With exposed stone walls and leather banquettes the restaurant has an upmarket feel akin to its two sister restaurants in Market Street and Leith. Interior-design lovers will love the work that’s gone into the extensive refurb, from the cast iron radiators to the stunning marble green bar top which gives the restaurant a luxurious bistro feel. The vibe is casual, unstuffy and very cool for this part of town.
How does the menu work at White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar?
Fish and seafood is sourced from local and Scottish suppliers including Edinburgh-based Welch Fishmongers, Fish Brothers, The Ethical Shellfish Company and Mara Seaweed.
The menu contains plenty to lure in seafood fans, from platters (the ‘full house’ is a sumptuous two-tiered affair that includes half a lobster, pickled mussels, clams, king crab legs, oysters, scotch bonnet salmon, tuna tartare and dressed crab) to small tapas-style dishes that offer the likes of monkfish satay, chargrilled octopus, sesame tuna, crab scotch eggs, hand-dived scallops and plenty more. There’s also fresh oysters (sourced from four different sources, from Loch Fyne to Lindisfarne) plus larger mains such as whole lemon sole with chilli, samphire and clams, or turbot with charred gem and black miso.
Aside from fish and seafood there’s also a ribeye steak dish on the menu plus some interesting side dishes such as pickled fennel and grapefruit slaw, hasselback potatoes and crab fries.
Which dishes should we order?
Who can resist an oyster happy hour? Stop by Monday to Thursday (between 4pm and 6pm) and you can dine on oysters for £1 a pop. The small dishes work best if you want to try a bit of everything and your dining companions don’t mind sharing – two to three per person is more than enough.
Highlights were the monkfish satay which had just the right amount of bite and the chargrilled octopus, which was surprisingly tender and smoky, straight off the grill. Most diners will want to make the most of the fish and seafood on offer but if you are in the mood for meat then fillet steak with salsa verde was delicious.
What’s dessert like?
Should you feel like something sweet there’s a short roster of classic desserts (we tried a zingy burnt lemon brûlée), sorbets and ice creams – from sea buckthorn to salted caramel – and a great selection of cheeses from local cheesemonger I. J Mellis.
What are the drinks like?
There’s plenty of choice for fizz by the glass – perfect for those dropping in for an oyster or two – and the bespoke cocktail list is equally exciting. Seaside gin mixes Edinburgh Gin with manzanilla sherry, sea salt, pickled samphire and seaweed mist. It had a salinity which went incredibly well with oysters and shellfish – a must order! There are also plenty of great wines and boutique spirits, plus three non-alcoholic cocktails.
What else should we know?
Staff are super knowledgeable about the produce and the wine list, and are happy to discuss pairings with you if you ask.