Revamped Scotch Malt Whisky Society continues to impress
Refurbished club rooms for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in central Edinburgh remain a delectably dependable dining destination
With the glory of its malts and the serenity of its clubs, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is something of a religious experience to its members. Thankfully, just like church, non-members are also welcome at the Dining Room restaurant and Kaleidoscope bar inside the society's Queen Street townhouse.
A major refurb in July 2016 shifted the restaurant upstairs to the capacious grandeur of the first floor, with the stylish Kaleidoscope bar moving in at ground level. The shift upstairs hasn't phased the kitchen; the Dining Room remains one of the more dependable fine-dining venues in town.
Seasonally changing menus have finesse without fussiness, showcasing deep flavours in elegant dishes: a pillowy ravioli of celeriac and chanterelles is both rich and light, while succulent halibut is warmly underpinned with umami Jerusalem artichokes. Quality produce is handled with skill, so you can expect perfectly pink venison and vegetables which retain character and bite.
The cooking is excellent, though the menu perhaps lacks a cutting edge, and the food can feel like its playing second fiddle to the drink – although there's no shame in that, as first and foremost this is a place to worship the whisky gods.