Two Edinburgh restaurants named in UK top ten by TripAdvisor fine dining award

Two Edinburgh restaurants have been named among the UK’s top 10 by TripAdvisor users.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:47 pm
The interior of Aizle restaurant.

Aizle, in Newington, was named fifth-best in the UK in the fine-dining category of the 2019 Travellers’ Choice Awards for Restaurants, while Castle Terrace Restaurant came ninth.

The category is aimed at ‘high-end, special occasion restaurants known for impeccable food and service.’

The top spot in the UK was taken by Birmingham’s Adam’s, followed by The Black Swan at Oldstead in North Yorkshire and L’Enclume, of Cartmel, Cumbria.

Stuart Ralston, owner and patron chef at Aizle in St Leonard’s Street, hit the headlines in 2018 as one of the first restaurateurs to implement a four-day working week.

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With a young son, Mr Ralston said he had decided to re-ajust his work-life balance - and that of his staff - by only opening the award-winning restaurant on four days a week rather than five.

The ten staff working at the restaurant were moved to a four-day week with no pay cut.

Mr Ralston, who worked with Gordon Ramsay in America and later became chef de cuisine at a luxury Barbados resort, launched the 36-seater Aizle in 2014.

The restaurant serves a £70 six-course menu, which constantly changes according to local and seasonal produce.

Paired drinks are on offer for £50 a head.

Everything on the menu is made in-house, and the restaurant churns its own butter by hand and grows herbs and vegetables out back.

Mr Ralston opened another, New-York style, restaurant called Noto in the city in August.

Castle Terrace Restaurant, founded in 2010 and led by Edinburgh-born Dominic Jack, serves modern British cuisine influenced by French cooking.

An eight-course ‘surprise’ tasting menu will set diners back £85.

Mr Ralston said “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards again this year. The most rewarding thing about receiving this award is it reflects the unbiased opinion of people from around the globe who have dined at Aizle.

"Of course this would not be possible without my amazing team, they are the reason Aizle ranks as the number one restaurant in Edinburgh. We thank all of our guest for leaving such positive feedback.”

TripAdvisor spokesperson Hayley Coleman said: “These awards are determined by the millions of reviews posted over twelve months from diners who have visited the restaurants.

"To be named among the UK’s top ten demonstrates that the amazing work the teams at Aizle and Castle Terrace Restaurant are putting in to deliver the best experience to their customers is clearly paying off.”