Tony visits 21212

Our Head of Restaurant Relations in Scotland reviews 21212.

With a new Michelin starred chef having recently arrived in Edinburgh, the much heralded 21212 I felt had to be tried and tested – not only in my interest but for those of our diners. Curiously enough the previous incumbent was a restaurant known as No3 – a long time favourite at toptable. Since then Paul Kitching and his partner Katie O' Brien have set about transforming this beautiful Georgian terraced house into a restaurant with rooms combining the contemporary with the original.

Having arrived a tad late we skipped the pre-dinner sharpener in the drawing room upstairs and went straight to the restaurant where you're immediately struck by the numerous chefs behind the glass partition preparing and cooking what lies ahead.

21212 has a distinct format hence its title. There is a choice of 2 for the first course, and 1 for the second course and so on. My first course was breast of guinea fowl, ratatouille, hazelnuts, apricots, braised chicken and gordal olive cream – nothing short of outstanding. Followed by the soup – a sprouting foam lay on top disguising a myriad of sumptuous flavours before discovering the almonds and bacon at the bottom. Next up was the very slow cooked fillet of beef, chestnuts, caramelised onions, with an array of exotic vegetables, including early grey and icky sticky – the best beef I've eaten since my last visit to Argentina.

Then came the cheese board – five from France with a Roquefort that just blew your socks off – even better still it was washed down with a glass from our decanted bottle of Chateau St Tour Bonnet 03. Incidentally the wine list is worth more than a cursory glance. Finally to round things off a baked pudding glazed with lemon curd, crushed macadamia nuts, sweet pearl barley together with a granny smith puree could hardly be passed up. With not an inch to spare for the homemade dark truffles these were packaged up for us to enjoy at home!

In summary, Paul Kitching appears to have this uncanny knack of being able to pair the most unlikely combinations providing an incredible taste and texture to the palate, and as you may have gathered this ranks as one of the best dinners I've ever experienced. For those familiar with our diner ratings, 21212 would receive ten's posted against each of our categories except ambience.