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The White Horse Oysters & Seafood.
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The White Horse Oysters & Seafood
266 Canongate,
Royal Mile,
City of Edinburgh,
0131 629 5300

The White Horse is THE most exciting addition to the Edinburgh restaurant scene.

Seafood is an integral part of Scotland’s heritage. Oysters were once a staple food of the poor in Edinburgh and the herring girls in their striped skirts found seasonal work in Newhaven.

The White Horse is believed to be the oldest Inn in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, born 1742, and it has been revived by the group that own Chop House, West Room, Sygn and Monteith’s. The refurbishment is sympathetic to the bar’s history; the exterior resembles sharp rough oyster shells whilst inside the wood is dark, the waiting staff aproned and the table tops are made of sea green marble. It doesn’t take much to imagine Samuel Johnston and James Boswell lodging and partaking of the victuals here before embarking on their adventure around the Hebrides. 

Four types of oyster are available, Loch Fyne, Caledonian, Lindisfarne and my favourite, creamy Carlingford. The tempura oysters I devoured were simply phenomenal and came with ponzu dressing, wasabi mayo and pickled ginger. 

It’s impossible to list all the goodies on offer here. You would be as well looking at the small, seemingly simple but oh so classy menu. If you like seafood and oysters you will be in heaven as you choose from small plates, tempura, platters, mains and sides. Seaweed, samphire, fennel, grapefruit, wasabi only the most sympathetic accompaniments to fish and seafood make the grade.

Sesame tuna and monkfish satay are dreams come true whilst king crab legs with charred lemon really wow. Imported from Norway they have a softer shell than langoustine, are at least twice the size but the tender white flesh is similar. Dunk them in mayo.

Fizz by the glass, a ripe tropical Chenin Blanc, martinis with Edinburgh Seaside Gin and pickled samphire, an ultra elegant Espresso Martini in a slim legged coupe  – it’s all here for you to indulge in. 

So much so that I protested against dessert but was shouted down. Burnt lemon crème brulee, cheese, a digestif of bitter Fernet Branca followed. 

You can pop in for Buck a Shuck Monday to Thursday from 4pm-6pm when oysters are £1 each. Lobsters and fries are £22 on a Wednesday and surf ‘n’ turf with rib eye, lobster and fries is £30 every Sunday. 

Personally I am thinking of moving in. (S. Wilson)

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