Restaurant Review: Aizle
Aizle is a real gem set away from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s centre. Situated on the city’s South Side, on St Leonard’s Street, with a view looking up to Arthur’s Seat, Aizle is small in size but not to be underestimated. The brainchild of chef Stuart Ralston and mixologist Krystal Goff, the restaurant brings to bear the wealth of their experience from cooking and making drinks for high-profile individuals all over the world.
Question one: what kind of cuisine does Aizle serve up? In short, none in particular, but what it does offer is a menu which changes regularly and incorporates seasonal ingredients, with each month bringing a new “Harvest”. Diners receive a set five-course tasting menu, so there’s no agonizing about what to choose.
Our visit took place on a Saturday evening during the month of May. After much deliberation we agreed to indulge in the drinks-pairing option, at £75 per person versus £45 without drinks. Before the meal began we were given seaweed bread, which alone was worth a shout-out – we knew we’d made the right decision to invest our night here.
Kicking off the dinner marathon, we began our first course with quail’s egg served with lemon sabayon and spring ragout. This was a two-part course, alongside truffle-fried chicken, kimchi, scallop roe and cauliflower caviar, paired with Anchor Steam Beer. Next came a relieving, lighter dish of watermelon tartare, smoked oil and feta, beautifully served with wild flowers. The Villa Blanche Picpoul de Pinet was a perfectly light accompaniment to this course.
After a short breather we moved on to our third course of day-boat fish and mussels, served with coastal herbs and accompanied by a glass of Rias Baixas Albarino. The fourth culinary extravaganza took the form of Gartmorn Farm chicken with Cevennes onion, foraged mushrooms and nasturtium (we had to Google that one too), served with a Domaine Talmard white Burgundy. Sadly, half the party had to drop out of the race at this point, so dessert – strawberries and caramelized white chocolate served with a dessert wine from the Loire Valley – was tackled as a one-woman show.
In conclusion, “wow” was about all we could manage. The fusions of dishes we had experienced, the impressive mix of flavours and the artistic presentation were worthy of some sort of award. What’s clear is that Aizle doesn’t just deliver a meal – it delivers an experience and an education. Setting itself above its peers, Aizle is a stand-out destination and certainly one that leaves a lasting impression; we are still talking about it!