There is no sign outside 15 Salisbury Place saying restaurant, and it would be easy to walk by without giving the white painted building anything more than a second glance.
Hand-painted above the door is the word ‘Condita’, but there is no clue as to what lies within. Even the website gives little away. There are no food images and no glimpse of the restaurant interior. Condita is a low profile, intimate dining experience, which has just six tables.
When guests arrive they are offered a choice of three drinks to accompany a few tastes that provide a prelude to the dinner that follows. Dinner is an eight-course surprise tasting menu that will take guests on a sensory exploration of the different regions of Scotland. There is the option to have matched wines by the glass or to choose wine by the bottle. The wines, just twenty, are chosen by the owner of Condita, Mark Slaney, and most are being shipped to Scotland for the restaurant for the first time. The wines are from small-scale producers that work organically or bio-dynamically. This is a theme which continues with the food.
Dinner is cooked by Conor Toomey, who previously worked as Head Chef at the five-star The Isle of Eriska hotel near Oban. Dishes are based on ingredients from around Scotland and these, too, are organic where possible. The kitchen also has call on a 19th century walled kitchen garden in the Scottish Borders that is growing produce for them. Before taking charge of the kitchen at Eriska, Conor was Executive Chef at Amberley Castle at Arundel, Head Chef at Storrs Hall at Windermere and Head Chef at Coworth Park, Ascot. All of these held a prestigious 3 Rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide.
Just as dishes move with the seasons, so, too, does the wine offering, and even the décor follows suit. The simple white backdrop of the restaurant is over-laid with décor which changes seasonally, echoing the moods of the landscape outside.
Dinner at Condita has to be pre-booked and is served Tuesday to Saturday. Including wines, expect to pay around £200 to £250 per couple.
Condita, 15 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SL
Guest bookings firstname.lastname@example.org