Edinburgh is home to some the finest restaurants in the UK. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the food served here and the calibre of the chefs. This also means that after a point, you are not easily impressed. Aizle was highly recommended by a number of my foodie friends and so I'd already set the bar very high.
You don't get to choose what you eat at Aizle. You can highlight food allergies and preferences and they will cater to these within their seasonal menu but that's it. Less adventurous foodies may find that a bit worrying but Ed and I were quite excited by the prospect. The 'harvest' for the month is laid on a board so you get a sense of the ingredients in your 5 course meal but the presentation of them is a surprise you wait for at every course.
While waiting for our first courses we ordered a couple of cocktails and were also served some lovely artisan bread with creamy chicken flavoured butter and peppercorn salt. The cocktails were both stunning and tasty - it was a very good start.
The first course was oysters served with horseradish, apple and cream and game served with rowanberry. It looked spectacular and is by far the most amazing rendition of oysters I've ever had - and I've had some amazing ones including the most recent version at Sezar, the hip Azerbaizani restaurant in Melbourne.
The next course was ox tongue served carrot and herbs - despite Ed not being an ox-tongue fan, he was impressed. So was I.
The fish course was John Dory served with sea astor and oyster leaf. Beautifully cooked and well balanced flavours.
The meat course was duck - served pink - with chicory, damson and pistachio garnish. Lovely.
The dessert course was a complex but beautiful creation that included pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, popcorn and chocolate sauce. Stunning. It was Ed's birthday and they served with with a 'happy birthday' which was a lovely touch. The final and optional cheese course was also unusual and very good indeed.
Overall, we were very pleased with our dining experience at Aizle. Having just returned from Japan and Australia on a holiday filled with gourmet adventures, we were going to be harder to please than usual and Aizle succeeded beautifully.
Hope 2016 has started well for all of you - Happy New Year! Ann x