- Telephone 0131 556 6333
- Food served Tue–Fri noon–2pm, 5.30–10.30pm; Sat 3–11pm; Sun 3–10.30pm. Closed Mon.
- Average price £9.95 (set lunch); £24 (evening meal)
- Website www.karensunicorn.com
Elegant New Town eatery honours its Chinese culinary roots while striving for quality modern cuisine.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Situated at a rather happening little crossroads in the New Town, Karen’s Unicorn strives to exceed expectations from the get go. The large Georgian interior is cleverly split into two dining areas. Candlelight, muted greys and crisp linens create an intimate, and elegant, dining experience. Chilli squid delivers aromatic and restrained heat which builds rather than punches. The precise cooking of the calamari offers early insight into the chef’s delicate touch. Duck in plum sauce, a menu staple, delivers sweetness but is never cloying. The intense flavour of the tender roast meat is perfectly complimented with honeyed citrus liquor. Hake with asparagus is succulent pieces of tender fish gently coated in a subtle ginger veneer. Once again, the chef’s sympathy with the ingredients ensures the clean taste of the sea endures and is nicely matched by crunchy greens and lotus root. No matter how full, the reimagining of the traditional banana fritter is a must. Topped with candyfloss and floating in a light syrup sauce, the brittle golden orbs crack apart to reveal an intense banana purée within.
- High point: Well-rounded wine list for all budgets
- Low point: You may not have room left for dessert
- Notable dish: Hake with asparagus
- Private dining: Up to 12 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs
- Music on stereo: Oriental background music
- Capacity: 60
- Largest group: 20
- Open since: 2009
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
- House wine: £17.95 per bottle