Sonder…the realisation that everyone is living a life that is as vivid and as complex as your own.
I don’t usually bother with press releases, but the story behind Sonder is a bit more interesting than most…
This is the first permanent restaurant for owner Trisha McCrae, who previously co-founded One Star House Party, which saw her take 6 chefs around the world for 2 years, building 20 very different pop-up restaurants in 20 different countries, one of which was a 10 day hike to Mount Everest base camp to build a 1 day only restaurant.
“After two years of travelling to some of the most prolific food destinations the world has to offer, I decided it was time to come home to Scotland and set up a permanent restaurant. Sonder is the product of the amazing people we met, the food we encountered and the adventure we set out on 2 years ago.
At Sonder we wanted to create a menu that was to the highest quality, but served in a very relaxed and approachable environment, with the menu changing monthly using the seasonal ingredients available” Trisha McCrae – Sonder
Head Chef Paul Graham, who joined One Star House Party in their final year, has previously worked at Number One in Edinburgh, along with a stint at Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road.
Interesting eh? After reading all that I was intrigued…
The menu is split into Snacks, Garden, Land and Sea. We made it our mission to try something from each section.
From the Snacks…
Black Olive Focaccia, Mascarpone
Homemade bread, crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. On the side, an olive tapenade and a creamy mascarpone with a pool of olive juice. My friend who dined with me that evening has been dreaming of this bread and it’s been the subject of a few foodie conversations.
Chicken Wing, Maple, Corn
Delicious morsels of deboned chicken wing on a stick, drenched with maple syrup. This is the sort of wee thing you end up visiting a restaurant for again and again because you’re addicted. I MAY be that person with these.
From the Garden…
Tomatoes, Almond, Raspberry, Tomato Water
A fresh and sin free tomato salad with the crunch of raw almonds and a delicate tomato water. If you’re feeling virtuous, this is the one for you.
Mushroom, Confit Yolk, Prunes, Yesterday’s Bread
The picture doesn’t give much away, but perhaps you saw the Instagram video that revealed the confit yolk? An unusual combination of ingredients which only serves to demonstrate the quality of cookery knowledge.
Ricotta Agnolotti, Leeks, Hazelnuts, Whey
Our final plate from the garden was a fresh and comforting pasta dish. Little pillows of vibrantly green agnolotti with baby leaks and a light whey sauce. I wasn’t sure how all the different style of dishes would fit together as one dining experience, but I enjoyed each individual dish so much I found it didn’t really matter.
Moving onto the land…
Beef Fillet, Walnut & Burnt Onion
A relatively classic dish in comparison to the others, but equally well executed. It was advertised as short rib but we were advised of the last minute change, and frankly who’s going to complain about eating beef fillet? Not me! A rich combination of flavours which all worked really well together and satiated the meat cravings.
Our final dish was from the sea…
Cod, Kohlrabi, Mushroom & Seaweed
The cod on this dish was so buttery and it flaked away. The gentle flavours of the sea shone through with the help of the seaweed.
With dishes this good we couldn’t resist desserts. First up Chocolate, Praline and Caramel which tasted like a deconstructed Ferrero Rocher. Very tasty. However, something very special indeed came along that stole the show, an unassumingly titled Milk Parfait, Wild Flower Honey, Puffed Rice.
This dessert was so comforting, the milky parfait melted in the mouth and the honey was perfectly balanced so as not to overwhelm the dish with too much sweetness. Class cookery, and I’m not a massive dessert fan, but this was special.
A stunning selection of dishes, I can’t wait to go back and try what they come up with next!
Location: 74-78 S Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9PT
Good for: Flexible dining, small and large plates of expertly crafted food