Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar
May 11, 2018
Michael Neave’s ambitious new restaurant is housed in a distinctive modern cube of a building on the steep sweep of Old Fishmarket Close, just off the Grassmarket. The former home of Mai Thai has only been minimally tweaked and now houses a smart dining area and a sleek contemporary whisky bar up on the first floor. Be sure to make this your first port of call. The bar stocks a vast array of single malts, ranging from the familiar to the rare and includes some magnificent 30-year-old specimens. Whisky buffs will be in their element. If you don’t fancy a whisky, the bar also stocks a good selection of gins and rums, as well as an excellent and varied wine list. A short but sweet cocktail list features The Botanist Bramble, made with Islay-distilled gin, and the Uiscafaidh (pronounced ‘oosh-caf-ay’), a seriously smooth blend of smoky Scotch shaken with espresso coffee, chocolate bitters and coffee liqueur. Bar bites include various local cheeses, spice-dusted whitebait and haggis bon bons. There’s even a terraced area for al fresco sipping when the sun deigns to show itself. (This does happen occasionally, even in Edinburgh). The main dining space, reached by a wood and chrome staircase, is similarly elegant and airy, and the food is inventive and carefully sourced from local suplliers. Some of Neave’s dishes will prove divisive – a sea buckthorn and rose petal parfait might not be everyone’s idea of a delicious dessert, but you can’t fault his creativity.