Photo of
August 23, 2021

The lockdowns of the last eighteen months have wrought havoc on the restaurant industry but new ventures have risen from the destruction.

In Edinburgh's Leith, the chefs Tomás Gormley and Sam Yorke have launched Heron.

The Henderson Street restaurant has grown from their lockdown food business Bad Seeds.

Sam Yorke and Tomas Gormley of Heron.

Sam Yorke and Tomas Gormley of Heron.

The new restaurant is very much on the fine dining end of the spectrum. Dishes are described in minimal terms on the menu. Presumably so that the actual plate looks all the more surprising and impressive when served on the table.

Think along the lines of 'crab claw, tomato, gazpacho, strawberry'. Or 'duck, honey, lavender, mustard leaf'.

The team at Heron has some impressive CVs with former workplaces including Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Number One and Sydney’s The Bentley Group.

Al fresco

As well as a short but punchy wine list, the drinks range include a small, but well-curated selection of craft beers from notable producers including The Kernel, Mikkeller, Brouwerij Boon and Edinburgh's redoubtable Pilot Brewery.

Heron also offers a choice of bespoke cocktails and perfect serves which can be enjoyed al fresco in good weather.  

The a la carte menu will feature a choice of snacks, starters, mains and desserts and will be available for lunch Friday to Saturday and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.

A set lunch menu will also be available at weekends with three-courses for £29.  

Lobster tail with Jerusalem artichoke and bone marrow.

Lobster tail with Jerusalem artichoke and bone marrow.

The Palmerston

Over in the West End, The Palmerston (main pic) has opened on Palmerston Place.

Promising laidback dining, the 60-seater restaurant includes a bar, bakery, coffee shop and butchery.

Founders James Snowdon and Lloyd Morse aim to showcase the best food and drink from across Scotland and beyond. Look out for seasonal menus packed with produce from suppliers including award-winning Ardoch Hebridean Sheep and Edinburgh’s Welch Fishmongers.

Look out for dishes such as roast Hebridean hogget with slow-cooked fennel and chard, grilled mackerel with roast tomatoes, chickpeas and gremolata and, wild rabbit sausage with chard gratin and chanterelles.  

The bar is stocked with craft beers from Newbarns Brewery, premium gin made by Electric Spirits Co. and an eclectic wine list featuring wines from across the world.

Including an in-house bakery and coffee shop, freshly baked bread and pastries will be served daily from 9.00am alongside coffee from Obadiah Coffee.

World-renowned Scottish produce

Roast Hebridean hogget from The Palmerston.

Roast Hebridean hogget from The Palmerston.

Lloyd Morse, Co-founder and Head Chef, said of the opening: 'We have been looking forward to this day for a long time. We're both excited to get the doors open and show Edinburgh what we've got planned.

'Our main goal is to champion the world-renowned produce here in Scotland and the UK. Taking an ingredients-first approach to developing our menus, we’ll fill the kitchen with seasonal ingredients sourced from the best producers.

'That means working closely with growers, farmers, and the seasons - my favourite form of cooking. Combined with our ethos of whole-animal cooking, it gives us so many choices and ensures we run a sustainable kitchen.'

The Palmerston 60-cover restaurant is now open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to late. 

Wild rabbit sausage with chard gratin and chanterelles.

Wild rabbit sausage with chard gratin and chanterelles.