Aizle rhymes with Hazel as the # goes and it also means in Old Scots: A hot ember, a live spark.
Having opened just a few months ago Aizle, is the latest addition to Edinburgh’s dining scene is now more than a spark it’s more like a roaring fire! Already a popular place, its definitely on my best places to eat in Edinburgh list and you’ll need to get your booking in fast before it gets too well known and is booked up every day. Their set menu is £35 and is the only option available with matching wines for each course you will pay£20 which is very reasonable when many places charge more than double for a wine matching option.
This is billed as Scotland’s first ‘neo-bistro’ which has not got a normal set menu but a list of ingredients that are then used in ‘no particular order’ and ‘may not all feature’ in your dinner. On our ingredients list there were some really obscure elements that we were sneekily trying to google what they were so as not to appear simple! They are on St. Leonard’s Street and it is owned by chef Stuart Ralston and mixologist Krystal Goff. They’ve been busy serving the rich and famous all over the world in luxurious surroundings and Stuart even survived working with Gordon Ramsay! Its great to go somewhere that is serving truly great food and importantly is not in the least pretentious or over the top.
It does feel rather odd to not know what you are going to get and a little worrying if you will like what is coming. Any worries we had about the unknown were soon dispelled once the food started to come out. We had a big basket of gorgeous freshly baked bread with Labneh cheese that’s made from yoghurt – as the waiter informed us. I hadn’t actually tasted this before and it was a lovely fresh tasting alternative to butter. I love it when you get proper bread even without butter!
First of all we were served a couple of little bites as a taster – ours were topped with sweet onion and puffed pork, and the second was the prettiest and consisted of a lovely light goats cheese and carrot puree and carrot paper (I think). We also had a little pot that had a silky celeriac puree that was topped with slivers of fresh apple. The presentation was so beautiful you could see all the diners sneeking pictures on their phones and posting them quietly to the world wide web! It is really hard to remember what is in the courses you have as its not written down for you so I hope I managed to catch everything. Next we had a pasta dish of agnoletti filled with goats curd, fresh peas and pea shoots. Now I am a fresh pasta fiend I have to admit the pasta was incredible. The ingredients were very simple just peas and cheese really but worked so well together. It was excellent and I could have eaten lots lots more!
For our fish course we had Hake which was beautifully cooked and served with pink fir potatoes, sea purslane and a cider butter sauce which was my favourite plate and everyone loved it too. Much the same was true of our next course so a few were slipt which was better! We had a beautifully cooked fillet of pork with a pork bon bon, with pickled kimchee and a sweet sauce. I think I missed a fair few things here as I was distracted by the presentation and missed some of the explanation!
The meal, ended on a sugary/chocolate high with a stunningly rich chocolate mousse, which came with candied peanuts and a praline biscuits plus a sweet miso sauce. Again, it was most certainly a dish worth coming back and all of our dishes were empty again! Our bill was £56 with two bottles of an excellent Sauvignon blanc to accompany our food.
Aizle is at 107-109 St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh EH8 9QY (0131-662 9349, http://www.aizle.co.uk)