I love discovering new things in the city, Edinburgh is constantly surprising me with places and experiences I have never heard about, so much so we built a website all about hidden things in the city.
So when you discover something completely amazing, that you have been walking past for a couple of years and never spotted before, I feel like I have hit the jackpot! This is exactly what happened when TLE were invited along to try out Scandinavian Tasting Restaurant Seasons on Broughton Street.
Background & Concept
Seasons is the brainchild of founder and executive chef Matthew Urry. Matthew along with the kitchen team and restaurant manager, James Paulin, (they met when both working for Tom Kitchin) take you on a exploration of food and drink that is guaranteed to impress! Combining Scandinavian foraging and cooking techniques with local seasonal ingredients and wines that match the food perfectly with no ‘traditional menu’ in sight an evening here will leave you craving to come back for more!
Seasons is located on Broughton Street next door to Boombarbers, like me you might have struggled to find the restaurant with its limited low-key signage (which has thankfully now been upgraded so you can now read the sign!)
The restaurant is an L shape – enter into the small bar which had just been renovated the night we were in and now includes seating which is open to non dining guests and will include bar food options giving you a taste of what the kitchen can prepare. Walk beyond the bar and you pass the open kitchen to the left and to the right the restaurant is set across two rooms – we chose to sit in the intimate pinewood-lined dining room with a window out to Barony Street.
Another little surprise I had no idea about was the speak-easy below – The Liquor Library which you can access from the restaurant and also enter from Barony Street.
Divided into lunch and dinner services; the lunch service offers two and three course options, while the dinner service is ‘menuless’ in the traditional sense instead you are presented with a small tied up scroll of paper on your napkin, open the scroll and a list of around three dozen ingredients are written down ranging from the everyday ingredients like broccoli, chive, lamb and peas to the more exotic like nettle, sea purslane, black truffle and channel wrack. Score out any items you really don’t like, then choose between 5 and 7 courses and order from the drinks menu, or do what I recommend and take the drinks pairings which are expertly matched to each course of your dinner. The drinks pairing include wine, cocktails and even beer.
What We Ate
With the drinks pairings organised and food list ticked off, the evening started with a glass of prosecco and an Amouse Bouche which was a delightful ceramic egg filled with cured Scottish Salmon dill espuma foam, we then moved onto our first course which was Tobermory poached Langoustine with quinoa, burnt apple and covered in Langoustine Bisque, it was incredible, every mouthful was sensational!
We then moved to leek Tortellini, paired with Deer Point Chardonnay, I have just recently found a love again for Chardonnay and this one was full of flavour with just a note of oak which was perfect.
For the ‘main’ we had Scottish Borders Lamb saddle with Wye Valley Asparagus, with Rosti style Jersey Royal potatoes. I am not a massive fan of Lamb, but this dish worked well, the ingredients balanced each other and the tenderness of the lamb, with the crunchiness of the potatoes, made me desperate for more! For the drink pairing we had a red – Dandelion Vineyards Shiraz/Riesling 2014 McLaren Vale, South Australia.
We had a small breather than moved onto not one, but two desserts. The first was a fruit dessert of rhubarb, gingerbread, meringue and hibiscus. Slightly sharp flavours coming through in this dish, but again amazing, plenty of textures with the softness of the cornel of ice-cream and meringues, and the crispness of the gingerbread and finished with the cubes of rhubarb.
The last course was for the real sweet tooth and just right for finishing the evening off. Pistachio with Macaroon, chocolate, honeycomb custard. The spoon was getting scraped across this dish to make sure every last bit was eaten! An unexpected twist for the drinks, finishing with a chocolate flavoured beer – St Giles Scotch Ale Stewart Brewing who are based in Edinburgh.
Every course is both visually beautiful as well as containing an array of flavours with each dish quite different to the previous one, I dare you not to ‘wow’ when plates are placed down. A little touch I liked was the wine bottle is left on the table giving you time to discover more as you drink
As the restaurant name suggests – dishes follow the seasons and food availability, so dishes change frequently, in fact you could go every few weeks and have a new menu that’s how creative Seasons is.
Finances and Details
I love Tasting menu’s and Seasons is something really special, as well as incredibly well priced for the quality of food and overall experience – 5 courses is £40 and drinks pairings £25 (plus this is not just an in and our style restaurant expect to spend around 2/3 hours). Whilst the surprise element of not knowing what each dish will be is for the more adventurous diner – each course is pure-joy and by being able to score off ingredients at the beginning means you are not playing Russian roulette and are guaranteed an exceptional culinary experience – one word GO!
Address: 36 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3SB
Phone: 0131 466 9851
Header image credit dramscotland