Ahead of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we have recruited Edinburgh local, Liz Swanson to check out the cities best eateries, in order to help you avoid the tourist traps. The Third restaurant on her list is Dakota Edinburgh Hotel.
Dakota Edinburgh Hotel provides style, class and good food. Located outside Edinburgh s city centre within sight of the Forth Road Bridge and a few minutes from the waterfront town of South Queensferry it was difficult to know what to expect from the dark shaded windows and imposing size and shape of the building. Passing through heavy and intriguing curtains a sophisticated and comfortable bar space with a variety of seating options was unveiled. Straight away the opportunity to relax with a choice from the extensive menu of quality drinks gave time to note the sophisticated tone of the venue and the smart and efficient table service. Drinks available ranged from draught beers and lagers, to crisp wines and cocktails. The bar alone would be ideal for meeting up for a drink with friends or colleagues, so the restaurant subtly screened with modern wooden trellising promised was awaited with anticipation.
In the dining area the attention to detail in the menu, table settings and decoration was obvious in addition to the smart and informed service which continued the exceptional standard apparent in the bar. One aspect of the restaurant to note were the sliding partition walls which, while making portions of the restaurant private and secluded, allowed people to see both in and out and allow the atmosphere of the restaurant flow.
The food was well presented and all of it was tasty and satisfying. Drinks were served with a dip with warm fresh bread for the table, this was a rich tomato with melted cheese dip. Local ingredients dominated the menu and were sensitively used. The meal started with the smoked haddock croquettes and the chicken liver parfait with fig jam and bread. Both were carefully presented and tasted fantastic in ideal portions. The main course was equally delicious, the wild sea trout with chorizo which made for a light dish with a spanish feel was crisp and perfectly cooked with a subtle balance of flavours. Similarly the large slice of slow cooked pork belly was beautifully complimented by the apple and black pudding making for a luxurious classic dish. Potatoes were ordered separately on the side on the recommendation of our server to compliment both dishes. Not only were they delicious but many of the mains need the sides to be complete, many other side dishes passing to other tables looked equally delicious. Feeling a bit full, dessert was served. The chocolate souffle was cooked to perfection, being light and fluffy with a luxurious molten chocolate centre. The rhubarb crumble with ginger bread ice cream merged sharp and sweet with a little heat from the ginger nicely. The food at Dakota reflected the more than apparent ethos of quality classic restaurant dining and high-end service.
What stood out at Dakota was the courteous and well trained staff who were impeccably presented and knowledgeable without being stuffy who worked very hard to ensure their guests enjoyed the delicious menu and bar. This restaurant is an excellent place to go for a top quality meal or lounge at the bar. Guests of the restaurant are quite lucky to have this as their in house option. Although outside the city limits Dakota is well worth the drive, bus or relatively cheap cab trip from the city centre.