – a starter of smoked haddock tartare – to big and bold in the form of braised beef cheek. The main courses are intricate dishes of artfully presented seasonal fare rather than exercises in button-straining gluttony, however the subtle flavour of John Dory is almost overwhelmed by its accompanying curry velouté. There’s a lot of creativity on display here, such as a pairing of duck breast with liquorice, or the buttermilk foam that accompanies a pudding of rhubarb jelly. While there’s an air of quiet formality to the place, the waiters ensure the welcome is as warming as the whisky.
- High point: Complimentary whisky is a nice touch
- Low point: Decor could do with an update
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 19
- Private dining: 8/14/48/18
- Provides: Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Nothing
- Capacity: 36
- Largest group: 14
- Open since: 2004
- House wine: £18.75 per bottle
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