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Review of Kora by Tom Kitchin

Lunch at Kora by Tom Kitchin in Edinburgh

Tom Kitchin was the youngest chef in Scotland to be awarded a Michelin star back in 2007, when he was 29 years old, for his flagship Leith restaurant The Kitchin. He has since opened a number of restaurants over the years, including Kora which is located in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh.

Kora is very much a neighbourhood restaurant. It describes itself as a ‘nature to plate’ restaurant, which showcases the best of seasonal Scottish produce. We went for lunch one Saturday in January whilst we were in Edinburgh to see family. Here’s my review of Kora by Tom Kitchin.

The concept at Kora

In Greek mythology, Cora (or Kore) is the Goddess of Spring and the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, who was the goddess of agriculture. At Kora, the concept is ‘nature to plate’, so everything is sustainably sourced and they source the finest Scottish produce for their dishes.

Tom and his wife Michaela opened Kora in July 2022 as a relaxed yet elegant neighborhood restaurant in Edinburgh’s vibrant Bruntsfield.

The decor at Kora

With a nod to the ‘nature to plate’ dining concept, the restaurant has wooden floors, green walls, plants dotted about as well as framed photos of Scottish produce or of Tom cooking outdoors.

Decor at Kora by Tom Kitchin

There is a fairly large bar area, where we enjoyed a drink before we sat down for lunch. We ordered a glass of Crémant De Bourgogne and a Wild Garden non-alcoholic cocktail which was absolutely fabulous! It looked beautiful and tasted delicious and refreshing.

Mocktail from the bar

What we ate at Kora by Tom Kitchin

The menu is divided into four sections – bar snacks, starters, mains and desserts. You can of course order bar snacks at your table, not just at the bar, and there is a really big selection too. In fact, we ordered four items off the bar snacks menu because there were so many great options.

We chose the Swedish seeded crackers (although we had these at the bar with our drink), the sourdough bread with salted Scottish butter, the tempura broccoli with an Asian dressing and the cheese straws. The tempura broccoli was delicious and perfectly crunchy. But the star of the bar snacks were the cheese straws, which were served warm and absolutely scrumptious.

Tempura broccoli with an Asian dressing

For my starter, I ordered the pumpkin tortellini and my husband had the terrine. The way the pumpkin tortellini was served was very theatrical. It’s served in a carved out pumpkin and the top is removed once it’s placed in front of you. It looked beautiful. And I’m happy to report that it definitely was not style over substance. The pasta was incredible. My Italian husband was impressed and that’s saying something.

Pumpkin tortellini from Kora in Edinburgh

I had absolutely no idea what a Pithivier was and when our server explained it, I knew I had to order the Pithivier of Castle game Sika deer with beetroot. It’s essentially a pie made of puff pastry with a filling inside. It was so delicious and the deer was cooked to perfection. The whole dish was perfectly seasoned too.

Pithivier of Sika deer at Kora by Tom Kitchin

My husband ordered the roasted North Sea cod with crushed potatoes and a watercress velouté with a side of fries. It did look very elegant and vibrant with the green of the velouté and watercress. Sometimes a dish is swimming in a velouté but this wasn’t the case.

North sea cod with crushed potatoes and watercress veloute

Even though we had had plenty of food, we couldn’t resist trying the warm doughnuts with chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream. They were definitely warm, soft and not too sweet. They worked perfectly with the chocolate that was slightly bitter and the sweeter Chantilly cream.

Doughnuts from Kora by Tom Kitchin

For those of you who don’t have a big sweet tooth, you’ll be impressed by the cheese selection on offer. You can order a selection for £17.50 or individual slices, which start at £5. They also have wine pairing suggestions to go alongside the cheese.

The verdict

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Kora. The service was attentive and we were never rushed. It’s a great restaurant to enjoy a leisurely lunch. The food was fabulous and beautifully presented. We would definitely return!

Also try….

If you’re looking for another family-run, fine dining neighbourhood restaurant in Edinburgh, try Timberyard, located near Edinburgh Castle.

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Review of Kora in Edinburgh

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.



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