Tom Kitchin’s super-slick Leith restaurant blends the renowned chef’s Scottish heritage with classic French technique
2018 was a busy year for Tom Kitchin, with the chef and his wife Michaela opening Southside Scran, a sibling to their more informal The Scran & Scallie restaurant, and then The Bonnie Badger, their first project outside Edinburgh. But they haven’t taken their eye off their flagship waterside restaurant that has long been hailed as one of the best places to eat in all Scotland.
The Kitchin serves British cuisine influenced by French techniques from Kitchin’s time spent working with chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann. Kitchin is big on using local Scottish produce wherever possible and takes a ‘nature to plate’ approach, with all meat and fish bought in whole and butchered and filleted daily in the kitchen.
Diners can choose from a number of different menus, including à la carte, a three-course set lunch and the chef’s ‘celebration of the season’. For the truly adventurous – and deep pocketed – Kitchin has also devised a surprise tasting menu (with a vegetarian option) and even a prestige surprise tasting menu where he pulls out all the stops with his choice of the best possible ingredients.
The restaurant itself, located in a converted whisky bonded warehouse in the old dock area of Leith, has grown in size as well as stature over the years. A modern but sympathetic extension has created a new bar area overlooking the waterfront and the building’s original stone and wood features are used to dramatic effect in the smart, sylish dining room.