Uncovering Edinburgh's Best Tasting Menu: We Tried Michelin Star Chef Tomás Gormley's New Restaurant

Nestled within the charming streets of Edinburgh, on Eyre Place in Stockbridge, newly-opened Cardinal stands as a pillar of exceptional Scottish produce and extensive tasting menus. Imaginative food is brought to life by Michelin star chef Tomás Gormley, with most dishes cooked over coals and pulling on a range of international influences. Many were already hailing the restaurant as a revolution in the culinary arts, poised to transform Edinburgh’s gastronomic scene, so it was time that my partner and I paid a visit.

Cardinal Edinburgh Reviews | DesignMyNight

The Cardinal Edinburgh reviews are in—and it looks like this beauty is making its mark.

Stepping into Cardinal, we were enveloped by an ambiance that whispers of dark, theatrical elegance—an intimate setting that promised not just a meal, but a dramatic culinary narrative. The setting felt almost Scandinavian with natural materials, clever mood lighting and contemporary art adorning the walls. The staff were not just servers either; rather curators of our dining experience, guiding us with expertise and genuine enthusiasm in a relaxed environment.

The meal itself here was nothing short of a journey of flavours. Each of the thirteen courses was innovative, paired perfectly with a selection of rare, tantalising drinks from across Europe. The Scottish-focused tasting menu (£110 per person), with optional drink pairings (£85), aimed to be an exploration of both the best and most unusual that Scotland has to offer. From the first bite—a delicate plate of duck liver, rhubarb, beetroot, and chilli—to the succulent depths of lobster drenched in a velvety hollandaise, every dish was crafted to surprise and delight.

Cardinal Edinburgh Restaurant | DesignMyNight

From wine to cocktails, the drinks menu here is equally impressive.

Since there were far too many delicious dishes here to go into detail about them all, I'm focussing on the standouts. My top dish? The taramasalata doughnut—immersed in a pool of egg yolk and ramson, presenting itself not just as a meal but as a true piece of edible art, and cleverly paired with a glass of Fior di Bianco white wine. Later on came the tender pork cheek with earthy maitake mushrooms and oh boy, it was rich, creamy and juicy. This was my partner’s favourite by far, evidenced by how he pinched half of mine. Meanwhile, the chicken waffle with caviar was equally rich, yet crunchy and dynamic in taste, with a side dish of the most warming bread and cultured butter. Orkney oats were used in the dough and gave an incredible nutty bite totally unlike any bread I've tried before.

Desserts were preceded by an innovative palate cleanser; crushed ice drizzled with a trio of syrups, pine being a standout for me. What followed was a bite-sized trio of Neapolitan ice cream so exquisite, featuring powerful flavours from the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry—quite simply little spoonfuls of heaven. The 13-course meal concluded with aromatic mouthfuls of lavender and sea salt tablet. Having previously worked for a tablet company, I’m a bit of a tablet snob. Happy to report that this was one of the best bites of tablet I've ever tasted.

Cardinal Edinburgh Tasting Menu | DesignMyNight

You can also check out Cardinal's lunchtime tasting menu priced at £75 per person.

The DigestMyNight Digest

At Cardinal, every detail is meticulously curated—from the cherry wood carved bowls enhancing the lobster’s delicate flavors to the scented Le Labo napkins that add an extra touch of elegance (I just had to buy the perfume I loved it so much). This is up there with one of the best restaurants my partner and I have ever dined in. The attention to detail, knowledge and true passion demonstrated by the team is rare and heart-warming. In a city known for its culinary prowess, Cardinal stands out as not just a restaurant but a full sensory experience, marrying Michelin star quality with a warmth and accessibility often lost in fine dining. If you're in pursuit of an unforgettable meal in Edinburgh, Cardinal is an essential pilgrimage.

  💰 The damage: £390 for two.

  📍  The location: 14 Eyre Place, EH3 5EP .

  👌 Perfect for: Special occasions.

 ⭐ Need to know: Ask for the corner seat by the window.


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