le roi fou, edinburgh, review 

Having been on a very strict diet for 31 days I wanted to treat myself to dinner when I finished and The Kitchin wasn’t *quite* within my budget.

Newcomer to the Edinburgh food scene is Le Roi Fou by chef patron Jerome Henry (formerly of Mosimann’s in Belgravia and Les Trois Garçons in Shoreditch).

Le Roi Fou (the Mad King) just won best newcomer at the Scottish Food Awards and has been met with much praise.

With a carefully curated menu, that won’t quite break the bank, there’s a good buzz around town about the freshest meat in New Town. Tucked around the corner from Broughton Street, the exterior is quietly stylish, unassuming but with strong branding.

We went early on a Friday evening (Granny at heart) to an almost empty restaurant which was packed to the rafters midway through our service. The walls are a deep Farrow and Ball-esque mushroom grey and the furnishings are simple but elegant. The staff are old school attentive – polite, knowledgeable but not overbearing.  Two members of staff were servicing the the whole restaurant with ease; like a well-oiled machine.

We were brought homemade foccaccia to dip in rosemary infused olive oil, followed by a delicious pastiche accompanied by artichoke purée. Both the pastiche and artichoke purée were new to me and both very, very welcome!

I ordered the scallops, after a toss up between those and the Rockefeller Oysters. My other half selected the asparagus and spinach soup from the Pre-Theatre menu.

Scallops, asparagus, pea puree 

These were the earthiest scallops I’ve ever had – they weren’t as delicate as I hoped they would be. Perhaps the accompaniments made them taste more of land than sea. They were, however, perfectly cooked and the asparagus was so lovely and fresh.

Spinach and asparagus soup

This was just summer in a bowl. Light, fresh, hint of creaminess it was the expert soup of expert soups!

Borders lamb rack, braised belly, with a mint infused sauce 

Just look at the glaze on that sauce! The braised belly was so tender and just fell apart, it literally melted in the mouth. The vegetables were cooked perfectly and the rack was lightly burnished on the outside and perfectly rare on the inside.

Grilled pork ‘ribeye’, peas, wild garlic 

Can you believe this was on the £17.50 for two courses pre-theatre menu? When I asked my boyfriend to comment on this dish, he said ‘fucking amazing’ which sums it up quite well I think! Need I say more?!

Pomme frites 

One portion between the two of us was plenty and they were proper French fries!

We love a freebie and were given some homemade sweeties with the bill – a nice touch!

The bill for two was under £100 which is quite extravagant for us but it was a special treat (we’re on the bread and water diet now!) including two courses each and drinks. Was it worth it? Yes, for the overall experience of the amazing staff, intimate setting with a good atmosphere and the obvious knowledge and skill of the chefs. The menu is quite safe – classic, but safe – and I would like to see maybe a little more thinking out of the box just to take it to the next level. With the experience they have behind them, I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves!

💛 the wee food blogger 

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