Dean Banks at The Pompadour will open on 9 June and will be a more occasion restaurant than Banks’ Haar restaurant, which is located in St Andrews. The tasting men only restaurant promises to offer guests the ‘ultimate Dean Banks experience’ that will follow the same ethos as Haar and showcase the best of land and sea.
Sample dishes include hand-dived king scallop, kaffir lime leaf and kimchi spring onion; BBQ duck with tamarind, asparagus and cured egg; and North Sea cod with Thai green crumb, carrot, coconut and lemongrass. Menus will be priced at £85 per person with tasting wine and prestige wine pairings available (£60 and £95 respectively) plus an additional cheese course.
“Originally we wanted to move to Edinburgh pre-pandemic. So I always had the drive to come to the Capital. I have built my reputation in St Andrews but I lived in Edinburgh for four years and trained there so always saw myself having a restaurant there,” says Banks.
“The concept has changed in that Haar is that relaxed dining idea of coming off the beach from walking the dog, whereas our Edinburgh restaurant is more refined. We still want to use the term ‘relaxed dining’ but want to make it even more premium, more of an occasion.
“I want to put the Dean Banks name against the restaurant to represent me being there in the city. It is something I dreamed about in the younger years of my career especially when I worked at No1. I knew at the other end of Princes Street was the Pompadour, I have to pinch myself to think I am taking it over.”
The Pompadour restaurant dates back to 1925 and is known for its and-painted walls and views of Edinburgh Castle.
“You think of iconic locations for food in the whole of Scotland and the legendary Pompadour is one of them,” adds Banks. “The other one I would want is somewhere on a beach, but in the city of Edinburgh we have the castle view, the room is one of the most historic dining rooms in the city and the chefs that have passed through the doors are incredible. To be part of that history is superb.
“It feels like I am ticking off a life goal achievement but like opening Haar for the first time, there are of course massive nerves. I feel I am starting to be more creative, constantly thinking about food and design, waking up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning with ideas bursting out of my head. After the pandemic when we have been so focused on business, now my mindset is changing back into development. I really want to push myself and Edinburgh is the main stage, a huge stage in the Capital in one of the best locations in Scotland, and I will give it my all.
“This is definitely the ultimate encapsulation of what I want to do from the kitchen to quality of equipment.”