Restaurant 21212 becomes fifth in Edinburgh to win top Michelin star award

AN EDINBURGH restaurant has become the fifth in the city to win a coveted Michelin star – just eight months after opening.

Paul Kitching's new venture, 21212, will feature in the prestigious Red Michelin Guide, to be published next week.

This brings the total number of starred restaurants in Edinburgh to five, more than any UK city outside London.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, Mr Kitching is determined not to rest on his laurels and he hopes to go on to become Scotland's second restaurant with two stars.

He has already won the accolade for his restaurant Juniper, in Manchester, but gave this up to move to Edinburgh last year. His new restaurant with rooms on Royal Terrace has won several awards since it opened last May.

Mr Kitching is known for using unusual ingredients, such as Weetabix or Horlicks, in his cooking but he said the secret of his success was top-class ingredients, all bought from local suppliers.

He said: "This is great for Edinburgh and Scotland. It's put us alongside Martin Wishart, the Balmoral, and other restaurants on that level.

"Since we've opened we've had nothing but good things happening but it has been the hardest six months of my life.

"I've been in the restaurant seven days a week. The easiest part is the food but we've also had to learn how to run the business.

"Overall, I think the quality of the produce is excellent here. All our suppliers are local and it's helped us get better quality food. Everyone has been very welcoming since we arrived. If there's a bad restaurant in Edinburgh, I haven't found it yet."

Mr Kitching set up the 4.5 million restaurant with his partner Katie O'Brien, who manages the front-of-house staff. He leads a team of eight chefs, preparing a changing menu based on modern French cooking.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The cryptic name for the restaurant comes from the fact they only serve eight dishes a day, with two choices for starter, main and dessert, and two tasting dishes in between.

He said he hoped to continue improving the food and was aiming to win a second star. The only Scottish restaurant with two Michelin stars is Andrew Fairlie's at the Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire.

He said: "We'll keep working away and we need to get better and better. Next year will be a big one for us."

Malcolm Duck, chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs' Association, said: "This is fantastic news, I'm very glad for Paul. It's the best new place in town and has a great chef and front-of-house team.

"Edinburgh already has a great reputation for its restaurants but it's good to see another one in the Michelin guide. It's the guide that everyone wants to be in."