Edinburgh-born chef Roy Brett has a CV that includes St James’s stalwart Le Caprice and Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, so it’s no surprise the quality of the fish and shellfish he serves in his Edinburgh flagship Ondine is second to none.
Fresh produce is sourced from various locations including the Shetlands and the south coast of England, but the bulk comes directly from Newhaven’s Welch Fishmongers.
Ondine was opened by Brett in 2009, and has become something of an institution in the Scottish capital. The sleek interior – with its smart furnishings, pristine white walls and wraparound views of the city – accentuates a sense of both class and luxury that’s also felt in Brett’s cooking.
Ever since the first spice boats docked in the port of Leith, the area’s food has been open to worldwide influences and that is the approach Ondine embraces in its menu. The fish soup is enhanced with North African flavours of pungent saffron and orange, and served with a harissa-based rouille; razor clams are married with Iberico chorizo and Sicilian lemons; and Shetland mussels are cooked in an Asian broth of fermented ginger, black bean and freshly shredded coriander.
A ‘proper seafood restaurant’ is how Brett describes his place and it’s hard to argue. Indeed, the hot roasted shellfish platter of Newhaven lobster, Carlingford oysters, Dunbar crab, Shetland mussels, Isle of Mull scallops, Isle of Skye langoustines and Fife cockles, cooked in a white wine, garlic and parsley broth, is piscine perfection.
The Best Restaurant in Scotland award is sponsored by Hildon