Edinburgh chef Stuart Ralston has thrown down the culinary gauntlet with his restaurant on the former 21212 site


Opened in 2023, Stuart Ralston’s flagship restaurant is within the space that was once home to the late Paul Kitching’s influential 21212. He has big shoes to fill, then, but is more than qualified for the job with a CV that includes working for Gordon Ramsay in New York. 

The Glenrothes-born chef is already a familiar face on Edinburgh’s restaurant scene having launched his debut solo restaurant Aizle in 2014 and followed up with the more casual but still fairly high-end Noto and Tipo. The 28-cover Lyla is billed by Ralston as ‘unapologetically fine dining’. The meal begins in a slick upstairs drawing room that features a Krug-branded champagne trolley, a large lighting installation and meat and fish ageing fridges stocked with homemade charcuterie and top quality seafood. 

The main restaurant area beneath has been completely overhauled. The look is calm and elegant with design details including crisp white tablecloths, grey velvet-upholstered chairs and sconces that cast a dramatic lighting pattern onto the walls. 

Lyla is not a fish restaurant per se but is fish-focused, with the majority of the courses on its tasting menu seafood based. With just 10 tables to worry about (and a maximum party size of four), Ralston has been able to up the culinary ante significantly - his previous flagship Aizle has 50 covers - delivering picture-perfect dishes that demonstrate good technique while still allowing his high-quality ingredients to do the talking.