- Telephone 0131 629 2525
- Food served Tue/Wed 7–9pm; Thu–Sat 12.30–2pm, 7–9pm. Closed Sun/Mon.
- Average price £20 (set lunch); £40 (4); £65 (7)
- Website nornrestaurant.com
Fresh, bold and committed contemporary Scottish dining using ingredients from local seas, shores, hedgerows and kitchen gardens.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
For all that Norn, the new restaurant set up by chef Scott Smith and his wife Laura in the Leith venue previously occupied by Plumed Horse, is a card-carrying representative of the freshly foraged, home-fermented, chef-served zeitgeist, it would be wholly unfair to dismiss it with a roll of the eyeballs as Scandi-fad. Sure, as you sit on sharply designed bare-wood chairs with a no-choice, seven-course menu, considering the list of natural wines, the first things you eat are crusty homemade beremeal sourdough and hand-churned butter made using the kitchen's own culture. Ingredients from local seas, shores, hedgerows and kitchen gardens dominate the menu and define the efforts of the kitchen to capture and present flavour, whether in vinegars, infusions or fermentations, or adventurous (but rarely whacky) combinations of ingredients. While Scandi-influenced and cleanly designed, Norn is grounded in a Scotland that's embracing Northern European naturalness while reaching out towards time-honoured (or time-lost) recipes. Squares of cured mackerel, for example, have a summery freshness with equally common-or-garden sweet cicely and sharp radish, while new-season organic tomatoes from the Isle of Wight are dressed to showcase their deep, rich flavour. For a place that could be eyed warily as a fancy restaurant – and prices do come in at an average of £10 a dish – they display a determined simplicity in serving half a baked potato with crab, soft onion and buttermilk (those paying attention will recall the homemade butter earlier); if this is a little bland it's followed by a lick-the-plate-clean dish that's essentially an intense, reduced-down roast chicken dinner, a worthy example of the kitchen's flavour-driven focus. With woodruff ice-cream studded with caramelized popcorn following as a dessert, this is not a place that's willing to settle for predictable crowd-pleasers. Fresh, bold and committed, Norn offers plenty of evidence that contemporary Scottish dining is on the move.
- High point: A homegrown flavour adventure
- Low point: Room awaits a little more colour and character
- Notable dish: Chicken, mushroom, cavalo nero, lovage
- Provides: Children's portions, Wheelchair access
- Music on stereo: The Rolling Stones, or maybe contemporary jazz
- Capacity: 36
- Largest group: 12
- Open since: 2016 May
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 20
- House wine: £20 per bottle
Reviews & features
Norn27 Sep 2016
It's an Edinburgh newcomer with more than a whiff of zeitgeisty Scandi-chic going on. Yet Norn suggests that the best way for a fad to stick around is to deliver great food
For all that Norn, the new restaurant set up by chef Scott Smith and his wife Laura in the Leith venue previously occupied by Plumed Horse, is a card-carrying representative of the freshly foraged, home-fermented, chef-served zeitgeist, it would be…