A couple of subsequent visits have been nowhere near as good as this initial foray, which lives long in the memory. Presentation in particular has tailed off completely. It now feels like a restaurant in need of fresh impetus. It’s still good, but nowhere near an 18.5/20 as outlined below.
Original 2012 review
I may have mentioned before that Thistle Street is one of my favourite thoroughfares in all of the town. Having extolled the virtues of many of the restaurants along the stretch, I’d always been intrigued by Iris, an understated looking establishment, just next to Thai favourite Dusit.
On this occasion, I was dining with my good chum Nadine, who was formerly in the frame to be Mrs BKR, in a previous existence. She had previously joined for the first quest to Mark Greenaway, thus setting the bar pretty high.
Upon entering the stylish confines of the neatly appointed place, we were shown to a nice table and presented with a la carte and specials menus to consider, along with a welcoming wine list.
We discussed options, but both settled upon a seafood dominated programme. Nadine opted for mussels followed by swordfish, while I went for scallops then lemon sole. On a recommendation from our lovely waitress, we opted for the Sancerre to match.
The food that arrived over the course of the evening was of uniformly excellent quality. My scallops, with black pudding, crisp bacon and pea puree looked awfy bonnie, and tasted every bit as good. But the mussels won the starter battle by more than a canvas. The mussels were beautiful and plump, but the excellent creamy broth, rich with bacon and pine nuts, was simply sublime.
I gained my revenge with the mains, as my lemon sole kicked the living crap out of the swordfish. I must say that I’m not a fan of swordifsh, but matched with a tangy pineapple salsa it was not half bad. But my sole was seriously sexy. The soft accompaniment of little parcels of gnocchi and richly sumptuous slices of chorizo was right on the money. Artichokes lifted it from great to even greater, and the sauce that married all the elements together was acutely tailored.
There was no room for dessert, but that was no bad thing as it meant we could linger over the appreciation of the savoury dishes we’d been served, which made us smile from ear to ear.
Overall, Iris offers extremely high quality food, in swish surroundings, with excellent, friendly, knowledgeable service. The only other person I’ve heard extolling its virtues is ardent Yelper Jurgen, who is a great fan of the place. I’d like to confirm that I will be joining Jurgen’s chorus of appreciation, as the place is something really very special. It shines bright in a street of precious Edinburgh jewels. I’d suggest you pay it a visit soon. You will be richly rewarded.
Blythe scores Iris:
4.5/5 for food
4.5/5 for presentation
5/5 for service
4.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 18.5/20
Today’s questers were: Blythe, Nadine
We ate: mussels, scallops, swordfish, lemon sole
We drank: sancerre, water, espresso
We wore: I heart Edinburgh T-shirt, Pierre Cardin socks
Total bill: c.£70