Roberta Hall and Shaun McCarron’s bijou Edinburgh bistro brings comfort and class to the Scottish capital
Chef-patron Roberta Hall developed her career working in two of the Scottish capital’s top restaurants. She spent three years working at Tom Kitchin’s Michelin-starred The Kitchin, and then moved on to become head chef at her mentor Dominic Jack’s Castle Terrace.
It was during her time there that Hall met Shaun McCarron, who previously worked at Simon Rogan’s original Roganic pop-up in London, and subsequently became restaurant manager at Castle Terrace. The pair went on to run The Abbot’s Elm in Cambridgeshire together, before eventually deciding to open their own restaurant at the top of Edinburgh’s Leith Walk.
Named for Hall’s love of sailing, The Little Chartroom is a cosy little bistro (only 18 covers) that serves a simple, seasonal menu of British-style dishes with a French accent. Menus are concise, with only three options available per course, but Hall’s cooking shows great confidence and imagination. A sample dinner includes a starter of crab with blood orange, cucumber, almonds and coriander; a lamb rump main with sweetbreads, labneh, anchovies, sweetheart cabbage and pink fir apple potatoes; and a dessert of clotted cream and maple syrup panna cotta with dark chocolate and coffee chantilly.
The Little Chartroom is low key, but has been well thought through. The brass hardware and a marine-blue colour scheme adds a warm, authentic sheen, while the restaurant’s open-plan kitchen allows for less division between back and front of house, with the chefs serving food when necessary.