Say yes to go to Noto
Chef Stuart Ralston of Aizle fame (which we have yet to visit) named his new restaurant, Noto, in tribute to a former New York flatmate and late pal, photographer Bob Noto.
The restaurant is small, the menu is also small and the plates may be small too but the flavours are certainly not. This means getting to your table, toilet and making a choice off the menu is easy to do.
We had a beer from Northern Monk, one of our favourite breweries, a dry hoppy Eternal pale ale (£5 for 330ml can) and a glass of sparkling Crémant d’Alsace (£7).
North Sea crab, warm butter, sourdough. Like a buttery crab soup, this was on a par with Mrs Foodie’s best ever crab sandwich from Cornwall. (Which was here at The Mount Haven Hotel)
We could have easily have lived on these for the next month. Crab/butter and bread, what isn’t there to love?
Beef tartare, yuzokoshi egg, grilled bread.
Fermented chilli with a strong peppery taste as well. Melt-in-the mouth beef.
(no picture as it didn’t do it justice)
Fried buttermilk chicken bao, umami mayonnaise
Almost as if a brioche and a bao got together to make the most luxurious tasting roll. Perfectly soft and tender chicken, coated with mayo.
Lobster, XO, Koshihikari rice.
The XO sauce gives this dish an intense flavour. Like a Japanese take on risotto. Good portion size for a rice dish which can often be too big and monotonous tasting by the end.
Tete de Moine, piccalilli
This was a cheese we weren’t aware of, a shaved and fluffy whipped Alpine cheese on a tart with a bed of piccalilli topped with herbs and nasturtiums so attractively presented. Definitely a cheesy cheese with a pungent aroma and a lovely and creamy taste. Like a savoury cheesecake tart with chunky piccalilli.
We ordered a chilled glass of honey mead to accompany our cheese above.
Michel Cluizel chocolate, miso, hazelnut
Michel Cluizel, as we discovered is a respected chocolatier / chocolate company from Normandy. This looked like a posh Tunnocks tea cake that’s been presided over by a Japanese chef. Foamy mallow and umami miso mixed with the chocolate. It was certainly a bit different.
Big flavours in small plates. Noto recommends 2 – 3 courses per person, we had 3 each as we like our food and we left suitably happy, not too stuffed but not hungry. Music was at a low volume and there was a lot of chatter so it was difficult to make out any discernible tracks. Toilets were clean. We would certainly visit again. Exceedingly tasty combinations of ingredients which are both exciting and different yet in a way familiar. Now to visit Aizle…
47A Thistle Street
Telephone: 0131 241 8518