Scotsman Review
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  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
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August 29, 2019

Fhior at Café Party, Jupiter Artland, restaurant review

If you want a tasty lunch with your dose of culture, visit Jupiter Artland's Fhior at Cafe Party, says Gaby Soutar

From a restaurant reviewer’s perspective, there’s a lot to relate to at Jupiter Artland.

My interpretation of Anish Kapoor’s Suck is that it’s a greedy oesophagus – my sink hole of an appetite – opening into the earth.

I suppose Anya Gallicio’s The Light Pours Out of Me – the basement level cave lined with cool and gold flecked amethyst – might be that elusive ten out of ten restaurant.

Then there’s the darkened building filled with rocks, Andy Goldsworthy’s Stone House. Well, we’ve all been there. It looks civilised from the outside, then they serve you something unformed that’s been cobbled together from whatever’s at the back of the fridge.

Luckily, nobody would experience that at the lovely restaurant Fhior, on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street. It opened last year and now there’s a pop-up until 29 September, at Cafe Party in the courtyard of this art park (which is holding its Jupiter Rising music and arts festival this weekend).

Although the colour saturated decor – designed by Swiss artist Nicolas Party – is the antithesis of the cool, white and neutral look in Fhior’s pared back capital restaurant, it’s stamped its personality on this place in different ways.

For example, there’s an entire page, like a Now greatest hits album of top local producers, that lists their suppliers, from Phantassie Organic Farm and David Lowrie Fish Merchants to IJ Mellis and Bros Bagels.

There are also drinks from the likes of Bon Accord, who do a very thirst-slaking fizzy Salted Pink Grapefruit (£3) number.

Also, although this restaurant offers the occasional pop-up dinner, with the next on 22 September (£40pp), we tried their casual lunch menu.

One of us went for the Tobermory smoked haddock (£9), which was like sinking into my brand new memory foam mattress.

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It was creamy, deep and rich, toasted and buttery on the top, with plenty of silky flakes of haddock, chopped leek, an Arran mustard gratin and a horse’s hoof-shaped clod of sturdy crusted bread on the side.

Their farfalle pasta (£8.50) was another option with a similarly comforting and, thus, soporific effect (perhaps you should walk round the exhibits before you eat, or make a nest under Phyllida Barlow’s Quarry and have a nap).

It had an almost visible (bright green) garlicky aura and featured a thick and clingingly velvety sauce studded with loads of fat pink stubs of pork belly and bits of chestnut mushroom.

Since those two options were so luxurious at lunchtime, I felt a little sad about the relatively ordinary seasonal frittata (£6.50), I suppose because this rust-coloured egg and potato wedge was cold and undergrowthy, with ingredients including more chestnut mushroom, onion and parsley.

Still, that feral vibe is some people’s bags, and it came with a nice salad of leaves, each of which had a label sewn into its hem, Phantassie Organics. Oh yes, I’ll take that.

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I may not have loved this course, but my reaction didn’t warrant anything as dramatic as Laura Ford’s Weeping Girls. Anyway, I dried my tears with their skinny and crispy chips (£3.50), which tasted great but weren’t very absorbent and left salt on my face.

The cakes are served under glass cloches up at the counter. They weren’t that exciting on our visit, but maybe we were just unlucky, since I’ve seen a few amazing creations posted on somebody somewhere’s Instagram account.

There was a raspberry chocolate cheesecake brownie (£4), which looked like a slice of lasagne and had that pleasingly palate squishing effect of doing a dental impression. Mmmf is the only happy noise you can make while eating this sugary traybake.

We also had a crisp frisbee of double chocolate cookie (£3) and a neat slice of buttercup yellow lemon drizzle cake (£4), with preserved zest, poppy seeds and a zingy icing. There were also some good flat whites (£3.30 each), served in Party’s lip-emblazoned crockery.

Anyway, if this is the kind of fuel they provide for looking at art, I plan to get more cultured every day. Suck ain’t got nothing on me. n

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Fhior at Café Party, Jupiter Artland

Bonnington House Steadings, Near Wilkieston, Edinburgh (01506 889900, www.jupiterartland.org)

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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