Housed in a classic Georgian building in Stockbridge, this family-run fish restaurant has left its former site in Leith behind to make a welcome addition to New Town dining. Stripped back to the old bank’s stunning art deco interiors, the restaurant is airy and light with wooden parquet floors and panelling, aluminium tables and a feature New York-style oyster bar which welcomes the locals who come in “for their tea”.
Owner Richard Muir is passionate about sustainability, and talks affectionately about his suppliers. I ordered Inverawe smoked trout, which sat on a bed of capers and gherkins, dressed with quails’ eggs and cress. This colourful and beautifully-presented dish was delicious – the tartness of the relish a perfect balance to the smokiness of the trout. My companion ordered scallops with smoked apple, celeriac and black truffle purée and declared the scallops to be perfectly cooked and the sauce a welcome accompaniment. We shared a smoked salmon pate, rich with chunks of juicy salmon and chives.
My main course of sea bream with basmati rice and aubergines had a delightful kick of chilli to it, while my partner’s fish and chips with mushy peas was a meaty hake in a very light batter. We loved the vinegar pourer – a stylish white enamel open-mouthed fish – a collectors item, apparently! Fellow diners raved about the mussels, served in brightly-coloured mussel pots – apparently a favourite dish for sharing at the bar.
For dessert, the ginger sponge with ginger butterscotch sauce and ginger ice cream was a masterpiece – light melt-in-the-mouth sponge with a wonderful hot sauce contrasting with the chill of the ice cream – every mouthful was to die for and the ice cream, full of ginger, chunks we agreed was the best we’d ever tasted.
The kitchen is brought into the restaurant with chef Stuart Lynch cooking in full view of diners. Staff, proudly attired in Café Fish T-shirts with striking fish bone logos, are friendly and efficient, offering a good knowledge of the menu and wine list. Owners Richard and Mary and son Murray are very much in evidence, and you feel that on your next visit you’ll be greeted by name and made to feel even more welcome.