FOOD, glorious food, that’s what February in the Capital will be all about as the fourth Edinburgh Restaurant Festival finds more than 20 city eateries creating the ultimate foodie experiences.
Venues as diverse as The Ivy on the Square, Dishoom and Gaucho will be pulling out all the stops, along with The Rosehip, Badger & Co, Eteaket, Gusto, Las Iguanas, Jenners and Harvey Nichols.
Each will offer special events and deals throughout the festival, which will run from February 5 to 25 – booking for those experiences goes live on Monday.
In a city that boasts more restaurants per head of population than any other in the UK, the highlight of this year’s Festival is a ticketed five-course Moveable Feast, which will see diners travel to five very different restaurants, enjoying a course in each.
New to the Festival this year, will be the opportunity to experience The Secret Dining Experience, in which diners will sample delicious food in an unusual and surprising setting, yet to be revealed.
There will also be a series of special tasting menus for festival-goers to enjoy, as well as recipe ideas and chefs’ tips, and a tantalising range of offers and competitions.
Here are a selection of the highlights on offer throughout February.
THE MOVEABLE FEAST
Due to popular demand, the Moveable Feast returns and this year there will be three occasions to enjoy five different courses in five different eateries.
To begin the culinary journey, diners will meet at the Voodoo Rooms for welcome drinks and canapes.
It is then a short stroll to St Andrew Square for a starter and paired drink at the Argentinian steak restaurant, Gaucho.
A quick palate cleanser of the new Eteaket and Mackies tea sorbet in the Frederick Street Tea Room follows before heading along to the newly refurbished Rose Street restaurant, The Rosehip, for a main course and drink.
Then, like many nights out in the Capital, it’s time to hit George Street for dessert at Tigerlily, before enjoying a nightcap at the Scandi-inspired Hyde & Sons.
The Moveable Feast will take place on Tuesdays (6, 13 & 20 February), starting at 6pm and cost £50 per person.
THE IVY ON THE SQUARE
St Andrew Square
At The Ivy on the Square, barstaff have created a special cocktail to mark the festival.
Called The Discovery, it blends ingredients from two favourites, The Manhattan and Old Fashioned.
Explaining the restaurant’s involvement in the Festival, general manager Eric Garnier says, “When the opportunity arose to be a part of Essential Edinburgh’s initiative we knew we wanted to do something special. The Discovery is a great way to celebrate the occasion.”
Bar Manager Jon Niemi adds, “Creating a new and exciting recipe for the Festival seemed the natural offering.”
BADGER & CO
At Badger and Co you can enjoy three courses and a glass of wine for £22.50 during the festival.
Manager, David Ross says, “Set in the former home of Kenneth Grahame (author of Wind in the Willows) on Castle Street, Badger & Co prides itself on serving food to excite the appetite.
“We are thrilled to be part of this year’s Festival and look forward to opening our doors next month with an exclusive offer of three courses and a glass of wine.”
St Andrew Square
General manager Jamie Robertson says, ‘We are delighted to be involved in this year’s Moveable Feast – a gastronomic tour of the city centre.
“Acting as the second tour destination, we will serve guests with a starter and paired drink in our new Argentinian steak restaurant on St Andrew Square.”
St Andrew Square
The Bombay cafe-styled Dishoom is offering a special dish, the Lamb Raan Bun, and a Robert Burns Whisky tipple for lunch and dinner for the duration of the festival.
Head chef, Anand Ghotikar says: “The lamb raan bun is a taste explosion.
“A dish that can be traced to Alexander the Great, it consists of a generous pile of rich, juicy, shredded lamb (raan) in a strong sourdough bun, along with pickles and onions, served with Sali crisp-chips and deep fried green chillies.”
Damian Kwiatkowski, sous chef at Browns, started cooking for his family when he was ten years old.
“I’ve now been working at Browns for five years,” he says.
So what would he recommend from Browns’ menu during the festival, when the deal is simple – 20 per cent off all food?
“I love the fish pie. It’s a great traditional dish. It’s very good indeed,” he says.
A WAY TO HIGHLIGHT EDINBURGH’S BLOSSOMING RESTAURANT SCENE
NOW in its fourth year, The Edinburgh Restaurant Festival celebrates international cuisine, world-class service and Scottish hospitality.
Roddy Smith, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, the company behind the event, is delighted to see the return of the popular festival.
He says, “Edinburgh is now considered one of Europe’s top dining destinations, so we have lots to celebrate at the Festival.
“Food and drink is an extremely important and growing part of our economy, and the Festival is a wonderful way to highlight our blossoming restaurant scene and showcase the breadth and diversity that is now on offer.
“In Edinburgh, you really can go on a culinary journey around the world, and the city is bursting with different styles, flavours and menus, all served up to a world class standard.”
Edinburgh Restaurant Festival 2018, 5-25 February www.edinburgh restaurantfestival.com