We arrived at Dine Edinburgh after settling into our accommodation for the night at the Radisson Blu Edinburgh. While it is walkable from the hotel, we opted for a taxi which takes just a few minutes.
Just above the Traverse Theatre, next to the Usher Hall, Dine Edinburgh is a relatively new restaurant which positions itself nicely between smart restaurant and fine dining.
We began our evening in the 30 seat champagne lounge. Even if you’re not dining, this is a nice place to enjoy a pre-theatre drink.
The restaurant is circular in shape, with a distinctly atrium feel. At the centre a large tree offers a focal point and breaks up the expanse.
We had thought that design encouraged noise to carry as it was quite noisy at one point, however it quietened down after a table of gentlemen left.
Having enjoyed a few afternoon drinks in Inn On The Mile we were ready for something to soak up the alcohol a bit. We ordered the Chargrilled Bread with ‘Flavour of the Day’ – which turned out to be a tasty hummus.
I was dining with a friend this time and we both enjoy our veggies so both starters ended up being meat free. Our first choice was Confit and Pickled Heritage Carrots with Hazelnut Pesto, Carrot Jam and Quail Egg. This was a masterclass in how to produce a vegetable focused starter where you don’t miss the meat at all. The different treatments of the humble carrot resulted in a dish with plenty of light and shade. The carrot jam felt indulgent! I wish I had a jar of the hazelnut pesto because I’d have it spread on toast or tossed through pasta, it was another example of how real care had been taken to produce something that was far more than the sum of its parts. I’m not sure what happened to the quail egg, perhaps the quails weren’t laying that day?
Our second starter was Red Wine Poached Pear, Goats Cheese Mousse, Spiced Filo, Endive and Hazelnut Jam. We can never resist goats cheese mousse when we see it on a menu, and the pear partnership on this one worked really well. Two very good starters.
My friend went for the Roast Free Range Scottish chicken, Thyme and Parmesan Gnocchi, Salt Baked Turnip and Wild Leeks. I think chicken gets a bad rap for being a bit safe/boring, but when it’s cooked as well as this it can easily be elevated.
I had the Spiced Hake with Curried Sweet Potato, Blackened Mango, Spring Onion and Coconut. The hake was perfectly cook with a gentle curry spicing which didn’t overshadow the fish. However, for me, the dish was too sweet with the combination of sweet potato and mango. I had hoped the charring on the mango would offer a bitter edge to cut through it, but it wasn’t enough. The spring onion having been gently chargrilled was also quite sweet.
Being really quite full, we decided to share a dessert – Cherry Financier, Chocolate Ganache, Cherry Compote and Crème Fraiche Ice Cream. This was really well made and there was a good balance of sweetness and tartness from the cherries.
At £16 for the mains, it should be noted that it was also really good value for the standard of cookery.
I’d definitely recommend Dine if you’re looking for a smart dinner that won’t break the bank.
Location: 10 Cambridge Street
Price: Mains £12 – £21.50
Good for: Dinner with friends/colleagues. Champagne and cocktails in the lounge. Pre-theatre dining.