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The Dining Room - A La Carte
New Review
Scottish Malt Whisky Society
28 Queen Street Edinburgh,
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0131 220 2044
Mon: 12-2.30pm Tue-Sat: 12-2.30pm & 5-9.30pm

Fine food paired with wonderful wine and whisky. 

My friend was visiting from Norway and I wanted to choose a restaurant  that was ‘just-so’. It had to serve good food and have a thoughtful wine list but this was a catch up with an old pal too so I didn’t want stuffy and it had to be central. Being familiar with The Dining Room at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, when it sprang to mind I had no doubts regarding its suitability. Moreover, it was recently named Restaurant of the Year for Scotland at the AA Hospitality Awards.

My friend commented on the character of the Georgian townhouse which was warm and inviting as we faced the first snap of wintry weather. Coats were deposited and we settled into comfy window seats in the first floor restaurant.

We chose our courses and chatted to our waiter about complementary wines.  A Speyside  ‘expression’ (apple – sour cream crumb pie)  was served alongside our canapés, amuse bouche and bread. 

Lise had Qunita Dos Carvalhais Touriga Nacional 2105 from the Dao region of Portugal with her starter of rabbit parcels of buckwheat, peas and carrot broth. Red and black fruits balanced by herbal notes suited the seasonal dish. She later commented that this was a stand out course. 

I had mackerel with wafers of beetroot and a plate dotted prettily with crème fraiche, jellies and herbs. Attention to detail is the name of the game here whilst a Planalto vinho branco seco from Douro  balanced the oily fish.

Main courses were skate wing and roast squid for me (meaty without being tough),  courgette ribbons and intense concentrated tomato. The elegant structured Alta White Priorato de razamonde, Ribeiro was a soulmate for the squid.

Salmon across the table exhibited more of Chef James Freeman’s trademark execution; fine ingredients cooked and assembled skilfully and innovatively resulting in plates of delicious refined cuisine.

Palate cleansers, desserts, cheese, Scotch coffees, petit fours followed and I confess we didn’t hold back but The Dining Room encourages indulgence without being overblown. The ambience is akin to sinking into a hot bath. Relax, unwind and enjoy. 

I am not at all surprised by the recent award. They don’t put a foot wrong 


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