MONO is a dining experience not to be missed, with luxe yet cosy interiors, from the minute I walked in the door I was made to feel important by their attentive team.
I was fortunate to be invited to try their Aperitivo menu (priced at £35.00 per person) which included a glass of spritz, canapés and 3 suitably portioned courses. MONO is a progressive Italian fine dining restaurant situated on Edinburgh’s South Bridge, conveniently minutes away from attractions such as Edinburgh’s popular Royal Mile and The Festival Theatre. In Italy, Aperitivo is a light dinner and drink after the workday, so the 5pm – 6:30pm menu is perfect for when the working day is done and I myself came straight from work. The spritz was beautifully presented in a tinted orange glass with eco-friendly (but equally classy) metal straws, it was the perfect refreshment to start.
The canapés were stunning to look at and very tasty on the palate. Firstly I tasted the butternut squash with furikake and spring onion oil, the balance of crunch to the butternut purée was really something special. Second I tried the crispy lamb belly with basil emulsion and capers, the consistency of the lamb was cooked to perfection. Lastly I tasted the caprese explosion which was so delicate, all the flavours melted in my mouth.
Next I was presented with a selection of breads to dip in the most wonderfully tasting Italian olive oil. I loved the different shapes and sizes of the bread on offer and my personal favourite bread was the focaccia on the left.
To start there was a choice between Baked Ricotta – pine nuts, peppers, aubergine, olives and tomato or Rabbit Loin – lardo, nasturtium, carrot and mustard seeds. I personally chose the Ricotta and loved the balance of flavours and the contrast of colours, the food that was presented is the kind of dishes I would like my students to see in terms of garnishing and making a plate of food stand out and be attractive to the eye, it was stunningly presented. Equally the rabbit loin looked so pretty on the plate.
Now for the main event and what a main it was. Dry Aged Beef – Ox cheek, kohlrabi, cauliflower, hazelnut and sea truffle. I couldn’t get over how good the contrast in taste of the beef and the hazelnuts were together, it was totally unique, something I’d never tried before but loved, the dish of the night for me!
Two very different desserts to choose from. Caramelised Peach – almond milk, peach sorbet and amaretti biscuits or Cherry & Chocolate – mascarpone, woodruff and cacao nibs crumb. I adored the Caramelised Peach, it won over the Cherry & Chocolate for me on account of its sweetness and the contrast in textures of the amaretti biscuits and the soft consistency of the other ingredients.
Dinner was followed by a smooth Italian coffee with the cutest coffee speckled milk jug and a look around downstairs at the open kitchen and dining facilities down below. There is the option for private dining and the view out to the Cowgate was really lovely as the sun began to set on the festival goers that evening.
Overall I left with a full tummy and a smile on my face after a lovely evening being waited on so attentively by the charming team they have at MONO. If you’re after a nice evening of fine food that won’t necessarily break the bank, I recommend you to try MONO too.