This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.Food. Glorious food. If you’re new to my blog, food is a huge part of it. Recently, I visited Scotland and had my first Michelin star restaurant experience at The Kitchin Edinburgh. I can’t tell you how amazing the entire dinner was from start to finish!
Seriously, though…if food is a big part of your travel, consider a visit to The Kitchin in Edinburgh. Read on to see why!
So how does a restaurant obtain a Michelin star?
I was wondering the same thing. Apparently, the formula is mostly kept under wraps. The only thing known is that the Michelin team tries to keep their visit a complete secret and appear as any other diner. They want to see the everyday service the restaurant provides and not just service provided to a VIP.
To receive one Michelin star a restaurant has to be a “very good restaurant in its category”. For two stars, it must have “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and for three stars, “exceptional cuisine worth a special journey”.
Only a handful of restaurants in the world have three stars and just getting one is a dream of any chef anywhere. People plan trips around Michelin star status (like these Lake District Michelin starred restaurants), so it’s a huge deal in addition to the honor!
What do you do when your last name is Kitchin and you are a chef? You open a restaurant named after you and take it to Michelin star status, that’s what!
Tom and Michaela Kitchin opened The Kitchin in 2006 and were awarded a Michelin star in 2007. Soon after, several impressive awards followed. Chef Tom takes a “From Nature to Plate” concept that blends his passion for the finest Scottish produce and his cooking style that reflects his Scottish heritage.
Entrance and bar sitting area
Main dining room
How cute is this table at the back of the dining room?
I opted to start the entire experience off with this pear martini and had them add a sugar rim. It was, in my opinion, perfectly made.
They also served these crisps before we began our meal.
During this time, we ordered. There were two main choices: the three-course a la carte menu or the chef’s surprise tasting menu. Within the chef’s tasting menu you could choose the classic, vegetarian or deluxe version. The only catch is the entire table must order the chef’s tasting menu. Because of this, we went with the three-course a la carte menu.
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I chose to start with the Venison: Terrine of Highland Venison, venison tartare and liver parfait with celeriac, bramble, and orange. Besides the fact that it was delectable, it was one of the most beautiful dish presentations I’ve ever seen!
My mom ordered the Rockpool: a Rockpool of local seafood, sea vegetables, ginger, and a Newhaven shellfish consommé. It also was tasty and made for a very interesting presentation.
My dad ordered the Scallops: hand-dived Orkney scallops baked in the shell with seasonable vegetables in a white wine, vermouth, and herb sauce.
The final preparations were done tableside and that was cool to watch.
For the second and main course, I had the Cod: steamed fillet of North Sea Cod, Eassie Farm sea kale, and shellfish emulsion. For seafood lovers, I can’t praise this dish enough. Light, delicious, and filling. What else do you need?
My mom had the Lamb: stuffed Highland lamb saddle, braised shoulder, Wye Valley asparagus, and asparagus puree. Mom thoroughly enjoyed this dish so I imagine, if you like lamb and asparagus (I’m not personally a fan), you will too!
Dad had the Pork: Clash Farm pork chop, braised cheek, celeriac, and creamed morel mushrooms. He absolutely loved the dish as he is a huge pork chop and mushroom fan.
Bread accompanied our main course with a unique presentation of butter
After the main course and before dessert, the server set these pretty bowls of pink soup in front of us. I will be honest in that I don’t remember what it was, but it had a great refreshing taste as a palate cleanser should.
For dessert, we all had the same thing. There was one dish that just stood out from the others, shining brightly. That dish was the Pear: Poached Perthshire Conference pear, puff pastry, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce.
I will say right now. They had me with pear and caramel sauce. They had Dad with pear and vanilla ice cream and they had Mom with poached pear and puff pastry.
Amazing. Phenomenal. Delicious. Fabulous. Tasty. Delightful. Fantastic. Scrumptious. More, please.
Surely, that tells you what we thought about it…right? 🙃
All three of us concluded that this was one of the top meals we’ve ever had in our lives and maybe the absolute best!
If you are visiting Edinburgh, I HIGHLY recommend The Kitchin. Even though I tried my absolute best, I still didn’t come close to communicating just how fantastic their food truly is. Combined with superb service and beautiful presentations, this is an experience not to miss. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first Michelin Star experience or your 1000th!
Have you been to Edinburgh? Have you eaten at The Kitchin? Of the foods we ordered, what would be your must-order favorite?
‘Til next time…
Leave a Reply - I Love Comments!
samantha karen says
Wow the presentation and interior of this dining experience look so luxe! I would have went with the vegetarian menu and its so nice they have this option!
Hi Samantha-Yep, they have you covered with a vegetarian option! If you are ever in Edinburgh, I definitely recommend eating here. The food and the presentations are just top-notch. Thanks for reading! 🙂
I was not aware how Michelin team rates the hotels. Their secret visit can keep any chef on their toes. I would prefer the lamb dish. All the dishes are so well presented. Desserts are mind blowing!!!
Hi Indrani-Yes, it is an interesting process of how the restaurants get their Michelin stars, I agree. The desserts were definitely mind-blowing, but in all honesty, the entire experience was mind-blowing! Thanks for reading! 🙂
I loved Edinburgh and had some amazing food there, but nothing like this!! The Kitchin sounds (and looks) absolutely incredible!! That venison, the lamb and asparagus, those poached pears – yeah, I’m ready to go back to Scotland just to eat at this place!
Hi Maggie-Girl, this place is AMAZING! You have to try it if you return to Scotland. It is a gorgeous restaurant and the food and their presentations are just…WOW! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Michael Hodgson says
Rockpool, cod and pear for me please. 😉 And now you have eaten at “The Kitchin” you need to make it to Sacramento to eat at “The Kitchen” … also a Michelin Star restaurant.
Hi Michael-Oh for sure I now have to eat at The Kitchen in Sacramento since it’s also Michelin starred. I smell a good post coming! LOL! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Jamie Italiane says
I can’t believe you don’t like asparagus. I may be my favorite vegetable. I would have ordered what your dad did the whole time though. Good taste.
Hi Jamie-Nope, I don’t! The only way I will eat it is if it’s baked with a TON of freshly squeezed OJ, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, pepper and sprinkled with tarragon. But I’ve only had it that way twice and it’s been several years since I’ve made it. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Heather, what an amazing experience. I think I will put it out to the universe to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant in 2020! And since I have never been to Edinburgh, I think I’ll shoot for The Kitchin. The food looks amazing and I adore poached pears so I am sold! Yum!
Hi Alison-I SO highly recommend it! A Michelin starred restaurant was a bucket list item for me too and it didn’t disappoint. Now I want to visit more of them. But it’s going to be HARD to beat The Kitchin. Definitely visit Edinburgh and definitely eat at The Kitchin! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Thanks for explaining the Michelin star rating system – I’ve never really understood it, and I don’t believe that I’ve ever eaten at a Michelin starred restaurant either. This place looks amazing, though! I will keep it in mind whenever I make it to Edinburgh!
Hi Dani-I didn’t really know either before this experience. It’s pretty fascinating isn’t it? Definitely try it out if you get to Edinburgh. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions says
I also wasn’t super familiar with how restaurants got Michelin stars, so thanks for sharing that! It was fun to learn that the owners’ last name is Kitchin. What a coincidence, right? Everything looks amazing, but I’m always tempted to get lamb at high-end restaurants, and the plate your mom got sounds delicious. Glad that you got to experience such a wonderful dining experience with your family, Heather!
Hi Kevin-Yes I thought it was an interesting coincidence too! I wasn’t sure before this experience how restaurants got their stars either. It’s quite the process. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Travel with Mei and Kerstin says
Wow, this is making us hungry! We don’t particularly like British food, so it’s good to know about this Michelin starred restaurant in Edinburgh! Since we both love seafood, we would definitely order a Rockpool and Scallops! 🙂
Hi Mei and Kerstin-I love seafood too and those are excellent choices. Definitely try out The Kitchin if you ever get over to Edinburgh! Thanks for reading! 🙂
What a great restaurant. The food you enjoyed there looks really tasty. My highlight would have been the dessert. I love delicious dessert and when there is ice cream I can never say no.
Hi Susanne-The dessert was definitely a highlight for sure! The pear was amazing and the ice cream I’m sure is a big draw for a lot of people as well. Thanks for reading! 🙂