WE are delighted to have received one Michelin star, says Timberyard’s website, speaking plainly on an austere white page that plummets from then on in onto moody photos. I reel through some sparse yada-yada-stuff before settling eventually at the bottom of a cyberspace well on what I’m actually looking for: the address.

Ah-ha. In tiny print. Like – hey man, you should already know this. Anyway. “Who wouldn’t be pleased?” I say to Joe, as we peer along this, frankly beautiful, very woody dining room, its low wattage bulbs creating a firefly fuzz in the rafters tonight.

Already I think I can spot the international food tourists that the new Michelin star culinary magnet must draw; that foursome there with the camera perhaps; not that couple cos they’re celebrating something big; maybe the lady eating at the bar with the book in her hand though?

HeraldScotland: Turbot Turbot (Image: Timberyard)

OK maybe not her, but there’s us, of course.

Well, me. Joe has just done a cartoon double take that it’s £105 bangers for this meal. That’s each. No, I say, the remnants of a wild garlic and Auld Reekie steamed bun still dancing across my tastebuds, that moist, warm, pillowy, cheesy sensation starting this evening with a ding-ding-ding on the comfort-o-meter. It’s really not that expensive, I venture.

We’ve already almost gulped at that wild garlic broth (savoury, delicious); scooped the last of the house pickles and butter onto freshly-baked bread and are strapping ourselves in for the tasting show.

Right now, Haust /Autumn featuring Hakon Morch Stene (me neither) is sending some weirdly John Dunstable-esque sounds soaring on high as we speak.

What with the uniformly aproned staff ghosting to and from the table on occasional wafted murmurs, are we having a carefully curated food cathedral moment?

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No, not like that. True. Last time I was here, I didn’t like this place. At all. Pretentious; a Scandi-take, I claimed.

But … that was years ago. Tonight, Matthew: we’ve been eating pretty much entirely Scottish. A beetroot and cherry blossom parfait, Sweet cicely on the side; then fat scallops with pan-fried crispness, unveiling their pale, perfectly mellow interior, salty seaweed and coastal greens for mopping.

HeraldScotland: Timberyard interiorTimberyard interior (Image: Timberyard)

Now it’s turbot, that staggeringly expensive king of fish. Not really a sliver, more a pure-white baton, a single white asparagus stem alongside and something called fermented asparagus butter bringing a salty seasony oomph to what is a perfect piece of fish. OK, the green asparagus with an egg, leaves and comte just didn’t float my boat, but this quail? Hurrah.

At last: a meal that doesn’t sag in the middle. Can’t remember the last time I ate quail. This, though is different: rested juices flow, pale gold skin twinkles, the meat parts gently and is then, seriously, sucked from the bones. Those last lingering roasting juices are chased round the plate with decent Jersey Royals, brassica flowers and Alexanders – a green floppy, flowery hedge-dweller according to Mr Google. No doubt hand-foraged. Who doesn’t forage their Alexanders these days?

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A cheese course, then. Hand-made crackers, apple chutney, something bluey-gooey whose murmured name I don’t catch is only £6 – but not as good as the £9 hand-made digestives and hand-made Branston with cheddar at Seven21 in Glasgow recently. Style trumping taste? Answers on that postcard … Oh. I forgot.

Understandably (and hey who isn’t?) they’re very big on pairing this tasting menu with wine (I’m driving I tell them too many times) and there’s a soft drink pairing too for, ahem, just the £54 extra. Showing my class I order a Diet Coke. Which they don’t actually stock – a word with the sommelier please – and I therefore end up with their own cherry cola instead. At £6. Per glass. Hmmm.

Let’s fast forward to the dessert. And here and now, monastic tunes have been dumped and Robbie Basho is suddenly kicking crazy ass with If I Had Possession while we scrape the remnants of a delicate, yet tart, rhubarb, yoghurt and flowering currant taste bomb. Ooft. We’re now three interesting, enjoyable hours in.

Has it been worth it? Yeah.



10 Lady Lawson Street


Tel:0131 221 1222 - website booking

Opening: Closed Monday and Tuesday

Menu: It’s a new one Michelin star restaurant. In Scotland. What do you think? Quail, Turbot, clever stuff with buns, cheeses, scallops, but mostly with flavours - the full shebang. 4/5

Service: It’s very low lit and while the staff are pleasant they’re low key, with a tendency to loom, not much chat, perhaps a bit more warmth but some folks like that. 4/5

Atmosphere: Got to now be Scotland’s prettiest dining room, fabulously lit, oozing comfortable hand-hewn wooden quality, almost worth the admission alone. Interesting music too. 5/5

Price: Okay for the full tasting menu (There’s a four course alla carte at £85) it’s £105 which is par for the Michelin course and contains a full night’s entertainment. For me? Worth it. 4/5

Food: It’s rare to have a main course that sparkles, but that quail was so beautifully cooked that it trumped even those Auld Reekie buns, the scallops and that superb turbot. 9/10

Total: 26/30