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Ondine Restaurant
2 George IV Bridge,,
[View Map]
0131 226 1888
12 noon - 10pm everyday
Photography by Simone Hilliard

August 2010

Ondine is one classy number. It is like the Little Black Dress of restaurants; simple, stylish and serving piscine produce that will endure changing fashions.
When it comes to reviewing fish its all about the freshness; the nearer it is to pulsing, the better it will taste.

I went along for Saturday lunch with a couple of pals. The service is slick; water, bread and gougères are delivered swiftly and unobtrusively. The ambience is conspiratorial; we are all here because we know we are onto a good thing. A horseshoe 'crustacean bar' looks lie a pleasant place to sip bubbles and shuck an oyster or two, it reminded me of the bar in the Cafe Royal pub, but posher; where are the crustacean though?

We had the choice of a good value lunch time menu of two courses for £14.95 or the a la carte which contains all the fish and shellfish options. I was hankering for langoustines served in wild garlic butter (£18.50) and my two friends both chose grilled scallops in the half shell with chorizo (£ 17.95).

The langoustines were halved to minimise fuss and there was nice pile heaped on my plate. I would give them eight out of ten.  Unfortunately I had tasted some 'cooked in front of me' langoustine from Stuart Muir at Harvey Nichols earlier that week which were moister and juicier; I couldn't help comparing.  I had ordered chips on the side which were actually pommes frites but a nice enough accompaniment. My friends' scallops were beautifully golden and the chorizo was rich, spicy and oozing flavour . We washed the whole lot down with an excellent bottle of Prosecco that had a clean silvery sheen, dry and full of bubbles.

Dessert was simple, coffee and Florentines. Made with honey, nuts, fruit and seeds these round delicacies were a deliciously sweet finish to our lunch.

Ondine has been a hit with diners and critics alike since it opened a year ago and Roy Brett moved from the Dakota hotel to Edinburgh city centre. Bite quite simply concurs that it is a welcome addition to Edinburgh's dining scene.

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