21212 Edinburgh…and two douches in a spacesuit…
So, the boys sneaked off to Edinburgh for their second wedding anniversary, leaving me once again to hold down the fort…let’s see what they got up to!
First things first, Edinburgh is one hilly mofo! Do not wear Prada trainers (Simon) or Vivienne Westwood pirate boots and expect to get home with ankles and knees intact…totally pretty though(the city, not the footwear…but the shoes did kick fashion ass)! Beautiful stone buildings, elaborate monuments all placed within rolling hills of green…from the North Bridge the view is so “OMG! I’m in Rivendell! Bilbo?”. Talking hairy hobbits btw, it is a little bit tacky touristy as you’d expect. Think tartan hats with ginger wigs attached, wool, kilts and whiskey…now double it and you’re about a quarter of the way to the volume of crazy tat.
Anyways, back to 21212!
So, the genius who owns the place (Paul Kitching) is well known from his old Michelin starred restaurant, Juniper, which is…down the road from our house! Paul unfortunately moved from Juniper a couple of months after we moved in and before we got our act together and went for a meal…we so didn’t know this before we booked! Fate? Erm, no…but a nice surprise to finally be sampling his wares!
21212 refers to the menu structure, so 2 choices for first course, 1 for the second (I’. Sure you can work the rest out); it’s located in a grand Georgian terrace on a very steep road (cue the whining). Beautifully and opulently renovated, we are talking heavy damasks, wall murals, ceiling roses from the wettest of dreams (I have an interior design fetish, don’t judge, I’m sure you secretly do too); but, manages to incorporate modern design elements, primary coloured perspex, butterfly chandeliers, rooms with names like “pod” and “ate” without being “oh, aren’t we quirky, look at us being all eclectic”…No, totally not “tried too hard and failed” like when your dad says “chillax”, it just all works and flows effortlessly.
I promise I’ll talk food soon, but the bedrooms first, (only four of them, 1, 2, 12 & 21), delightful!
Our bathroom, almost bigger than our room (a shower, almost bigger than our home bathroom) containing a massive egg shaped bath; remember Mork’s egg ship? it would be a sink by comparison(really showing my age there, *note to self: replace Mork with Gaga*). Underfloor heating, Elemis products, a bed wider than it is long, top-spec furnishings…why we left this haven of luxury and traipsed up and down big old hilly streets is beyond me (though we did manage spend a good hour in the bath for hot sweaty action…it was our anniversary after all, but not what you’re thinking…I had a copy of Vanity Fair jewellery edition…total sparkly sexytimes)!
Soooooo, finally, the food! Well there are two main types of fine dining chef, fashion designers and film directors. In the first the chef takes exquisite specimens, dresses them, then presents them to you on the catwalk that is your plate. The second the chef takes the ingredients and directs them to create gastronomic theatre. 21212 is all about the drama! Paul Kitching is less Michael Bay and more Christopher Nolan…we are talking brain hurting Inception for the mouth (yes, I freely admit Inception was amazing and my little brain blew a little fuse)! It is a blessing that the 21212 menu is so simple to follow as any more choice would be major overload! Like a big budget movie, there are killer A-list stars, an army of supporting cast and wet-yourself-cameos…the menu only hints at what treats are in store…this is no Snakes on a Plane.
You’ll have to forgive the lack of memory when it comes to the menu but if you look at the sample one you’ll see why. We managed to both chose opposites on the 2 sections so we got to see all the offerings!
So first course (a 2 course) I had the “breakfast risotto” and it was the highlight of my dinner. Imagine trying to summarise a full English breakfast in flavours…I got them all and more! Every mouthful uncovered another sensory explosion of morning perfection executed with surgical precision. A cube of egg white and a splash of hollandaise providing everything essential from an egg, tiny morels for the required fried mushrooms…the list goes on, and on! Three little beans, a micro crumpet, a whiff of brown sauce, a hint of fried onion! There was black pudding and bacon and sausage even a touch of cheese (not part of my F.E.B. but will be from now on)! All this served in a tiny little bowl…this was food focused to a pin prick and so fun to experience. Si had the “halibut pizza” which again bared little resemblance to what your mind would conjure up. All the best pizza toppings loaded onto a baby halibut! No bread at all! Oh, talking of bread…the bread rolls are crazy good! Yellow, curried, fruity and satisfyingly doughy…I could have eaten them for every course…unfortunately, the serving lady only came round twice despite me giving her the glad eye every time she strolled by with the platter.
The rest of the meal continued in the same vein, the “soup” was layer upon layer of flavours and cubes and crunchy bits and foamy num nums. I started to feel like a child in “Honey I shrank the Kids” (but more “oooh! giant cookie” than “help! giant bowl of cereal!”) as a pine kernel became the focus of my whole spoonful and a Brazil nut nestled next to my beautifully tender pork loin resembled a buttery boulder to be chiselled and ingested over multiple delicious mouthfuls. My tiny plate of precision gastronomy a veritable cave of wonders; delicious gems tucked into every corner (whilst I’m making an Aladdin reference, I should mention my dinner ensemble was gayer than Princess Jasmine’s turquoise hammer pants and crop top…I’m talking Westwood shirt cut to navel and a Tiffany & co. silk neck scarf…It WAS the anniversary of my big gay wedding after all)!
If you can’t tell, I liked the food quite a bit ;P…I liked the cutlery even more (check the steak fork! though it was rather difficult to eat lentils with…I got a few down my inappropriately low cut top)! The restaurant is stunning, richly decorated with organza draped damask walls and the coving of dreams (again with the interior design porn); but, it doesn’t feel formal; Everyone sits on sweeping, curved sofas so none of the usual face to face dining; great for snuggling up and even better for snaffling a bite of your fellow diners food (yes, I’m that person, go the bathroom and you’ll be returning to an empty plate…licked clean). A glass opening gives a full view into the kitchen so you can watch the army of chefs beavering away all so calm and efficient…no shouty, Ramsey-esque nonsense here!
After a post-dinner coffee served in a paper Nespresso cup (still felt quirky good and not forced incongruity) and some of the smoothest truffles I’ve ever shovelled into my mouth, it was off to the huge bed to turn my delicious meal into man titties and love handles…I still wolfed down breakfast the next day, smoked salmon, caviar and chive oil…I mean come on! what’s a gal to do?!?
So 21212? Marvellous! A total culinary adventure! A magic show where the magician saws a carrot in half and pulls a turnip out of a hat whilst simultaneously giving you a Thai full body massage (my parents took me to some dubious magic shows…”show me on the dolly where he put his wand”); you will be ooooh-ing and aaaah-ing all evening.