Restaurant review: Element, Rose Street, Edinburgh

Element. Picture: Contributed
Element. Picture: Contributed
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ELEMENT has been part of the Capital’s restaurant scene for a good few years now and, like all survivors, knows how to keep things fresh in a bid to pull in the punters.

Hidden away in Rose Street, the place can’t rely on prominence of location to draw customers – instead, solid cooking spiced up with plenty of contemporary innovation and friendly service are the name of the game as it bids for business in the Capital’s ever-competitive dining-out scene.

Its front-of-house bar was humming nicely when my dining companion and I arrived on a drizzly Wednesday evening – no doubt the fruit of a swish makeover which has introduced plenty of mirrors, mahogany and edgy murals.

And with the interior decor and menu descriptions promising a memorably slick and original dining experience, the food and drink more than live up to billing.

As a starter, I chose the smoked haddock and salmon fishcakes with beetroot tartar (£5.50) – a strong combination, with the tartar providing just the right degree of zing and saltiness.

My dining companion opted for the Cullen skink (£9), which she said was “decently hearty” and with plenty of flavour.

The mains were nothing if not substantial. I found the haggis-filled chicken supreme (£11.50), which arrived smothered in creamy thyme gravy, very agreeable.

Ever the gourmand, my partner plumped for an 8oz Scottish rib eye steak with hand-cut chips (£17.95), which was, she said, “very satisfying”.

Two clean plates later and we moved on to dessert – a fluffy milk chocolate mousse and hazelnut shortbread (£5) for me and an apple and cinnamon crumble (£5) for my partner. All in all, a midweek dining-out experience that pretty much hit the spot.

• Element, 110-114 Rose Street, 0131-225 3297