Chef Scott Smith is ready to rewrite his own book on modern Scottish cuisine as his new restaurant Fhior opens its doors in Edinburgh city centre.

The menu at Fhior, an adaptation of the Gaelic word for ‘true’, promises to dial back on kitchen technique and make way for honest flavour.

Scott recently picked up Norn’s ‘Best Restaurant’ award at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards on the eve of his departure from the award winning restaurant. He’s embracing change, fashioning a relaxed dining experience on Broughton Street.

“We want to be doing serious food and we want to be doing serious wine,” explains Scott, “but we don’t want the place to be serious.”

Together with his wife Laura and a handful of former Norn staff, Scott wants his new clientele to feel at ease during their meal.

He says: “The aim is to be honest – and true – I want Laura’s and my personality to be very much stated in the restaurant.

“Boiling it down to one word, it would just be ‘hospitality’ – we want a very hospitable environment.”

Most of the menu’s ingredients are sourced locally, as is the “star attraction” of each modern Scottish dish.

 

The asparagus is grown, cut and driven to the restaurant in 45 minutes. Sweet-smoky bere meal bread made with malted barley is baked fresh every day – a perfect parter for the mild sourness of Fhior’s aged in-house butter.

Each Fhior dish will have one locally-sourced 'star player'

Each Fhior dish will have one locally-sourced ‘star player’

Fhior will be open four days a week (Wednesday to Saturday) with 32 covers reaching into the building. Take the stairs through a second entrance at the back of the restaurant and you’ll find yourself at the door to basement cocktail bar Kin.

Scott and Laura share a vision of steering away from reducing the dining experience down to a spreadsheet, instead focussing heavily on a tailored experience for every customer.

“It’s something we’re hiring our front of house team in strongly,” insists Scott, “so we’re training them to react to each individual, not to be scripted and to try and build personal relationships.”

Collecting the Best Restaurant award on behalf of Norn “meant a huge amount” to the chef, calling it a “perfect full stop” to his time there.

Despite the industry recognition, he insists he won’t be striving to keep up with his own success at Fhior: “Absolutely I’d love to be back on that stage [next year] but I don’t want that to be the focus here.

“I want the focus here to be the food and if the quality of the food, the wine and the service is where we want it to be, then hopefully that should speak for itself.”

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