I love a good tasting menu. Not only do you get to enjoy lots of courses of delicious food (yasssss), you also get pushed a little bit out of your comfort zone and have the opportunity to try ingredients or dishes you might not usually order.
At Seasons, it’s all about the tasting menu. There’s no a la carte menu (or even a menu at all, really), instead you get a list of seasonal ingredients and the chefs will create a surprise, bespoke menu full of inventive dishes. I really loved the idea of this, so couldn’t wait to try out the concept tasting menu for myself when they invited me along to review the restaurant last week.
What We Ate at Seasons
So, it’s kind of difficult to tell you exactly what we ate at Seasons. Although each course was expertly explained to us as it was brought out, the exact combination of ingredients is easily forgotten when you haven’t got a traditional written menu to refer back to! If I was a ~proper restaurant reviewer~ I would’ve had a notebook handy to scribble down everything, but instead I just sat back and enjoyed the experience of having a completely surprise dinner. That’s all part of the fun – not knowing exactly what you’re going to get, discussing it as you’re eating to see who can pick out which flavours, trying to remember afterwards which ingredients were part of your favourite course.
The dinner tasting menu is a set price of £40 for 5 courses or £55 for 7 courses, and each can be paired with matching drinks for an additional £25/£35. Once you unfold the little scroll on your napkin, you’ll be greeted with a list of seasonal ingredients and if you have any dietary requirements, allergies or dislikes, you can strike those ingredients off your menu. As the ingredients change every couple of weeks depending on what’s available and what’s in season, the menu we had will be completely different by next month. Eating seasonally is something that has become very popular lately, and it works so well at places like Seasons. The produce is at its best and most flavoursome, and you get to try unique combinations of ingredients.
The highlights for me were the langoustine tails served with brown rice and quinoa, the loin of venison with broccoli, salsify and a rich chocolate sauce, and a rhubarb ice cream dessert with Italian meringue, tangy rhubarb shards and a mini sugar doughnut. Other courses included hare ravioli with parsnips, cured salmon gravlax with cucumber and baby coriander served inside an eggshell, and a pre-dessert of delicious orange sorbet with granola and meringue crisp. Trust me, all of it was delicious and you definitely need to try out Seasons for yourself to get a proper sense of the whole experience!
The Atmosphere at Seasons
Located on Broughton Street, Seasons looks deceivingly small from the outside, but once you’re led past the bar and the kitchen you’ll discover a cosy little warren of dining tables. The decor (and the menu) has a distinctive Scandi influence, with neutral colours, minimal interiors and lots of natural wood. The restaurant feels nice and relaxed and quiet, but there’s enough of a buzz that you don’t feel like everyone’s listening in to your conversation.
The food has a fine dining feel, but the restaurant itself avoids being pretentious or too formal. It would be perfect for a date night, a celebration meal with friends or just a weekend treat for you and your best foodie pal. The service was great too, friendly but not too intrusive – and it was nice to hear a little bit about each dish straight from the chef (even if I have forgotten it all by now… oops!).
Worth a Visit?
If you like being quite adventurous with your culinary choices, then Seasons is most definitely worth a visit. If you put your trust in the chefs, you’ll be rewarded with an interesting, delicious and unusual menu that you’ll remember long after the meal has ended.
All the produce is sourced seasonally from local producers in Scotland and Scandinavia, and you can really tell how much time and effort has gone into sourcing the best ingredients (as well as the care taken to cook them to perfection). The surprise tasting menu might introduce you to a new favourite ingredient, or serve up one of your old favourites in an unusual new way – either way, you’ll no doubt have a brilliant meal that’s unlike any other.
Visit Seasons at 36 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SB or give them a call on 0131 466 9851 to book a table.
Have you been to Seasons before?