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What they're eating in Edinburgh

From a tiramisu-profiterole hybrid to a whisky-soaked baba, the Scottish capital is serving up some memorable dishes.

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Shrimp bun at ShrimpWreck — a hearty portion of battered king prawns, bacon, red onion, marie rose sauce and pickles, all packed into a sturdy bread roll.

Photograph by ShrimpWreck
By Gaby Soutar
Published 3 Jun 2022, 15:00 BST

1. Eleanore

Order the tiramu-choux

Owned by the couple behind celebrated restaurant The Little Chartroom, Roberta Hall-McCarron and Shaun McCarron, Eleanore has plenty of tempting savouries on the menu, but pudding is the must-order dish. Currently the only dessert on the menu at Edinburgh’s hottest restaurant, the tiramu-choux is a tempting tiramisu-profiterole hybrid — a light-as-a-feather pastry filled with a thick layer of coffee gelato, topped with a dusting of chocolate. 

 2. Creel Caught

Order the Arbroath smokie and chips

Until National Chef of Scotland Gary Maclean opened Creel Caught last year in the smart Bonnie & Wild food court, it was a rarity to see traditional Arbroath smokies on Edinburgh menus. Maclean serves his smokies simply, with lemon, dill butter, celeriac and Arran mustard slaw, as well as chips. Unwrap its foil jacket, inhale and you could be eating the fish fresh from a smokehouse in Arbroath itself. 

3. ShrimpWreck

Order the shrimp bun

Formerly an itinerant pop-up, ShrimpWreck opened its permanent base on Portobello Promenade last winter, but warmer days are when this waterside seafood shack comes into its own. The crab mac and cheese comes recommended, but don’t miss the shrimp bun — a hearty portion of battered king prawns, bacon, red onion, marie rose sauce and pickles, all packed into a sturdy bread roll and best enjoyed on the beach, overlooking the Firth of Forth.

4. Heron

Order the barbecued duck breast

One of Leith’s newest arrivals, Heron is run by wunderkinds Tomás Gormley and Sam Yorke, who have worked at the likes of Andrew Fairlie Gleneagles and Number One at The Balmoral. Served in a relaxed space with a view of the shore, the menu includes a new main course of barbecued St Brides duck breast, preserved salted plums, hoisin sauce and the lively additions of orange and cardamom. 

5. Gleneagles Townhouse

Order the Scotch baba

This much-anticipated venue, an outpost of Gleneagles in Perthshire, features a 33-bedroom hotel, spa, members’ club and all-day dining offering, The Spence. Its signature dishes have been created by chef Jonny Wright — formerly head chef at Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern — and include a take on rum baba, but with the cake soaked instead in a dram of whisky. 

Love food and travel? Taste the world at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, our immersive culinary event that takes place every summer. Find out more and book your tickets.

Published in Issue 16 (summer 2022) of National Geographic Traveller Food

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