Vegetarians can breathe a sigh of relief, as the institution that was Hendersons restaurant rises from the ashes.
When Hendersons closed its doors last summer, it marked the end of an era. Edinburgh’s legendary vegetarian restaurant, founded by Janet Henderson in 1962, had made its way into the hearts of people seeking goodness from nutritious, homemade food. In recent decades the restaurant adopted the mantra ‘eat better, live better’, and thanks to Janet’s grandson, Barrie Henderson, her legacy will live on at a new venue in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield.
The all-day menu is designed to be both approachable and affordable. Returning customers, eager to see their favourite dishes, like the famous Hendersons haggis and classic salad plates, won’t be disappointed. Head chef Paul Kayne and senior chef Nives Arosio, both hailing from Hendersons former kitchens, have been adding exciting dishes like the starter of pumpkin and blue murder cheese ravioli with browned butter (pictured below), crispy sage and toasted pumpkin seeds, and a dessert of buckwheat, pistachio and brambles s’more cake with white chocolate and whisky sauce. Their menus reflect a modern approach to the vegetarian and vegan dining experience.
Sourcing is at the forefront of the kitchen philosophy, with everything made from scratch using local, seasonal ingredients. Barrie and his partner Clara have cultivated a small fruit, herb and vegetable garden to the restaurant’s rear, where they are growing as much as possible to sustain the kitchen. The launch menu includes no less than five varieties of heritage potatoes grown in the garden, to be used in a salad with spring onion, chives, parsley, capers tossed in the house dressing.
The harmonising of old and new is also reflected in the restaurant’s interiors, with many echoes of the Hendersons of old resonating throughout the space. The walls have been given a textured feel, and an archway has been created as a nod to the original restaurant.
Natural, sustainable materials are used throughout with a focus on wood, highlighted by original restaurant tables from the 1970s in the main dining space. The aprons worn by front of house staff were designed and made by Barrie’s partner Clara.
The overall muted colour palate is accented with retro-inspired motifs in yellow, blue and red, displayed in a mural, hand-painted by Edinburgh-based Thomas Paints.
A wall of dried foliage that featured in the Hendersons of the 1990s was the inspiration for the abundance of dried British wheat, barley, broom, hops and birch leaves that adorn the walls, ceilings and tables, carefully arranged by Scottish floral designers Gloam. The entire design project was overseen by Edinburgh-based firm Four-By-Two.
Open seven days a week, Hendersons is welcoming customers all day for coffee and cake, drinks and snacks, lunch or dinner.
For more information, see hendersonsrestaurant.com