The Atelier Restaurant, Edinburgh

With the Food and Drink sector in good shape, the ever-challenging environment of the industry within the UK and demand for quality produce presents a golden opportunity for success and to establish a loyal following of foodies. Unconventionality within such an environment is not only a brave move but demonstrates an absolute belief in your product and quite rightly so, in the case of Edinburgh’s The Atelier.

Obviously not following the norm and striking out with an audacious menu; this is perhaps the requirement for one of the city’s growing business districts, where new bars and restaurants seem to be springing up, almost daily, breathing a renewed energy into the West End.

The food, described as “modern European with a Scottish accent”, delivers quite a surprise with the non-conformist twists, which the chef has expertly crafted into his menu at The Atelier.

Nasturtium and a variety of herbs were not uncommon but surprising accompaniments to dishes with which they were paired. A creative, inventive and non-conformist selection left the food the prime topic of conversation during selection and eating and rightly so; even to the untrained taste-buds, the dishes presented, were artworks and prompted an appreciation even to the unenlightened, in the realms of kitchen skills.

The lamb, served with lentils, carrots, pomegranate yoghurt and dukkha was divine and more than earned its place on the short, select menu. The rotolo was cooked to perfection and offered tastes rarely experienced in a vegetarian dish; the beetroot and marjoram adding a distinct taste. Experimental time and a great dedication has so obviously been devoted to the menu at The Atelier by someone with a great passion and respect for food, which is the obvious focus, not only for the chef but the supreme service from the waiting staff.

The surrounds are simple but intimate at the same time – unsurprising from the name, which translates equally as ‘sanctuary’ and ‘studio’, it is after all, the workplace of a creative genius. Good use of space is made in the busy Haymarket eatery, where food is served each day from 5.30pm and a little over 2 hours at midday to accommodate the lunchtime trade.

Go! You shall not be disappointed….