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“what can I say?”
Review of 21212 Restaurant

21212 Restaurant
Ranked #153 of 2,529 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$26 - US$88
Cuisines: French, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Delivery, Private Dining, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Broughton & Calton
Description: Only Michelin Starred Restaurant with Rooms in Edinburgh
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
311 reviews
268 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
“what can I say?”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

what can you say that hasn't already been said?
super restaurant super food super staff!!
the food is actually quite simple and flavoursome.
the menu sounds complicated but the dishes have clean flavours that are well prepared and everything fits
the amuse bouche is to die for and is unlike anything I've tasted before
simple flavours that go together
fantastic starter : johnson's cauliflower cheese- the description doesn't do the dish justification
a complicated risotto type dish with multiple ingredients but each one coming thru strong
next a layered soup where each spoonfull elicits a different taste sensation but where the whole is greater than the parts
main course of beef olives - once again the description belied the dish itself- multi ingredients but each with a clear place
and all prepared to the top degree
superbly selected cheeses next in premium condition
deserts were wonderful : the lemon tart apparently has been on the menu for many years and deservedly so
coffee and chocolate truffles were simple but effective
the main message is:
if you onlly visit 1 restaurant in Edinburgh - then this should be the one!!!!!!

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank whoopsidoneitagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
21212P, Manager at 21212 Restaurant, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
Lovely, what a special review. Thanks so much and hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Birthday treat in every sense of the word”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

I was treated to a meal in one of the private rooms (The Pod) by some friends recently, and this, my second visit, was even better than the first.

All restaurants change as they age and evolve but few have the strength of character to maintain - and improve upon - such a singular experience as 21212.

Paul, Katie and their team are more polished than ever, yet comfortably relaxed and friendly as they guide you through your meal. Service from the team was outstanding - with our sommelier deserving a particular mention for helping me unearth some gems from their wonderful list without breaking the bank.

As to the food - there's no doubt this can be a polarising experience - but I thought it was bolder and more complex than before, with "side dishes" adding an exciting new note. Also, still the best cheese course I can think of (although the trolley at The Balmoral Hotel comes close!)

All in all I had a wonderful time. I just need to remember not to leave it so long before my next visit.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MEH1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
21212P, Manager at 21212 Restaurant, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
We hope you don't leave it long either but sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder. I'm so glad you enjoyed it all and the Pod is a lovely place to eat. I too, think Pauls food gets better and better.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect execution, wonderful staff and ambiance, food was ok”
Reviewed 10 April 2014

A brief walk from my hotel The Glasshouse (not a bad place to stay) and I was standing in front of 21212. As I stepped in I was surprised, it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise but it stayed with me. The style of the logo and the decor and atmosphere of the place were completely at odds. I expected to step into a stripped down farm/market style restaurant, but instead was welcomed into warm, comfortable, high-ceilinged boudoir. There was a relaxed opulence about the place that made you feel privileged and at ease, like being personally invited into Marilyn Monroe’s dressing room. The staff were a delight and we were swiftly seated, My mother and fellow diner for the evening at probably the longest chaise long in existence, and myself opposite on well padded and comforting chair. The table was laid simply and elegantly but again I was faced with ill fitting logo on a small card detailing the ingredients and layering of the amuse bouche every dinner guest receives. I know the logo has nothing to do with food but the designer in me couldn’t get past it.



Ok to do the food: the menu changes weekly and you have an option of 3,4,5 or 5 courses. We decided straight off to bypass the soup and cheese courses. We both chose the Chicken Peanut Butter

But before that came the amuse bouche which in all honesty was easily forgotten. Broad bean and tomato foamy stuff is what I remember. I must stress I’m very much a fan subtle flavours in fact it’s what I look for in a dish, in the same way you judge a headphones or speakers by their ability to produce high quality sound at lower volumes a good dish should have wonderful muted tones that stay with you. My bouche was unamused, it was a bit pointless really.

The starter
Chicken Peanut Butter:

Purely on aesthetics it was a delight, to see it arriving at the table was affirmation of everything I’d hoped for from such a restaurant. I enjoyed taking a few seconds in deciding how best to tackle the dish. I went with my tried and tested; I tasted each element of the dish separately which to be honest came easily with this dish as did seem to be multiple elements piled together but that’s not to say there wasn’t a cohesiveness. The dish worked the flavours were pleasant but not overly pronounced, while the chicken was nothing to write home about in regards to flavour it was cooked perfectly and had a wonderfully soft texture I’ve never experienced before. The starter was accompanied buy a small side dish, again my memory fails me but i believe this where the prunes made an appearance there was dark molasses like sauce topped with a foam. This was delicious it had a deep home-made bbq sauce like taste, it was rich and worked perfectly with dish as whole but in particular I liked in combination with the chicken and peanuts. This combination in it’s self would have made delightful dish.
I’ll take a moment to say that foam was a recurrent feature throughout the meal. I’d never tried foam before but it seems to make a appearance in many a chef’s menu. I heard it described as pointless which I was hesitant accept,I imagined it as a perfect vehicle for delicate and light flavours. This is not untrue but after experiencing it for myself in this instance it was pointless; it seemed unnecessary and gimmicky, after a while the texture became something of turnoff.

The main
Pink Trout, Filo Crisp, Rhubarb
Tender Baked, Jumbo White Asparagus, Mushrooms & Scallops, Black Garlic, Shallots & Pimento Cream, Smoked Quinoa

Again my mother and I opted for the same dish. I’m a great fan of fish and wanted to see what could be done with one of my favs. As we ordered we were informed that the trout would be prepared in a way similar to a sou vide and would be very delicate retaining all it’s juices and may seem almost uncooked, this was in no way inaccurate and again displayed a level of culinary technique I’d never experienced and very much enjoyed. The delicate softness of the trout showed the reasoning behind the fill crisp which in itself was surprisingly well flavoured and tasty. The contrast in texture between the was not just pleasant but necessary to add balance to the dish. The addition of the crispy trout skin was welcome and further added to not just the contrast in texture but also flavour. The mushrooms wowed me, I’m a lover of the fungus and I thought I knew how they taste and how you could make them taste but these were so enjoyable I almost resented their scarcity on the plate, as with all things balance is key. The smoked quinoa was what attracted me to the dish (silly I know) took a back seat and was mostly notable for it’s texture, not to say it wasn’t tasty but i would have liked more to be made of it. The same story with the scallops, that said they are a delicate ingredient which is often the victim of over embellishment and the subtle sweetness was there. Rhubarb. It was something that stuck in my mind as I waited for the main. Will it work? What are they going to do with it? It was used as I imagined; just a hint around the edge, not overly prevalent and just enough of sweet tartness to work with other ingredients. Not much to say about the prawns other than they were cooked perfectly. I thought I’d prepared prawns just right before, I was wrong and similar to trout they were delicate and beautifully flavoured. Also accompanying was another another foamy espresso cup of stuff, didn’t add anything to the dish and I’m not sure why i mentioned it. This was a plate of food that worked, prepared flawlessly but all could say about it at the time was it was nice…

Oh the the bread was delish; Soft, buttery, flavoursome. Butter wasn’t provided, it was offered but not needed.

The Dessert
Chocolate, Coffee Riz Condé
Creamy Rice Pudding, Golden Poached Pears, Hazelnuts, Milk & Vanilla Custard, Coffee Beans

How could I not have rice pudding? It’s my favourite food in a glorious dessert form, if done well it can easily be placed within my top 3 sweets. I was expecting to see this classic taken to a wonderful new place and have to apologise for the need to clean up my blown mind. Yeah, that didn’t happen. It was tasty layered in the style of a trifle but really there’s not much to say. The ingredient list pretty much tells the story, they combined well enough to form a good enough dessert, I expected so much more though. But hey at least there was a disaronno foam to accompany it and a lovely sliver of some sort of walnut biscuit/cake which works brilliantly to compliment and perhaps even out the sweetness. This would have worked but the dish wasn’t actually over sweet in the first place, still enjoyed the addition of it

So My first experience of a Michelin star restaurant was… well an experience. It was an education really. I can’t really be upset with a meal the exposed me to so much food that was new and showed a level of skill and technicality I’ve never encountered. It was a good meal, there was nothing I could call unsatisfactory. But I was left wanting which is never good to hear about a dining experience, It was OK. OK in general but not for the price; £125 for two is not the most expensive meal but for this meal it was way too much and I have to say overall I’m disappointed. I’m reminded of the meal I shared with 5 others in a small restaurant in Kulim Malaysia; the 6 of us ate dish after dish of some of the most exciting food I’ve ever tasted all for less than £30. Yes food in Malaysia is subsidised and therefore a lot cheaper but what I’m getting at is the lesson I learned, stars don’t equal satisfaction.

Wonderful ambiance, staff, and skill, But i was left wanting.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Victorwax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
21212P, Manager at 21212 Restaurant, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
Gosh, I don't think I could do your review justice in one sitting, so I'll just say thanks for taking the considerable time to post your thoughts and hope you will have more Michelin dining to add to your 1st review in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wonderful meal”
Reviewed 8 April 2014

This small restaurant is just wonderful. The food is deservedly michelin-starred, the service is outstanding, the wine list fantastic.

Each portion of our meal was wonderful - beautiful complex plates of food, each flavour clear and crisp and contributing to a delicious whole. One of the best meals that I've enjoyed.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank brissiechris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
21212P, Manager at 21212 Restaurant, responded to this review, 8 October 2014
Thanks so much for a lovely review. We hope to see you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“A Touch of Class”
Reviewed 31 March 2014

The moment you enter 21212, you know you are somewhere special. The staff are welcoming and attentive, and the decor is simply exquisite. We stayed in a stunning and spacious room with amazing views over Edinburgh. Paul Kitching is a culinary genius, his food is tasty, quirky and truly a pleasure to eat. The beautiful dining room and experienced staff perfectly compliment the food being served, not to mention the selection of fine wines available. The location of 21212 is great, a short walk to the City Centre, and the fact the address is Royal Terrace is very appropriate, as it is definitely up to royal standards. This was definitely a very special experience and one I will always remember.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gayle K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
21212P, Manager at 21212 Restaurant, responded to this review, 8 October 2014
Thanks for a truly exceptional review, I'm sorry I have taken too long to respond, it has gone under the radar! You are very kind to be so nice about us and I can see how much you enjoyed 21212
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