Tom Kitchin ventures Southside for casual dining with rotisserie cooking at the heart of the menu.
Anticipation has been at fever-pitch (well, as fevered as the douce Southside gets) for the opening of this latest offshoot of Tom and Michaela Kitchin’s growing family of restaurants. Many see it as a further vote of confidence in a Bruntsfield scene that has been ripe for refinement for a while, and amidst the city centre’s well-reported trials and tribulations, a move to the affluent ‘burbs certainly seems a smart move from a restaurateur’s point of view. Let’s not forget too that the Kitchins did more than their fair share of the leg work that put Leith on the food map a decade or so ago; it’s no wonder that many see Southside Scran’s opening as one of the hottest tickets in town. A soft grey shopfront leads to a chic, tranquil interior filled with deep greens and blues, honeycomb tiles, sumptuous leather seating and a sparkling bar area. There’s all of the buzz and bustle of a typical French brasserie, while the menu (as expected) is a masterclass in Scottish sourcing, drawing exceptional farm, sea and loch produce from Scotland’s remarkable larder. Equally rocking the Gallic vibe is the lack of any veggie dishes on the menu, save salads and sides, but they state that mains or starters can be tailor-made and diners are encouraged to discuss their requirements with the welcoming, approachable and highly competent staff. A vivid risotto sets the tone – bright, pungent and full of flavour, it’s laced with smoky roasted pumpkin, toasted seeds and topped with crispy sage leaves. Elsewhere, Borders game pithivier is a small puff pastry pie, loaded with densely seasoned meat offset by a bouncy quince gel. Notable mains include moist and creamy monkfish tail topped with lively cajun spices and Clash Farm pork belly – tender, juicy with a crisp crackling skin in a rich meaty sauce. Star of the show and at the heart of the menu is a rotisserie, which dominates the back wall and casts mouth-watering scents into the room as it grills various meats, fruits and vegetables, with a couple of sharing dishes like a whole roast Gartmorn chicken serving two or three diners.
- Private dining: Up to 15 covers
- Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: French jazz and pop
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 2018
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 67
- House wine: £26 per bottle