Stuart Ralston sheds some details on plans for his second Edinburgh restaurant, Noto

The  Staff Canteen

After opening Aizle five years ago, chef Stuart Ralston is planning a second restaurant, this time in Edinburgh's city centre. 

The 40-seat restaurant, Noto, will be a casual take on his highly-acclaimed fine dining restaurant, with an a la carte menu featuring food inspired by the chef's time in New York. Expect to find some familiar dishes on the menu, some of which were developed at the St Leonard's Street restaurant - as well as sharing plates and snacks, all in the chef's asian-influenced style.  

 

Stuart will oversee the opening and will install a head chef when things fall into place, at which point he will return to man the kitchen at Aizle. 

"I need to make sure it's going to go fine and I feel comfortable with how it's operating," he said, stressing that he has a trusted team to take over at Noto once it is up and running . " I still want to remain at Aizle, mainly." 

The chef, who last year joined a growing list of restaurants to implement a four-day working week, wants to do the same at the new venue. The restaurant will likely be open five days a week when it launches, with the view of opening six or even seven days a week in time. 

Because Noto  will offer both lunch and dinner, as well as having a bar open later than the restaurant and shorter turn times on tables, the chef hopes that the new revenue streams will give them more flexibility when it comes to closing for three days a week. Having said that, the chef said this won't be an immediate measure. 

"It'll be very difficult at the beginning,because to be running Aizle and the new site, I'll be working a lot." 

If construction work goes according to schedule, the Thistle Street restaurant will open on the second week of August - in the middle of Edinburgh Fringe festival, which Stuart said  is both "ideal and not ideal at the same time." 

" I think restaurants, when they first open, they've got to find their feet a little bit, but I also think that to capture the audience while they're in Edinburgh, and I think we've got a local following as well and I think a lot of people will be keen to come and try it out." 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th July 2019

Stuart Ralston sheds some details on plans for his second Edinburgh restaurant, Noto