Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Ondine, Edinburgh fish restaurant review

The top 50 lawn bowlers of East Anglia. The 20 best coiffured mullets of the 80s. Gateshead's 30 finest spam fritter wholesalers.

Countdown lists are a load of guff. But, they’re a load of fun even if they’re completely subjective.

This brings me to Ondine, recently named the best restaurant in Scotland and the 26th best restaurant in the UK in the National Restaurant Awards 2018.

Informal, with a bustling atmosphere and grand oyster bar which dominates the dining room, this Edinburgh seafood restaurant is located just off the Royal Mile. 

Light bread and gorgeously warm and airy cheese gougères were delivered promptly after we took our seats. I like places that give you something complimentary to swiftly put in your gob. 

My starter was epic. Crisp, warm and squishy mini crumpets were served with a heaving bowl of dressed crab (£15). Sweet white flesh, savoury brown crab mayonnaise and crunchy breadcrumbs were a delight slathered on the crumpets. 

A bowl of huge flavoured fish soup (£9) with a nice citrus twang came with the classic accompaniments - grated gruyere, crisp croutons and cayenne spiked rouille. Mrs G was a big fan. 

Onto mains, and a piece of deep fried haddock (£18) was an absolute unit. The fish was perfectly flaky but the golden batter was a touch greasy. 

Sides of thin chips and fresh mint-laced pea puree both hit the mark. 

A sea bream curry (£24) saw a bronze-skinned meaty bit of fish, cleverly filleted down the middle, bathed in a lush smokey and well-spiced curry sauce that was packed with long-cooked soft and sweet onions. 

Accompaniments came in the form of buttery, citrusy coriander-flecked rice and a fresh, cleansing chunky cucumber raitha. The only downside was that the super crisp edges of the bream had become a touch dried out. 

Replete after two massive courses, we passed on dessert.

Thankfully, a pair of delicious chilled chocolates filled with a smooth chocolate and berry ganache brought the meal to a close on a sweet note. 

Ondine is a lovely restaurant and we had a very good meal indeed. 

Is it the best restaurant in Scotland or even Edinburgh? Probably not in my opinion. But, countdown lists are a load of guff anyway... apart from rankings of Cardiff burgers or kebabs obviously ;-)

The details:

Address - Ondine, 2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD
Web -
Telephone - 0131 226 1888

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