Since opening in 2004, Oran Mor has become a focal point for West Enders.
This refurbished church provides as much nourishment for the eyes and brain as it does for the belly. It's a bit of a maze, and your first challenge is to find the Brasserie restaurant's entrance. Make the wrong choice and you could find yourself in the bar, beer garden or in the middle of a theatre performance.
Once inside, you’ll find its retained a distinctly ecclesiastical appearance, with lots of dark wood, from the bar and the walls to the tables and chairs.
Oran Mor’s colour scheme can create a rather forbidding atmosphere, particularly when there are few other diners present. However, the staff overcome this with ease, offering a friendly welcome and displaying a confident manner combined with a genuine knowledge of and interest in the food they serve.
Most customers are well-to-do but the restaurant is not exclusive. Diners do drift through from the other areas of the building, but booking is often essential at the weekend.
This place is serious about its food and the emphasis is on quality local produce. Ingredients are predominantly Scottish, with salmon, venison and chicken all sourced within these borders. The menu changes regularly depending on availability, and dishes are constructed with great care and evident expertise.
Sides are kept simple, and there's only salad, hand-cut chips or vegetables on offer. Desserts continue to champion Scottish produce and in summer you’ll find lots raspberry, strawberry and rhubarb dishes. Most main courses are priced at around £15.
Oran Mor’s bar is impressive. The wine list is lengthy and informative, with detailed explanations of each choice. You could incur some serious expenditure on wine here, although there are plenty of less expensive options and prices start at around £12.
There's also a cocktail menu with all drinks costing £5 and some unusual combinations available, including a concoction based on Talisker whisky.
The Last Word
Oran Mor’s appearance may appear staid, but its food is both innovative and exciting.