As a (half) Scandi myself, I was delighted when the team at Seasons invited me to review the restaurant. I’d thought about visiting for a while, and yet somehow, it never quite got to the top of my list.
Well, what a mistake that was.
As a modern Scandinavian restaurant with no à la carte menu, and instead, a choice of varying lengths of tasting menus, Seasons is a refreshing addition to the Edinburgh food scene. I let the staff know about any dietary requirements, (no shellfish), and prepared myself for, what I hoped would be, the feast of all feasts.
While some may find Scandi interiors a bit sparsely decorated, I personally love them. The walls in Seasons are clad with wood in typical Nordic style, doorways are hidden by heavy linen drapery, and the elegant tableware consists of rock, limestone, slate and other geological marvels.
With a couple of rather large glasses of South African red in front of us, my husband and I started to read down a scroll of 30+ items – an alternative to a traditional menu. We opted for a five-course menu, (there are also seven and ten-course options, for those feeling particularly peckish).
Our first course was an Arbroath smokie with dill espuma foam – light, airy and perfectly balanced, just what you would hope for from an amuse bouche.
The course that followed was a delicious wild nettle velouté. While smooth and luxurious, it was the peppery watercress and burnt onion crumb that really set off this dish and introduced some much-needed texture.
My husband thoroughly enjoyed his Tobermory poached Langoustine tail with crispy quinoa rice (which was somewhat unusual), burnt apple, radish, and a rich, indulgent Langoustine Bisque. But, for once, there was no food envy at my side of the table. The Plaice on the menu had been re’plaiced’ with Halibut, one of my all time favourite fish. Cooked beautifully and served alongside salt baked celeriac, caramelised onion puree and a citrus foam, the fish truly shone.
While we had heard rumours of tiny courses, we certainly saw no evidence of this. All our courses were generous portions, and our main course of Scottish Borders Lamb saddle was no exception. Served with Wye Valley Asparagus, crispy Jersey Royal potato skins and topped with a thing meaty jus, we were in heaven.
What followed next was a culinary extravaganza of the highest order; not one, but two desserts.
Poached rhubarb was served alongside gingerbread pieces, meringue, and hibiscus. Sadly, the rhubarb was still a bit too sharp for me and had too much of a bite to enjoy fully. While the dish had the potential to be delicious, there were just too many flaws on the plate to forgive, and it was crying out for something to balance the sharpness of the rhubarb.
However, the slight disappointment that came with pudding number one was soon to be forgotten. Textures of chocolate, (including ganache), were served alongside pistachio sponge, honeycomb, custard and pistachio macaroons – a delicious, clever dish, and the perfect end to a wonderful meal.
Scottish food, Nordic presentation
At Seasons, dishes are creatively presented, and while there is certainly a nod to the tradition of minimalist, Scandinavian fine dining, dishes are packed with flavour, texture, and ooze elegance.
All in all, a wonderful meal – and with a five-course tasting menu for £40, and with paired wines for an additional £25pp, we will most certainly be returning. (Just as soon as the season changes…)
Find them: 36 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SB