KORA by Tom Kitchin
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
The name KORA, symbolises new beginnings and in Greek mythology is the name for the ‘goddess of flowers, vegetation and spring’. Post-covid KORA is an apt name for Tom Kitchin’s recently opened Bruntsfield restaurant and the name’s inherent freshness also reflects Kitchin’s nature-to-plate philosophy.
Eleonore and I duck inside one showery autumn evening and are greeted by the general manager Greig Munro. We admire the beautiful decor; a palette of shades of green with glinting, polished copper accents and honeycomb-shaped tiles as we take our seats. Nature in the form of leaves and vegetables is depicted in prints on the walls as a nod to the menu of foraged, local and seasonal produce.
The menu features Ayrshire pork, foraged ceps, Borders grouse, Inverurie Ox tongue, Loch Fyne oysters, and Middleby plums - we are told by Greig that Middleby is a street in Musselburgh where chef Director Dominic Jack lives
There are also bar snacks and my eye is caught by the Tempura Broccoli with an Asian Dressing. Green spears have been dusted with a light batter and Eleonore notes the creaminess where the tempura sticks to the veg. The fruity dressing cuts through the batter and the clever addition of coriander adds sparky freshness. Even this modest dish showcases the talent of Chef James Chapman and the team.
After much debate about the runners and riders, Eleonore chooses Day Boat Squid, local girolles, ceps, and savoury, cured pork for her starter. The mollusc is curled from the pan and tender, the mushrooms are meaty and the texture and flavour of both are balanced by the salty pig. Each of my Hand-Dived Orkney Scallops ‘à la Grenobloise are a mini meal of caramelised sweet bivalve, soft cubed potatoes drenched in beurre noisette and capers and lemon for a splash of sharpness.
For the main course, Eleonore is tempted by the Globe Artichoke, Strathdon Blue Cheese, and Hollandaise sauce. We don’t know of any other restaurant serving such a dish in Edinburgh and are intrigued. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver as the sauce overpowers the vegetable.
Across the table, I have Braised Highland Wagyu topside, Free Company beetroot, green peppercorn sauce, and Koffmann’s skinny fries. The meat has been pulled and then compressed and the result is a rich, flavoursome affair. Elenore notes that the beetroot is sweet like ketchup. The fries and sauce make the dish très français. Superbe!
Much of our Kitchin experience has us rolling our eyes in pleasure. Not least the wines, many interesting ones are sold by the glass. For dessert, we share Floating Island aka Iles Flottante. Squidgy marshmallow textured Italian meringue in a pool of crème anglaise is divine.
By the time we leave, the restaurant is full to the brim with folk enjoying the convivial atmosphere and fine food.
It looks like KORA has already established neighbourhood roots.
KORA by Tom Kitchin, 14-17 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HN
Open 4 days a week, Thursday - Sunday, serving lunch and dinner, as well as light bar plates.