Tuesday 14 September 2010

GFF goes to Edinburgh: Deliciously different fun at 21212

The Gluten Free Foodie took a little trip up to Edinburgh to catch the end of the Fringe festival. I thought while I was there I might indulge in some fine dining; notably the stunning 21212.

The concept of 21212 revolves around the idea that you have two choices for starters, one amuse bouche, two choices for main, one cheese plate, then two choices for desert. See: 21212, simple! For the gluten-free diner this type of set menu always rings alarm bells. Well, between the moment I booked on the phone and they asked if I had any dietary requirements, to the moment that they greeted me with basil oil infused gluten free bread, I knew that they were going to be accommodating.

And accommodating they were, alerting me to all of my options and helpfully pointing out that anything could be amended for me. And all with smiles on their faces. Even better, all the staff were made aware, not just one, so it didn't matter who came to the table, there were no mistakes. I must say, and my guest noted this too, that it was the best service I have had, perhaps ever. Even more surprising, the bill came without a pre-added service charge, almost non-existent in London, especially at a high calibre restaurant such as this.

The overall experience is one of FUN. That was the predominant feeling afterwards. Such a fun meal! Each plate was playful and interesting, and well, it was all just such fun!

The dining room is magnificent, a single large room with butterflies on the carpet, and wonderful table settings. My starter was a scallop with an amazing assortment of ingredients, some of which seemed a little out of place, but hey, that was part of the fun of it. Nothing, nothing, in the meal was boring.

The next "1" course was a fabulous layered soup with deep deep flavour. Delicious.

Then for the mains, I went with a deconstructed lamb hot pot - with perfectly cooked pink lamb. Good measured portion sizes also - allowing you to eat all five courses without feeling over stuffed.

Cheese was next, four yummy varieties which we tried with a cheeky port on the side. It's cheese, so why not! Especially as we were sitting on a chaise longue next to each other at the far corner of the room, so could fully relax and engage in a spot of private banter and people watching.

The pre-cleanse before the dessert was a refreshing berry infused milk, served in an excellent porcelain cow jug. That was followed by dessert served on an upside down porcelain duck, with a duck-footed egg cup sat on it, filled with a zingy orange rice pudding with some sort of flavoured foam on top. And as I was limited with the other gluten free option, they made me a fabulous creme brulee. I don't care what anyone says, you cannot beat a perfectly made creme brulee. Other desserts can just go away with their heads hung in shame as far as I am concerned.

So overall a sumptuous and witty meal, full of surprises of the good kind! The menu for all five courses was £65 which I found to be more than fair for this Michelin-starred delight.

So, Gluten free foodies - get thee to Edinburgh quick!

Gluten Free Knowledge: ★★★★★
Gluten Free Range: ★★★★
Taste: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★★


  1. yeah but you haven't mentioned how good the comedian was afterwards?
    Sam' mate

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