Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • 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
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
9/10
Food
9/10
Total
0%
March 3, 2024

Tipo, Edinburgh, review, a taste of Italy in Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant

This restaurant, from Stuart Ralston, was recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Rosalind Erskine visited for a weekend lunch.

Stuart Ralston is on a roll. With successful restaurants Aizle and Noto going strong, the Fife born chef opened Tipo on Hanover Street in March 2023 and, more recently Lyla, at the end of 2023.

Tipo was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand as part of the 2024 Guide and Lyla, which is on the site of the late Paul Kitching’s 21212, is tipped for a Star next year.

When we spoke to Ralston in 2020, he explained he has always had a small chip on his shoulder about being successful in Scotland, which is the reason he returned to Edinburgh to open his restaurant, Aizle, in April 2014. 

He said: "Scotland was the only place I'd never been successful. I felt like I did a lot in New York, had worked in London and then Barbados, but here no one really knew who I was and I was Scottish. I just wanted to rectify that by coming back to Edinburgh."

People here certainly now know who he is, not only through his restaurants but also his stint on the Great British menu on BBC Two. This, plus the recent successes, count towards how busy Tipo becomes when we arrive for an early weekend lunch.

The beautiful, bright and airy space - located up the stairs at 110 Hanover Street - is ours for only about 20 minutes before the place is full. The interiors are pared back with light wooden tables, Scandi style chairs,a pink tiled bar with open shelving and lime washed walls.

The menu too is pared back, short but succinct, and designed around sharing. This is an Italian inspired affair - from the menu to the artwork and Insta-friendly neon sign you’ll see when you start your ascent up the stairs to the dining room. After ordering a glass of Italian orange wine and a glass of nebbiolo red we decided to share some smaller bites before choosing our pasta.

Tipo Edinburgh review

We started with cured halibut, served with chilli and grapes (£14). The translucent fish, sliced into firm slivers sat next to green grape halves, blobs of white horseradish mayo and topped with a vibrant green basil oil and mini rice crispy bits.

A light and fresh dish, with a nice crunch and texture from mini rice crispy bits, we could have eaten several portions.

Next to arrive was the burrata (£13). This white ball of cheese was wonderfully fresh and creamy when cut open, with none of the chewy outside bits. It was sat on top of a chunky, deep red chilli and tomato jam which added some sweetness and a hint of a kick. This was all messily scoped up with two slices of crisp yet soft, oil drizzled focaccia.

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Our final starter was the puntarelle salad with fennel and anchovy (£13). Tipo’s take on a caesar salad, the crisp green leaves and slices of fennel were tossed in a creamy dressing, with silver skinned anchovies hiding throughout. A good balance of richness and tart from the salad plus saltiness from the fish made this another moreish option.

For the pasta, I chose the pappardelle with crab and chilli (£16) while my friend went for a classic bigoli cacio pepe with truffle (£16).

Both pastas were cooked perfectly, with just a bit of bite. My thick strands of pappardelle were coated with a creamy sauce, flecked with a good portion of crab meat and flashes of bright red chilli. All of this was topped with a flurry of parmesan.

There was a kick from the chilli and the freshness and sweetness of the crab cut through the sauce. Across the table, the cacio pepe was curled into a mound and topped with a generous shaving of black truffle. Cacio pepe is having something of a moment, thanks to social media. You may even find it served in giant parmesan wheels in some restaurants but this was a classic, scented and rich but not too overpowering bowl of pasta.

For dessert we chose tiramisu (£7) and praline cannoli, salted caramel (£7). The generous bowl of tiramisu was topped with a thick layer of cream and chocolate shavings - inside the soft, coffee soaked sponge was exactly what was needed after the pasta.

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We both thought the cannoli might be thick pastry filled with a thick, sickly sweet cream, but instead this very sweet-sounding dessert was creamy and somehow, light and in no way sickly. My friend, who has visited Italy a lot, said that it was quite possibly one of the best cannoli she’d ever had.

We left the bustling restaurant nicely full and ready for the rest of the weekend. Tipo is a classy addition to this equally as nice street in Edinburgh and brings to the plate authentic, simple food that’s made very, very well.

So many Italian restaurants in Scotland’s cities are family-friendly affairs with good classics, but Tipo seems a bit more grown up in its look and offering. I just hope Stuart Ralston has managed to shake the chip off his shoulder now, as he’s certainly better known in his homeland - and for good reason.

Tags:
tipo, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, UK
tipo, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, UK, EH2 1DR
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • 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
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
9/10
Drinks
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
8/10
Total
0%
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