Le Roi Fou
Anton Mosimann is one of those names and faces from a bygone era of food TV that lives long in the memory. I hadn’t thought about his Gallic charm for a good while until the arrival of Le Roi Fou on Forth Street just recently.
Swiss-French head chef Jérôme Henry proudly proclaims his culinary lineage as including stops with Monsieur Mosimann among other notable spots.
The intention is for the restaurant space to be the embodiment of the artistic salon. For now, it’s very spare and pared back. Wall art and further detailing will bring some required warmth in time, I’m sure.
As a solo diner, I was pleased to be seated at the bar, which has room for six diners or assorted drinkers.
I was an early evening customer so they had both their prix fixe and full a la carte menus on offer.
In typical style I found things I wanted to eat on both menus but found a way to reconcile matters without breaking the pricing structure too badly. My waitress handled things with skill.
I started with the grilled Galician octopus then followed with the plancha grilled trout. I had set my sights on the Swiss cheese board to follow.
Before that, as if by #ballquest magic, a smoked haddock brandade croquetta arrived as the amuse bouche. Served with a miso cream, it was a promising opener.
The octopus starter was replete with soft tentacle goodness. The accompanying wild garlic aioli was beautifully judged.
The main course of grilled trout, cooked on the bone, was further evidence of accomplished cooking. It came with colourful seasonal veg. It could have used a starch element or the friendly waiting staff could have usefully up-sold me a potato side dish, but it was otherwise very satisfying.
The concluding selection of Swiss cheeses brought considerable interest. These were cheeses with which I was entirely unfamiliar with the salty stone flavour of the steinsalz particularly memorable. The water thin oatcakes were outstanding, as was the Niepoort Colheita 2005.
So overall, Le Roi Fou is a distinct new voice for the Edinburgh dining scene. It feels fresh and different in its mix of flavours and ingredients. I’d recommend it to you as a smart place to try that will impress you with the calibre of its cooking and the charm of its service.
Blythe scores Le Roi Fou
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: haddock brandade ball, octopus, trout, cheese
I drank: white wine, water, port, espresso
I wore: action footwear
Total bill: £45.50
Address: 1 Forth Street, Edinburgh EH1 3JX