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Day in the Life: Roy Brett, chef patron of Edinburgh's Ondine Oyster & Grill

Roy Brett tells us about his routine and his favourite haunts in the capital

Published: June 11, 2021
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7am  

I always start my day off by taking an early morning walk with the dog, as it’s the best way to set myself up for the day ahead.

8.15am

I do the school run and then, on route to the restaurant, I get a catch up on yesterday’s news.

8.30am

It’s time for a coffee at Castello. Sandro and his staff make the most incredible coffee; they have built a great team and they are so consistent. I highly recommend them if you are looking for the best coffee to start your day. On my days off I love to visit a range of independent restaurants, coffee shops and bars in and around the city. As well as Castello, my other favourite coffee shop is Williams & Johnson Coffee Co on Leith’s Custom Lane – faultless coffee and always a great vibe.


8.45am

At the moment, the whole day from now onwards is spent in the business as we have only just re-opened our doors after lockdown. The morning consists of preparing breads, pastry, larder work, writing the daily menus with the team and getting their valuable input.

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12.30pm

If I am not at my own restaurant, my top pick for lunch would be a visit to Noto – Stuart Ralston has created a special place. It’s great to pop into the bar and order a selection of delicious and well thought out plates.

1pm

My afternoons are currently spent preparing for dinner service with the team. This includes getting the invoices done and paperwork boxed off. Then we have a team dinner around 4.30pm together followed by that evening’s service. If I’m not working, I love to pop into my new favourite wine shop when I can. Sam Barker and his partner Julie Di Toro have opened a brilliant place on Bonnington Road called Mistral. The wines are not what you would usually get around the city. Their service is on point, very knowledgeable and it is well worth a visit.

7pm

If I’ve got the night off, then dinner out in Edinburgh has to be at The Little Chartroom on Albert Place. Roberta and Shaun Hall-McCarron have created something that’s very special indeed. It’s very focused and driven, with a husband and wife team who deliver on all the notes. It is a professional yet relaxed service with well executed plates. 

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10pm

If I am working, this is when we’ll clean the restaurant. We’ll also place orders and get ready for the next day’s service so we can do it all over again.

My favourite bar for after-work drinks or on my day off is Nauticus. Situated on Duke Street, it’s our team’s favourite. It’s run by my manager Craig Grierson’s good friend, Kyle Jamieson. Their whisky and cocktail list is our favourite in the city by far. It’s negroni heaven. 

Ondine Oyster & Grill have re-opened their doors with a new look and brand-new seasonal food menu, wine list and a bespoke cocktail menu for their bar area, www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk

The new look Ondine
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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