Dulse Seafood : Restaurant Review

Cumbrae oysters at Dulse restaurant
Cumbrae oysters at Dulse restaurant

Nell Nelson loves to eat – it’s a journey – and there is always a story behind the plate. Come and explore with Nell. This week its Dulse Seafood Restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End.


First impression:

Very light and airy – the Dulse Seafood Restaurant’s main dining room is upstairs on Queensferry Street  – the space used to be an opticians – they’ve kept the old sign inside.

Cheers - Nell and pal clinking glasses
Cheers – Nell and pal clinking glasses

Dulse Seafood Menu:  

The clue is in the name – dulse is a red seaweed so Scottish seafood features a lot. The menu is made of small tasting plates and changes daily so very seasonal – sharing plates – you could opt to have your own (£12-£14 per plate) But I like trying new things – quite a strong Asian influence which I like. And you have to like seafood!

We had:

  • Cumbrae oysters with a choice of dressings: au natural, sea buckthorn and gazpacho and lemon.  Huge big fat oysters presented on a bed of stones – already dressed. Sea buckthorn is in season now.
Cumbrae oysters at Dulse restaurant
Cumbrae oysters at Dulse Seafood Restaurant
  • Arbroath smokie tart with dulse seaweed
  • Hake – Goan curry – ok subtle Indian spices
Baked hake with Goan curry sauce
Baked hake with Goan curry sauce
  • Grilled squid with Asian salad – strips of squid easily confused with carrot strips
Asian salad with strips  of grilled squid
Asian salad with strips of grilled squid
  • Bread baked with leeks and curry butter – impossible not to scoff a loaf between two
  • Chocolate pave – fantastic as had a layer of caramel – which we weren’t expecting

Did You Know?

Great Cumbrae is the larger of the two islands known as The Cumbraes in the lower Firth of Clyde in the west of Scotland. The island is sometimes called Millport, after its main town, and it only 10 miles around; great for cycling  – and oyster eating!!

And might come in handy for a pub quiz   – sea buckthorn is a major source of Vitamin C in the winter months for birds  – take a walk out to Aberlady,. East Lothian and you’ll see the bushes with brilliant orange berries, which you can collect.

I love Arbroath smokies – small haddock which are hot smoked and in the Arbroath area – In fact Dean Banks the chef is from Arbroath. He honed his seafood skills at Rick Steins then travelled and cooked – which might explain the interesting international ingredients which pop up on his menu.

Arbroath – take a trip

Its worth a trip to Arbroath on the  east coast – the whole town is devoted to smoking fish and you can buy direct from the supplier – we filmed me discovering cycle trails and Arbroath Smokies for The Woman Who Scotland .

rbroath smokies being traditionally smoked
Arbroath smokies being traditionally smoked  

 Only haddock can be used to produce an authentic ‘Arbroath Smokie.’ The fish are gutted at sea, washed and boxed ready for auction at the fish market. Once back in the fish house, they are headed and cleaned, or ‘sounded.’ They are then dry salted in tubs for a given period. This helps to draw excess moisture from the fish and toughens the skin in preparation for the smoking process. After salting, they are thoroughly washed off, then tied by the tail in ‘pairs’ and hung on sticks.

The smokie pit is then prepared. A hole is dug in the ground, and a half whisky barrel is set into it. The base of the barrel is lined with slates to protect it, and a hardwood fire of beech and oak is lit inside.

Dulse Seafood Restaurant Atmosphere 


Would I go again?

Yes  please, I’d order the Cumbrae oysters 3 £3.50 each and a glass of Cuvee Bianco Brut  £7

Interior Dulse restaurant
Interior Dulse restaurant

Anything else I should know?

!!Yes book online before 31/3/23 for Wednesdays and Thursdays and put ‘Turbot’ in the comments and you will get 20 per cent off your bill from the a la carte menu !!

Dulse Seafood 17 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4QW. Tel: 0131 573 7575