Oloroso Edinburgh, Address, Review, Bar, Photos, Building, Image, Architect
Oloroso, Edinburgh : Architecture
Oloroso Restaurant & Bar, Edinburgh New Town, Scotland
This restaurant closed its doors on the 8th August 2012
It is now home to a Thai restaurant called Chaophraya
Location: corner of Castle Street & George Street, Edinburgh New Town
Phone: 0131 226 7614
Address: 33 Castle Street
News Update 27 Oct 2008:
VIP rooftop extension proposal by Tony Singh for Oloroso restaurant
Oloroso Architects: Richard Murphy Architects
Oloroso Owner: Tony Singh, Chef of the Year
Please note, no larger images available
Oloroso restaurant images: (left) by Steffen Schefer; (middle, right) by Antony Macnaghten
Oloroso’s Terrace is a favourite place of ours for its expansiveness and quality of views. We think they beat those of the Tower & Harvey Nix. Sadly you can’t dine on the Terrace.
Despite the warm day, the temperature inside was just right. Oloroso’s entry is at street level of course, and is pretty discreet. Unfortunately they have to share their communal areas – lift, lobbies, stairs – with other tenants, currently offices.
Once on the third level you rise up into the space through stairs that allow glancing views up to the restaurant and bar. Bolder colours would be welcome here rather than the all-over cream.
The centrepiece of Oloroso is the bar, complete with hidden rooflight that brings in subtle light by day. To the East of the Bar is the Lounge with views over to Arthur’s Seat and the Old Town. Dining at Oloroso starts at the circular reception and is arranged along the George Street. Façade, set back from the parapet using the Terrace.
Oloroso Edinburgh images: (left, middle) by Steffen Schefer; (right) by Antony Macnaghten
Oloroso’s furniture, tablecloths and tableware are simple and ooze quality. The glasses are of very generous proportion. Salt and pepper grinders strike a weak note and need replacing with something contemporary and stylish.
Oloroso Restaurant – photos © Adrian Welch
Dining at Oloroso always begins with a verbal description of the day’s specials. This always seems too fast to me – the waiters need to pause between choices to save repeating. On busy nights the voice has to be audible above the hubbub. The personal touch is great, it just needs refining. Oloroso’s culinary options always sound luxurious – ostrich, pusan, etc.
The bread offered didn’t just taste lovely and fresh, it smelt lovely and fresh. Drinks service was prompt and subtle, you almost didn’t notice it. Setting change again was smooth. A mix of olives and gherkins completed the Hors d’Oeuvre.
We opted to miss out starters. With such a varying menu this does not weaken the meal: previous visits have shown the starters to be of the same calibre as the main.
My two partners chose red mullet and duck, I selected Pork Chen Loi. My wife asked for orange to be removed from her meal and this was nodded through discreetly. The meal arrived fairly promptly, not too soon, not too late. Portions were a good size.
Lack of vegetables and potatoes with say the pork may prove unpopular with some. I found this dish didn’t need adding to, a wonderful mix of tastes and textures, hints of various far eastern cuisines, but not a ‘curry’ nor a ‘chinese’. The chen loi – celeriac – added a crisp counterpoint to the tender pork. Mustard mash, with a consistency of gravy formed a delicious underbelly to the meal.
Some a la carte selections such as fish come with new boiled potatoes, or chips, and standard vegetables.
We asked to delay pudding and our drinks were topped up. My partners were disappointed with the pudding selection as all five items were either sorbet or ice cream, not a problem for many on such a hot day. We opted for coffee and petit fours instead. The latter were lovely, but almost traditional after the inspired fusion of my Pork Chen Loi.
The table was cleared again discreetly and the bill produced swiftly.
Wine service in the restaurant was simple, friendly and quick; service on the Terrace needs to reach the same level.
Oloroso restaurant images: by Antony Macnaghten
Service & Impressions
First impressions of Oloroso were of a cool indoor space on a hot day with great views to north and west. Service at Oloroso has always been of a reasonable standard on our visits.
Oloroso’s furniture is clean and contemporary, laid out fairly formally.
Oloroso Restaurant Edinburgh © Adrian Welch
We would thoroughly recommend this restaurant to the few who have yet to visit. Oloroso is now 1 ½ years old (at the time of review, July 2003).
Has Oloroso retained its quality after opening with such rave reviews? A glance at rival dining review websites shows mixed feedback which seems to focus on variable service. We think, however, that Oloroso is just as good if not better than when it started. Stunning views and a great interior are complemented by quality service and inspired food.
Well done Tony and all at Oloroso!
Oloroso Restaurant © Adrian Welch
Oloroso Restaurant & Bar Review by Adrian Welch + Isabelle Lomholt
Oloroso Restaurant – Opens
“On the Friday morning, the 21st, we had no licence and the building wasn’t finished. By Friday evening, we had 80 to 90 people in the bar, having got the licence and building control approval. We hit the ground running, totally,” Sankey finishes…It’s certainly a sexy place with stacks of style and substance. Not only does Oloroso look set to be the next eating and drinking hotspot in the capital, but has the makings of an Edinburgh institution”
“Perched on the third floor of a former insurance building in George Street, Oloroso – Spanish for sherry – boasts some of the finest views in Edinburgh. “You get a different perspective of the city from up here,” says James as he opens the glass doors to their now empty roof terrace.
The views are simply stunning. Edinburgh Castle looms on the left like a Disney prop, and on the right-hand side the Firth of Forth glistens in the cold, January sunshine. In the middle sits Charlotte Square, whose very name shrieks Edinburgh…The place is amazing, in a very understated, James Sankey sort of way….the entrance to Edinburgh’s latest restaurant is so discreet it is almost invisible…Scotland’s most essential, new urban venue”
“a little oasis of elegant calm has emerged in the capital…poised high above Castle Street in a stunning new development devised by the prince of organic architecture, Richard Murphy. Oloroso stretches across the topmost corner of 33 Castle Street and its wide terrace and uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling windows … everything here is clean, clear and airy. Minimalist but not severe. A deep charcoal carpet absorbs the clangour of the restaurant while sweeps of yellow and white complement the stunning rooftop vista.
The result is so serene and beguiling, I wasn’t sure I cared about the food, though joint owners James Sankey (formerly of the Atrium) and Tony Singh (previously head chef on the Royal Yacht Britannia) would be appalled at such an admission…The general effect was still tending towards gold stars and hand-kissing, even if architect Richard Murphy’s hand was not available for kissing. (Perhaps they could have a replica mounted on the bar, complete with suitable ring.).”
Opened Dec 2001: designed by Richard Murphy Architects. Superb restaurant and pleinairterrace views towards Charlotte Square and across to Fife. At the heart of the design is the Cocktail Bar with illuminated glass bartop, unseen rooflight and real flame fire. Off this sits a luxury Lounge with views to Arthurs Seat, and an exclusive Private Dining Room with views to the Castle.
Oloroso Restaurant – photo © Adrian Welch
These spaces complement a refined dining experience in the fully-glazed restaurant. Entry is via Castle Street up to the Third Floor, then by ivory-coloured Murphyesque stairs to the Fourth. The palette is saffron/gold, charcoal and ivory. With ITV Chef of the Year Tony Singh in the kitchen, the dining is already creating rave reviews.
Postscript: Sadly the joint-owner, James Sankey, suffered a heart attack in early 2002 and passed away in 2003. The restaurant and bar continue to be packed out night after night.
Dining: the service was generally of excellent standard. The food was different and luxurious as one would expect for such a tariff, but for me the setting sun took the biscuit.
News reports re Oloroso: news Jan 2002 + news Dec 2001
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