A very special experience - ingredients and provenance driven, a one-sitting tasting menu means that fantastic food doesn't cost the earth. Well done.
We had both the 6-course tasting menu and wine blending. Brilliant! The staff is useful and knowledgeable however totally ailing in self-importance. This eatery was a delight to be in and the nourishment essentially uncommon. I have eaten in the majority of Edinburgh's best eateries (not really those appeared as 'top' on TripAdvisor) and Aizle is up there with the simple best, in actuality ....... it beats a portion of the big name gourmet expert possessed foundations in my view.
This was my first time in Edinburgh and my friend and I were searching for a place to eat and saw the reviews on Online. Aizle more than lives up to its reputation! The flavors were incredible. Each course was beautifully prepared and we also splurged and went with the drink pairings. Drink pairings can be a hit or miss but in this instance it was perfectly done. My favorite dish of the night was the pasta course with mushrooms and ricotta. Just melted in your mouth.
The staff were very efficient and friendly. They were also super responsive when I sent an email query prior to our dinner. We also liked the fact the venue wasn’t too big.
All in all an amazing evening and I would highly recommend. I would certainly go again on any return visit to Edinburgh.
aizle (n) [Scots.] a burning coal; a glowing hot ember; a spark. As they reliably inform you it also “rhymes with hazel”. All I know is that when I first set eyes on their website, I instantly knew that a visit to this restaurant was a necessity; primarily because of this caveat: “Please note we at Aizle have no choice of menu or ingredients.”
Aizle has been on my Edinburgh to-do-list for ages, thankfully my birthday came along and bumped it right up to the top. I’d heard numerous glowing reports and some confusing explanations of how the menu works, basically there is no menu. Instead, a list of seasonal ingredients fill blackboards around the restaurant, you let the waiting staff know if there’s anything you can’t/won’t eat, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Scottish Food Review
The style of the restaurant suits my tastes perfectly. No menu, so no heartache (I’m not the most decisive). It was a delight not to have to choose what to eat, but instead be served beautifully presented plates of food using fresh local ingredients in novel and imaginative ways.
Edinburgh is home to some the finest restaurants in the UK. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the food served here and the calibre of the chefs. This also means that after a point, you are not easily impressed. Aizle was highly recommended by a number of my foodie friends and so I'd already set the bar very high.Â
Not only has Aizle been on every foodie's lips since it opened about a year ago, but I have had the pleasure/pain of walking past it every day since then. .... we had a crudite with pickled vegetables and lemon mayonaisse, a pot of chawanmushi with iberico lardo and crispy fish skin, and a lobster doughnut. My. Word. What mouthfuls, what delightful bites!
Aizle May 2015
Cream of the Crop?
As is the norm we begin with bread, not just any bread however. Seaweed brioche and a beautifully thick and salty butter. I’m already salivating and the first course hasn’t even arrived. The official start of the evening is a small assortment of canapés. A take on an infamous gourmet dining dish with the aforementioned quails egg, poached and sat atop a pea and cauliflower ragout served in shell and topped with sour cream. It’s rich and creamy and fresh simultaneously. A real pleasure.
Aizle is hidden away a little on St Leonard’s Street. That didn’t stop it from doing a bustling trade on a Friday night. Aizle’s unique selling point is that it creates its set tasting menu from a monthly ‘harvest’ using seasonal produce. Whilst we were we waiting for our first course we were served some seaweed bread with some butter and what I think I was told was labneh, which is a yoghurt cheese spread type thing. This was all very nice.
After this we had our first course, which was called a ‘snack’. This was perhaps the most playfully plated dish of the evening. Firstly, there was a spring ragout and quail egg mixture topped with a lemon sabayon, all placed into an egg shell. The sabayon on top was just divine and the ragout was punchy and fresh. The two other snacks on the plate were a type of cracker with scallop roe and a piece of fried chicken with kimchi. The flavour was delicious and the toppings seemed to melt in the mouth. The chicken was very tasty. The kimchi added a layer that was surprisingly good.
The next course was watermelon tartare. This was my favourite course of the evening. The amount of flavour the watermelon had was startling. The oil and the sprinkling of feta gave the dish a nice savoury note.
The next course was skate with mussels and capers. The portion of fish was generous and set beautifully on the plate. The fish was moist and flaked gently. The fish was complemented by the mussels, which were juicy, and the zingy strength of the capers.
Then we had sous vide chicken with onions, mushrooms and a sweet potato puree. I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the chicken as I was expecting it to be a little more moist, particularly as it was sous vide. It didn’t take away from the flavour though, which was good. The sweet potato was silky smooth though, with not a lump in sight. The mustard seeds brought some extra depth which brought the dish together. The onions has been meticulously peeled to make them look like petals on the plate, which was a lovely visual effect.
We decided not to go for the optional cheese course as we did not want to struggle with dessert. The dessert was an assortment of all things strawberry, with some accompanying caramelised white chocolate coated in a strawberry jelly. You could smell the strawberry emanating from the plate.
The meal was thoroughly enjoyable and it was fun not knowing what dishes you were going to get, apart from the list of ingredients up on the blackboard (unless you look at the menu in the window!). The staff were knowledgeable, friendly and not intrusive. I will be keeping an eye on the ingredients on each month’s harvest as I am sure I will be back for another visit….and another.
We had the most incredible meal here the other evening, safe to say some of the best food ive ever had. My friend was gluten free and the changes made were nearly unrecognisable, she enjoyed the same quality meal as I did. The highlights for us were the duck, monkfish and all the desserts! I would also say the cheese course is a must add! The wine pairings were beautifully done and explained, they complimented the food perfectly. Thank you so much to the lovely team for such a wonderful meal!
A relaxed place with great food and knowledgeable staff.
Definitely on par with some one Michelin star places I tried so it baffles me why they haven't got one yet.
The tasting menu has a story to tell from amuse bouche to dessert and the concept is consistent throughout the dishes, the decoration and the whole atmosphere of the restaurant.
Beyond brilliant! Haven’t had a set meal of this caliber in quite a while. Service was flawless and the setting was beautiful. Alcohol pairing generous and plates were a work of art each one. Was dining solo and I felt like everyone was a friend. Do not miss this spot!
Michelin star worthy. The tasting menu is excellent, the wine pairing is nicely built and the atmosphere is pleasant. Very recommended!
Best meal in Scotland. The taste is by far the best. Had more expensive meal in Scotland but not better than this. Some drinks in the soft drink pairing tend to be a bit too sweet. The wine pairing is really nice and complements the dishes well. Good presentation as expected in fine dining. Service also on par. But it's the taste of the food that really put this place on top. Use of the ingredient mix is very well done. Love the lamb belly and shoulders. If there's one fine dining to go to in Scotland, this is it for me.
Interesting tasting menu that definitely doesn’t leave you hungry - desserts were a highlight and the wine pairings perfectly complemented the dishes.
If I was to nitpick, I would have preferred softer lighting to make it feel like a more relaxed space. Overall, a lovely dinner.
Review for Aizle, Edinburgh:
Aizle offers a truly unique and delightful dining experience in the heart of Edinburgh. The menu, which is inspired by local and seasonal ingredients, showcases the chef's creativity and passion for crafting dishes that are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor.
Each course was a journey, introducing us to a blend of traditional Scottish elements with modern twists. The attention to detail in presentation was evident, and the flavors were mostly spot-on. There were a couple of dishes that, while delicious, didn't quite hit the mark for me, hence the four stars.
The ambiance is contemporary yet cozy, making it perfect for both romantic dinners and casual get-togethers. What really stood out was the knowledgeable staff, who were more than happy to explain the intricacies of each dish and offer drink pairings that complemented our meal beautifully.
In conclusion, Aizle is a must-visit for food enthusiasts exploring Edinburgh. While there's a bit of room for improvement, the overall experience is undoubtedly memorable. Looking forward to my next visit!
Outstanding from start to finish. Could not flaw the service or food one bit. An excellent experience. Would go back in a heartbeat
I came here with my fiance and we had such a great time. My phone died a couple course's in so there are a few photos short. We were taken too our table, our jackets were hung up for us and sat down with some water. The menu came out on recycled paper which was nice to see. Instead of a list of meals, they provide you with a list of ingredients which I loved.
My fiance and I both had the tasting menu with matching wines. The food was amazing and the wines were paired perfectly.
The vibe inside was relaxed/formal. The price and food was very much fine dining however the decor and music choice was far more casual.
All in all we had a great meal, and thought the price reflected the quality.
Would return again for sure.
Went there with a mate to introduce him to a set menu experience and it left him with a full appreciation for fine dining. Despite him hating the idea going into it.
I have always enjoyed eating at highly rated restaurants myself and Aizle was substantially better than most. I've lost respect for Michelin because this restaurant hasn't received a star yet. The food was top notch. The service and care by both the the kitchen and wait staff was incredible. Easily one of my top 5 dining experiences ever. I don't even leave reviews. This place was that good.