During our recent long weekend in Scotland, we visited Ondine for dinner. Researching where to go beforehand, we loved the look of this (largely) seafood restaurant, and it seemed to have a great reputation. They were actually hosting a Duck and Waffle brunch with Dan Doherty the following day, but aside from already having lunch plans, we figured we could enjoy his food back in London (although bizarrely we still haven’t managed to pay the restaurant a visit, it’s been on ‘the list’ for so long!)
Ondine is located on an upper floor above shops/restaurants just off the Royal Mile. In the centre is a bar, with a display of fresh, chilled oysters to tempt you as you walk in. We were seated right next to another couple, fairly close to the bar. There were quite a few tables free in other parts of the restaurant, which often irks me, but to be fair, the rest of the restaurant filled up to capacity pretty quickly.
(Photo taken from the website)
This might sound a bit snobby, but I was actually really impressed with how everyone was dressed at Ondine. Let me explain 😉 I’ve got a real bugbear at the moment with going to very nice restaurants and people not making an effort with the way they dress. I was always taught to dress up for nice occasions and it makes me sad when people don’t do this any more. It makes me feel as though the people who are dressed down don’t consider the restaurant they’re in to be worth dressing up for! But definitely not the case in Ondine, shirts (sometimes jackets too) and dresses/smart tops etc across the board! Does anyone else feel strongly about this or just me? Let me know in the comments!
We didn’t order starters as we had our eye on the Grand Fruits of the Sea! Newhaven Lobster, Rock Oysters, Dunbar Crab, East Coast Cockles & Clams, Tarbert Langoustines, Razor Clams, Mull Scallops and Shetland Mussels! LOOK AT THE SIZE OF IT!
It was probably the biggest seafood platter we’ve ever tackled! We thought the one we had on our honeymoon in the Maldives was big, but this one topped it! It was also one of the best we’ve ever had, with probably the best oysters. So much so, that we had to order 6 more, from the choice of Loch Fyne (Argyll), Carlingford (Co. Louth), Jersey (Bay of Grouville), Fine de Claire (Marennes Olerón) and Dungarvan (Co. Waterford).
This was all washed down with a lovely bottle of white, before moving on to dessert. I went for something I wouldn’t normally go for, poached pear with goats cheese and sorbet. If I’m honest, I think I just saw ‘cheese’ and was sold! In reality I’m not sure how well the goats cheese really worked with the dish overall, but I’d eat cheese with anything, so I was happy!!
Tim went for the treacle tart and clotted cream, which was absolutely heavenly and I was slightly jealous. I was permitted a spoonful but the rest was eagerly polished off rather quickly. He knows me too well!
It was a great evening and somewhere I’d definitely recommend. Next time I’d try one of the starters and individual mains. I sometimes think dishes like ‘fruits de mer’ don’t really show off the chef’s full cooking skills, so we might not have got to experience everything Ondine had to offer, but it looked so good, how could we resist?!
You can find out more on their website here.