What: Modern Scottish produce-focused restaurant Fhior opened in Edinburgh’s city centre this month. The four day a week operation says it offers a ‘tailored experience’ for every customer, with customers only receiving their menus after they have eaten.
Who: The restaurant is the second solo venture for che-fpatron Scott Smith, who also founded the now-closed Edinburgh restaurant Norn. He is working alongside his wife, Laura, as well as some of the original team from his first restaurant.
The vibe: Located on the city’s lively Broughton Street, the 32-cover restaurant is painted in pale tones with dark green accents, and large windows at its entrance allow enough natural light to keep the space bright. Light hearted paintings depicting food-orientated puns and a mural by a friend of the owners stop the restaurant from feeling too formal, as Smith says that he wants it to have “serious food, and serious wine, without being a serious restaurant”. In Fhior, Smith has aimed create a restaurant with vibrancy, that is fresh, bright and light with casual yet informed service.
The food: The restaurant offers a four course or a seven course set menu in the evening, and an a la carte lunch offering, both of which are designed to showcase the flavours of Scottish produce. Each dish contains one ‘star attraction’ ingredient that has been sourced locally, such as asparagus, which grows 45 minutes away from the restaurant. Dishes include the likes of chicken with mushrooms, barley and lovage; halibut with Swiss chard and salt marsh herbs; and an unusual combination of Scottish langoustine with rhubarb and borage. Although not a carbon copy of Norn, some of the best-loved items from its past menus will reappear at Fhior, including the beremeal bread that the late AA Gill described as “divine”, served with butter from a culture that Smith started when Norn launched.
The drinks: Wines are chosen by the restaurant’s sommelier, who pairs them with the set menus depending on which produce is in season. The only aspect to the restaurant that is not strictly local, the list features minimal-intervention wines from all over the world.
And another thing: Smith’s now-closed restaurant Norn received glowing reviews from critics Marina O’Loughlin and AA Gill, as well as being placed at number 88 on Restaurant magazine’s National Restaurant Awards list last year. Despite the plaudits, the chef says that he will not be striving to continue its success at Fhior, as he wants the focus to be on the quality of the food, the wine and service, which he hopes will speak for itself.