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Aurora restaurant in Leith launches its most experimental menu yet, with ingredients including plankton and tiger’s milk

This small restaurant’s menu features lots of surprises

Published: August 31, 2021
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After lockdown, many restaurants have taken the safe route when it comes to menus.

Not so at four-year-old Aurora on Edinburgh’s Great Junction Street. They won’t be serving sticky toffee pudding, prawn cocktail or soup. 

This tiny restaurant, with room for just 18 diners, decided to create their most radical food list yet, when it comes to their late summer six course menu.

“I decided that for the next six months I’ll take the risk of trying to create something that I always dreamed of, which is cooking in an absolute nonconformist style”, says chef patron of Leith’s Aurora, Kamil Witek. “If it works - great, if not I can always go back to doing what we do now. But it’s now or never.”

Some of the more unusual elements for jaded tastebuds include a potato peel butter, which comes with bread as a pre-course. There’s also plankton, as part of a cod dish, along with the more familiar ingredients of cod, daikon and Japanese condiment, furikake.

The small dumplings, zlikrofi, are part of a Slovenian ravioli dish, along with potato, guanciale and Montasio cheese. Also, pre-dessert is an intriguing sounding “beer foam/lemon” and the fifth course is confit suckling pig, pineapple, tiger’s milk (a Peruvian marinade) and potato.

If you fancy paying the £7 supplement for a cheese course, you’ll also get a blue cheese and apricot tart with goat’s cheese ice cream.

The six-course menu will be available for dinner Thursday to Monday from 5pm and costs £52 per person, with a wine pairing for an additional £48pp, which may include some of their organic and bio-dynamic wines, including ones from Georgia, Greece and Lebanon. Or, for £30pp, there’s a soft drink menu pairing, with drinks such as lapsang souchong iced tea, cherry blossom tea kombucha, calamansi (a citrus fruit) and lemongrass lemonade, plus a sage and rosemary cold brew, all made in-house.  A shorter four course version of the menu is available for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays 12-2pm priced at £30 per person.

Praveen Kumar, Delivery Restaurant Review

187 Great Junction Street, Edinburgh (0131 554 5537, www.auroraedinburgh.co.uk)

Thanks to the return of the Great British Bake Off, it's a malt loaf kind of weekend

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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