Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Ask the chef Scott Smith what makes Fhior, his new modern Scottish Edinburgh restaurant, unusual, and his answer is: “The bread.”
As Mr. Smith explained it, the bread — made with beremeal, which is flour from a centuries-old Scottish grain that’s mainly grown on the island of Orkney — encapsulates the cooking philosophy that drives this restaurant, which opened in June.
“The first thing the guest eats has to be made with purpose and a lot of passion,” he said, noting that beremeal is “very, very Scotland.” Also, “Fior is Gaelic for ‘true,’ “ said Mr. Smith. who added the “h” to the name of the restaurant for stylistic reasons, “and that’s how I see what we want to be doing — we want to create food that’s true to its produce.”
The restaurant, which Mr. Smith co-owns with his wife, Laura, focuses on as-local-as-possible Scottish ingredients done with Nordic touches and a Japanese-style aesthetic. Meat can come from farms in the Shetland Islands or the Scottish Borders, seafood from Northern Scotland and the produce is so local that some of it (recently, samphire, sea purslane and seaweed) is foraged by Mr. Smith himself. “Your creativity is heightened when you go out there and see what’s growing,” said Mr. Smith, who opened the restaurant after leaving Norn, which was named “Restaurant of the Year” by The Edinburgh Evening News just as he was leaving.