To celebrate a friend’s birthday, 3 of us visited Aizle last weekend to finally try this restaurant that we’ve talked about for a long time. We were seated at a window table, with an incredible view towards the Salisbury Crags. To begin our meal we ordered cocktails and I chose the gin and tonic. This wasn’t your traditional G&T, but a Grand & Noble pine infused gin with Aizle homemade tonic and lime. It arrived in the most adorable glass and tasted just as good as it looked.
All 3 of us decided to go for the drinks pairing to get the full experience. After a brief introduction to Aizle and what we could expect throughout the evening, we were served homemade soda bread that the team had nicknamed ‘Roger’. The bread was beautifully soft and the butter with onion salt enhanced every bite. As a diner, you are aware of the seasonal ingredients that Aizle are using, but you don’t know what each dish is going to be.
Up first we got a selection of snacks: lobster rolled inside kohlrabi with marigold on top, chicken liver parfait with cranberry and granola, carrot meringue topped with chavignol and muscatel vinegar. All were delicious and a light way to start the meal. I’m a big fan of lobster and chicken parfait, but the carrot meringue was a delightful surprise for me. To accompany the snacks we received a Blackwoods Gin Tom Collins, which we added aged balsamic vinegar to half way through. I loved this twist of turning 1 drink into 2 and I happily sipped on both!
Course number 1 was smoked beetroot and cured mackerel with gooseberry and buttermilk. I’m not a huge beetroot fan, but I love mackerel and the combination of sweet and sour worked extremely well. This dish was served with a light, dry red wine.
It was more fish for course number 2, which was great for me because I’m a big fish fan. This time it was monkfish cheek with tenderstem broccoli, sea purslane and bone sauce. Somehow, I was so engrossed in the meal that I forgot to take a photo of this course, but it was incredible! I love monkfish cheek and the texture of the soft fish with the crunchy broccoli was fantastic. Alongside the food we enjoyed a refreshing pinot blanc.
The third course was a lot heavier than the first 2 because it was Inverurie lamb with pea, lettuce and miso. The lamb was a piece of pink rump and caramelized cheek. The cheek was a great addition because it was extremely tender, but overall both were brilliantly cooked pieces of meat. Our accompanying drink was a deliciously smooth glass of tempranillo.
Although we were getting full, our server asked if we wanted to try the optional cheese course and we quickly signed up for 1 plate between 3. The cheese we received was Tete de Moine, which was served with truffle brioche. This was another stand out dish for me because I love truffle and although, I had never had Tete de Moine before, it was similar to Gruyere and was super tasty. The drinks pairing for this was a yummy honey wine.
By the time course number 4 arrived I was already bursting at the seams, but somehow I managed to find room for some Scottish raspberry and white chocolate with anise hyssop and goats milk. I love chocolate desserts and white chocolate always goes beautifully with raspberries, so I thoroughly enjoyed this course. This dessert was paired with a Riesling, which softened out the sharpness of the berries.
After ordering some coffee and additional wine we received petit of salted caramel truffle and a matcha tea, miso and sesame crisp. The salted caramel truffle was unbelievable – the perfect way to round off an outstanding meal!
I loved my first experience at Aizle and I would recommend anyone to dine here! The staff was very knowledgeable and seemed genuinely interested in their work. The setting was lovely and the price very reasonable. Because we went for the full experience, it was quite expensive, but definitely worth it! The food was out of this world and I would go as far to say that this experience has been my favourite in Edinburgh.