To all seafood lovers, if you have to pick just one restaurant to visit in Edinburgh, make it Ondine. Conveniently situated on George IV Bridge, right before the famous Victoria Street of Edinburgh, it’s a must-stop for all foodies. When we asked for food recommendations for our trip to Edinburgh, nearly everyone recommended Ondine.
Stepping in, we were greeted with jazzy piano notes that played softly in the background, with lights subtly dimmed – not too dark – to set the perfect ambience for an occasion/date night. The staff has been attentive and very helpful throughout the meal, which we really appreciated.
About Ondine Edinburgh
Ondine is an award-winning seafood specialist restaurant, run by award-winning Chef Roy Brett. Since their opening in 2009, they have only gone strength to strength, being awarded as Scotland’s Best Restaurant as labelled as the ‘proper seafood restaurant’ to visit when in Scotland.
They pride themselves in offering high-quality seafood, sourcing the finest seafood and shellfish from the East Coast of Scotland and beyond. Whilst Scottish to its core, the menu also features influences from around the world and offers its own twist on classic seafood dishes.
Ondine does not serve halal meats but has plenty of seafood options on the menu and the staff are knowledgeable in catering to different dietary requirements. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
The Food (What We Ordered)
The meal started off with complimentary bread and came with fresh butter. I often find the breadbasket/complimentary bread tells a lot about the restaurant and set off the impression for the rest of the meal. Ondine Edinburgh has definitely set the right one. It’s the fresh butter, easily spreadable over the sourdough slices and its subtle aroma mildly seeping through the air pockets. Whilst rather small in portion, the quality made up for it.
Oysters (natural £3 each / crispy £3.50 each)
We decided to get some oysters to start. There are two options on the menu – one’s the Loch Fine Oysters (raw), the other breaded and fried to golden crispiness. Both options come in a plate of 6. The other half wanted the natural oysters while I wanted the crispy ones. Ordering a plate of each would’ve been too much, but luckily the staff kindly offered that we could order the oysters individually by piece (prices above). That just made everything so much easier and we ordered 2 of each.
Naturally briny in flavour, with a soft and slimy texture, the natural oysters were very fresh to taste. As for the crispy oysters, I like that they still came with the oyster shell, with a dollop of mayo to pair with. The oysters were fried to perfection – with a crispy breaded coating on the outside, without overcooking the inside of the oyster. Its texture was just right, without an overpowering fishy flavour that usually means any signs of overcooking. All in all, these oysters were a perfect nibble to start the meal.
East Coast Lobster (£39)
There are two lobster options on the menu – one is the East Coast Lobster, the other the Lobster Thermidor. We ordered one of each. Apart from the difference in sauces, the East Coast Lobster comes with the big claws while the Lobster Thermidor doesn’t. For me, the claws are the best part – if you know, you know – and it was a no brainer for me to go for the East Coast Lobster.
The lobster meat was absolutely beautiful, seasoned with a simple brush of garlic butter and cooked to the perfect texture. It was generally a meaty one as well and I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite of it. Its quality really shone and the perfect execution had really done it justice.
Lobster Thermidor (£39)
We then also had the Lobster Thermidor, which the staff kindly reassured us that no alcohol is used and omitted the Parmesan topping for us.
Once again, the lobster was cooked beautifully. The Thermidor sauce has got quite a mustardy touch and makes a creamy layer over the lobster tail. I personally preferred my East Coast Lobster more but this was pretty nice too!
Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Onions & Miso Mayo (£6)
I’ve always enjoyed broccoli and these have made a lovely side dish for our meal. It’s nothing extraordinary though. The broccoli was cooked just right and crispy onions are always a welcomed munch. I couldn’t taste much difference between regular mayo and miso mayo. Personally, I enjoyed the broccoli without the mayo but if you like sauces, it’s there.
New Potatoes in Anchovy Chive Butter (£5)
Then we went for something more carby for the second side dish and went with the new potatoes. The potatoes were generally soft and the anchovy chive butter sauce was fairly tasty. However, we felt that the potatoes haven’t really soaked in the flavours enough and definitely needed an extra pinch of salt.
Custom Mocktail (£5)
While there isn’t a specific mocktail menu, you can ask for mocktails and the bar staff can create a custom drink for you. The other half asked for something tangy, and this sweet, vibrant mocktail has been served. It’s more on the sugary end but a lovely drink to compliment the meal nonetheless.
The simple yet classy dining experience at Ondine Edinburgh has made it a perfect dinner date for our trip. I absolutely adored the meal and have been genuinely impressed with the seafood quality it offers. As mentioned, the service was great too, which really added to the overall experience. If you’re a seafood lover like me, Ondine is a must-stop.
Ondine does not serve halal meats but plenty of seafood options are available and the staff are knowledgeable in catering to different dietary requirements