Tom Kitchin is a well-known name in the Scottish restaurant industry, so I was very excited to hear about a new restaurant he was opening on my side of town. I envisaged Southside Scran to be similar to The Scran and Scallie, Tom Kitchin’s gastro pub in Stockbridge, which is a more casual dining place than his Michelin star restaurant The Kitchin in Leith.
Sam managed to secure a table for a late lunch last Sunday, which was opening weekend. We arrived in Bruntsfield and we were given a glass of fizz on arrival, to enjoy whilst we waited for our table. Instantly, this was my favourite interior of the Tom Kitchin restaurants. I enjoyed the warm, cosy atmosphere and the fact that there were different levels and seating arrangements throughout the bar and dining areas. Overall it felt intimate without feeling crowded. We were seated at a table for 2 where we had a good view of the bar and the kitchen. It was great to see Tom working and his family and friends gathering for dinner; we even got to a chance to chat to the famous chef briefly.
The menu has a few strong contenders, but it didn’t take us long to decide on the rotisserie chicken for our mains. The menu is split in to starters, rotisserie items, classic mains, sides and desserts. After deciding on the rotisserie chicken for 2, we chose fondant potatoes and a red pepper salad for sides, as well as the game pithivier to share as a starter. I also chose the Southside cocktail, which is gin based with mint and cucumber, and it was a lovely aperitif for the meal ahead; there was a cloud of cucumber foam on the top which dissolved in to the drink over time and kept the flavour fresh.
After placing our order, we received some bread and butter, but also some chicken liver parfait. Oh, my goodness, it was the best parfait I’ve ever had, and such a good addition to the regular bread and butter combo. Some of the service was a bit slow, but being opening weekend, some issues were to be expected, however we didn’t have any problems with the food service. It wasn’t long before our starter arrived, and it looked delightful. For a round game pie it wasn’t overly heavy, but it was a good size for a starter. The pastry on the pie was light and the filling bursting with flavour – I could have had a bigger version for a main course. Luckily, I didn’t because I thoroughly enjoyed our roast chicken.
The rotisserie is located just outside of the kitchen, so throughout our meal we could see our chicken being cooked. Once it was ready, it was presented to us whole, before being sliced up and ready to eat. There was plenty of meat for both of us and it was incredibly succulent. Neither of us usually opt for roast chicken, but if it tasted like this every time, I would certainly eat it more often. I was a big fan of the chicken gravy, which really enhanced the dish for me. The potatoes were incredible; lovely and soft with plenty of garlic!
Both of us decided against dessert, but I’m sure I could be persuaded on my next visit. Sam ordered a coffee and I chose a white chocolate gin and mint cocktail to round off a superb meal. The cocktail was very similar to a peppermint tea, but a boozy one! It was a lovely end to a fantastic afternoon. The food was simple, yet done fantastically, and not at all boring. Depending on what you order, it’s not the cheapest of meals, but I felt like it was worthier of the higher price tag than the Scran and Scallie. Both Sam and I are looking forward to trying more of the items on the menu at Southside Scran.
Atmosphere – 5
Food – 5
Price – 3
Service – 4
Total – 17/20