21212, 3 Royal Terrace - A restaurant with rooms
3 Royal Terrace
Tel: 0845 22 21212
How many people in life actually follow their dreams and turn them into a reality? Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching and his partner Kate O’Brien, that’s who. Having successfully run their own restaurant, Juniper, in the Altrincham area for many years, they decided (after a brief visit to Edinburgh) to sell up and start again. This time opening what they call a “restaurant with rooms”. Modesty is the key word here as it turns out that this is one hell of a restaurant with food to die for and bedrooms that are the last word in lavish décor and luxury. Situated in an elegant terrace of listed Georgian townhouses the pair have renovated the house into a virtual work of art. Elegance is the key word here with every room beautifully crafted and filled with classical furniture, elegant lighting and sumptuous drapes. The classical dining room is a mixture of femininity, elegance and refinement, with embossed banquette seating that runs throughout the room, a vast modern chandelier, elegant drapes all set beneath a beautifully corniced ceiling. The face behind the project is designer Ronnie Burns who worked closely with Paul, and also Kate to achieve her vision.
The unusual name of the restaurant is created from the daily changing set dinner menu. This comes in the form of a choice of two starters, followed by a set soup course, a choice of two main courses, followed by a set cheese course and finally, a choice of two puddings, all at a fixed price of £60.00 a head. At lunch time the menu becomes more relaxed, with it being possible to have one course for ten pounds, two courses for twenty pounds and so on. As it was lunchtime we ate relatively lightly. I began with the soup course. A bowl of carrot and summer vegetable soup, which was a small but immensely flavoursome, with a buttery and frothy finish and plenty of vegetables throughout. Every detail had been thought through from the bread, which is homemade to the beautiful glassware and cutlery which accompanied every dish. My guest began with a baked breast of Cumbrian quail with Bayonne ham and onion porridge, basil, pears and Meaux mustard. He said it was a plate of strong flavours and textures which blended superbly together. To follow he had fillet of beef with a Roquefort crème brulee which he said complimented the meat perfectly. My main course was sea bass fillets served with a delicate banana and shallot confit, which made for a plate of interesting and mingling flavours.
To drink we tried a pungent easy drinking Chilean rose (Santa Ema 2007 Rosado Soul, £24.00 which was full bodied with a refreshing edge making it all too simple to quaff back with alarming ease. A wonderful combination of perfectly ripe French cheeses which included Reblochon, Roquefort, Comte and Coulommier served with homemade porridge and coconut oatcakes concluded my meal. My guest however, managed to find room for the blackberry and banana cheesecake which was served in a large glass and was a totally light and airy version and full of fruit and froth and which he pronounced fabulous.
Katie and her partner have created a club like atmosphere which is extremely comfortable throughout. Next time you are in Edinburgh and feel like really treating yourself this is the place to try - a firm recommendation.
Louise Elgin. August 2009
Set six course dinner £60.00 a head.
Lunch from £20.00 a head.
Rooms with breakfast from £250.00 per night.