The Dining Room at The Society

4.4
125 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Scottish
Top tags:
  • Special Occasions
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Business Meals
The Dining Room at 28 Queen Street is located right in the heart of Edinburgh's new town within a beautifully restored Georgian building, also home of independent bottler The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Elegant and modern, the restaurant is yet inserted within high ceiling rooms boasting magnificent original plasters and features. Head chef James Freeman's cooking is thought around the freshness and seasonality of ingredients.
In this respect, all ingredients are sourced from local suppliers. His approach is more about trying to keep up with what is readily available in the nature, and local farms and fisheries are used as often as possible, when it's not actual week end fishing and foraging.
We offer diners the choice from our Menu du Jour, full A la Carte or our Taster Menu. The later is truly a sensational experience featuring a regularly changing five course menu including your choice of wines or whiskies, expertly paired for each dish by our sommelier.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Scottish, French
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Hours of Operation
Tuesday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 14:30 and 17:00pm - 22:00
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Phone number
0131 220 2044
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Payment Options
MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
James Freeman
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Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 125 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on all time ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EF
5.0Dined on 24 January 2018

A special lunch for a friend's birthday. A lovely meal, beautifully presented. The beef fell apart at a touch of the knife. Took the waiter's recommendation of the Mont Blanc dessert, absolutely delicious! Great value for very high standard meal. Service very good, not pushy at all. I would eat here again.

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OT
4.0Dined on 4 July 2017

Super food and in a beautiful Georgian dining room. Food quite inventive and with good local ingredients. Service a little haphazard. Some very experienced others new and didn't know the menu or wine list like they should. Wine list is short and expensive but well chosen. Great range of whisky of course!

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d
3.0Dined on 30 December 2016

Food was excellent as ever, but service upstairs for pre-dinner drinks was very slow, and miscommunication between bar and restaurant led to a long delay after paying and before leaving while their misunderstanding over the bill was sorted out. My impression is that the new configuration does not always work very well.

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MA
4.0Dined on 12 November 2016

The meal was lovely - albeit a little bit "fancy" for my liking. Waiters and Sommelier were friendly and knowledgeable, yet not over-attentive. I will definitely make a return visit

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MP
5.0Dined on 22 October 2016

Another excellent meal at the Dining Room. The food appears deceptively simple but it is clear that a lot of care and attention has gone into it. My fig and hazelnut tarte was the star on this occasion.

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CM
4.0Dined on 20 August 2016

Tasty food; friendly and very well-informed staff. Recommended.

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OT
5.0Dined on 8 April 2016

Food and service was excellent - delicious, perfectly cooked and presented. A great find and will definitely be back

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V
5.0Dined on 23 January 2016

Outstanding fine dining with excellent service. Plus much better value for the 5* food than other top restaurants in Edinburgh. Could fault nothing.

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d
5.0Dined on 15 January 2016

Back again. As good as ever. Best lunch in Edinburgh.

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OT
5.0Dined on 27 November 2015

Was really fab! Loved the fact that the waiter was as knowledgable with wine as he was with whisky!

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S
3.0Dined on 8 October 2015

This used to be a Michelin contender, but I'm beginning to lose hope. As a SMSW member, we try it every so often, but I doubt we'll do so for a long time now. Each time I give them another chance. On this occasion, the time between starters and mains was around 45 mins and it did not appear to be fresh, more like "one I made earlier". Strange that with only 2 tables occupied (changed days), both were served at exactly the same time, despite having arrived at least 30 mins apart.

Could not bear to have a dessert.

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d
5.0Dined on 26 August 2015

The dining room's lunch remains excellent value even now that 2 courses cost as much as 3. For even better value, leave room for desert!

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OT
5.0Dined on 22 August 2015

I must've walked past the Society dozens of time and never gone in, but on a whim I chose it for our anniversary dinner and it was magnificent. We had paired whiskies with each of our delicious courses and the whiskies were also excellent and complimented the food well. The finest food we have had in Edinburgh and nowhere near as pricey as an equivalent meal would be in London... highly recommended!

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d
5.0Dined on 5 August 2015

We had wonderful fish -- scallop as starter, sea bass as main course. Little extras such as amuse-bouche and taster of whisky make the experience special and enhance the splendid value of the Society's three-course menu. Service is great and the room is delightful.

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d
5.0Dined on 31 July 2015

The SMWS set-price lunch is just right: exquisitely prepared and presented, small portions of wonderfully fresh food -- in our case fish and seafood. Excellent value too. Service on this occasion a bit wobbly -- the waiter seemed to have a little difficulty with the Scottish accent (something of a rarity, no doubt, in Edinburgh restaurants).

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f
4.0Dined on 27 June 2015

After hearing a lot about this restaurant, I was disappointed with the menu choice (starters from squid,rabbit or sea trout?) although we asked and received a salad alternative. The food was good but then it is at plenty Edinburgh restaurants. Nice but wouldn't hurry back

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E
5.0Dined on 19 June 2015

For the third time, this was just excellent. Went with friends for lunch and it was quiet, but the service was good and the food excellent. Can't recommend this place highly enough.

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d
5.0Dined on 3 June 2015

The Dining Room is consistently good, and very good value for the quality. The flat that it belongs to the unique and wonderful SMWS is a great bonus. Nowhere else will you find whisky like this.

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d
5.0Dined on 2 May 2015

Wonderful and varied tasting menu, well-chosen wines and whiskies to accompany, great service, and elegant surroundings. Excellent value for money too.

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T
5.0Dined on 23 April 2015

Superb food, superb value and great ambience as always. On this occasion we were a party of four out for a friend's special birthday, and she loved her first visit to The Dining Room. We shall be returning soon.

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B
5.0Dined on 1 April 2015

We were pleasantly surprised by this little gem of a place in the heart if Edinburgh.
The chef has created a fantastic menu with a full vegetarian options. The dishes are absolutely delicious. Service was fantastic.
My husband thoroughly enjoyed his whiskey flight. We made sure our concierge at Balmoral knows about our amazing experience to make recommendations to other guests.

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a
1.0Dined on 25 March 2015

no atmosphere ,far too much noise from the kitchen,chef shouting"service"! throwing with cutlery which made a terrible noise.And what was more food was served cold.
One attentive waitres and one who could not care less.

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d
5.0Dined on 24 January 2015

We had the tasting menu. Perfectly sized portions, varied, and impeccably cooked. Very well matched wines and whiskies. Beautiful room and splendid service.

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SP
4.0Dined on 23 January 2015

We had a really good evening at the Whisky Society Dining room. We were well looked after, had a gorgeous whisky to taste with our amuse bouche and our three course dinner was a delight from beginning to end. The food was inventive without being fussy and was full of flavour. The portions were perfectly sized and the wine list gave us a good choice of wine to go with our food. Would definitely return for another special meal.

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m
4.0Dined on 17 January 2015

Be warned that the Whisky flight is quite a challenge if you have an amuse bouche plus pudding and feel obliged to dispose of your wife's whisky also (she got a complimentary one with the amuse bouche). Lovely experience overall, but seating space at the bar is quite limited for pre or post meal drinks.

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d
5.0Dined on 13 January 2015

The beautiful dining room at the SMWS does a fabulous three-course lunch.

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M
5.0Dined on 10 January 2015

I started with the Hare, I like game and this had quite a liver like taste which I enjoyed the small Hare pie was fantastic. my husband had the scallops with cauliflower purée, which was cooked to perfection. We shared the ribeye which was stunning, full of flavour and tender. My husband had the Whisky flight with his meal, I have to say I wasn't a convert to having whisky with my food and had a lovely pinotage. The cheese board was very well chosen and really suited my palate, and the stollen with cherries was surprisingly good. The service was great and the whisky sommelier!! is that what they are called? was equally knowledgeable about wine. Really enjoyed our meal and while not cheap it was a fair price for the quality. The lack of Port was not made better by the over sweet sherry option. Hope its back in stock for our next visit.

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B
5.0Dined on 11 December 2014

Being vegetarian I am use to being served whatever the kitchen has left or pasta, however this was excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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n
5.0Dined on 7 November 2014

yummy food and great location, went to bar upstairs

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E
4.0Dined on 11 August 2014

We took a late lunch at 18.95 for three courses. Good value as the mains included delicious seared tuna - a welcome change from the preponderant (in Edinburgh) coley on table d'hote menus! Preceded by excellent lovage soup and finished by gooseberry fool with attitude made this a meal experience to be recommended. Very good wine list. Quiet and a touch sedate, but worth that for the sake of the white table linen

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T
4.0Dined on 21 June 2014

Very much enjoyed eating here. Food and ambience and service good. Would have liked to have known that the table was due back at a certain time as rushed off table at end.

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E
5.0Dined on 10 June 2014

This is the second time we have been here, this time with son and daughter in law. All of us were so impressed once again. I don't know how they can do such an incredible meal at the price, it was a lunch special, but it was very impressive.. We are certainly massive converts to this place. A big well done to them!

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OT
5.0Dined on 3 June 2014

Of many fine and enjoyable meals on our trip to Scotland, including excellent experiences at wonderful places like Number One and Inverlochy Castle, this may have been the best. We thought it would be good, but did not expect this level of quality and sophistication in the food. Setting mixed old and new elements into a comfortable venue. Service was outstanding, and both our servers and the manager made sure we enjoyed our experience and paired the food and drink to perfection. My wife had both wine and whisky at different times, but I opted to pair whisky throughout the meal -- both combinations worked beautifully. I look forward to dining here again on our next visit to Edinburgh.

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M
3.0Dined on 31 May 2014

Food was very good as always and staff were lovely. Made the mistake of having the "Whisky Flight" (Matched whisky package). That used to be good & good fun. This time it was noticeable that the whiskies "selected" came from the distilleries which are most represented on the shelves upstairs! (Including a grain whisky - surprisingly for a Malt Whisky Society - although they are far too common of the shelves too!). The change is perhaps less surprising since that seems to be the way the Society is going.

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d
5.0Dined on 15 May 2014

The SMWS is the best place for lunch in Edinburgh. Elegant surroundings and beautifully prepared food.

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E
5.0Dined on 17 April 2014

Was so impressed here. The food was beyond good, the service lovely, kind attentive man. We booked this last min, and will be back again and again. The plus side was it was not busy and we had loads of attention, but I think it would have been like this anyway. A fantastic experience, well done to them.

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Q
3.0Dined on 9 April 2014

The food was very good and worth the set price. The surroundings were lovely but lacked atmosphere [as only 3 other covers] but it was the service that let them down. Even though it was quite quiet and there were enough staff, I had to ask twice for our water glasses to be filled up and then eventually we got a jug. We ordered a white wine and a gin/tonic as our 2 drinks, as the deal hadn't mentioned it was only wine and the waiter hadn't told us either, so we querried it when we were charged for the gin/tonic and it was removed from the bill. Our bottle of wine only appeared when I requested it, as our mains were about to arrive. Plus our side of potatoes came late and we had to try and not finish our main course before they appeared.

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R
5.0Dined on 5 April 2014

We recently had lunch in this most extraordinary elegant Georgian dining room opting for the £18.50 "Menu du Jour" which included a glass of excellent wine.
Every course was of the highest standard, nothing disappointed & was better than any I had ever experienced while dining at some of the best restaurants in London or Paris.
The service was very friendly & welcoming but never overbearing, the waiting staff being extremely helpful in making a choice from a menu containing so many wonderful temptations.
We most certainly will be returning!

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a
2.0Dined on 4 April 2014

Our previous visit had been a joy, to the extent that we recommended friends go and they have had a couple of great experiences. So we arrived with expectations of a great night. Sadly my Guinea Fowl dish was cold on arrival,and was taken away to be "re-plated", came back cold again, and on the third attempt it was warm. It was finally edible but very over salted.
Our meals were taken off the bill, but I would have much preferred to be served good food. Apparently it was the first night of the a new menu. The experience was only redeemed by the profuse apologies from the bar staff who seems to care more than the restaurant team.

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L
5.0Dined on 4 April 2014

We dined at the society 4/4/14, our 3 course lunch with a glass of wine for £18.95, was outstanding value. A lovely dining room with good service, though we did end up with our coffee BEFORE our sweet! The food was SO good, we savoured every course. Only mar on the day was the inconsiderate fellow diner who when not on his iPad, felt we all had to be included in his telephone conversations about buying furniture. If someone hasn't got the good manners not to use their phone when at the table, then I think it would be good if the restaurant had a " No Mobile Phone" policy.
We would recommend this lovely restaurant , and are already looking forward to our return visit.

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