This April, Chef Jérôme Henry will open his first restaurant, Le Roi Fou in Edinburgh’s vibrant New Town. Over the last 20 years Swiss-French Jérôme has cooked in in some of the best kitchens including seven years as head chef at Anton Mosimann’s Private Dining Club, as well as the now fabled Les Trois Garçons.
Le Roi Fou, a Restaurant Des Artistes, is a collaboration between Jérôme and creative director Isolde Nash. Both were drawn to open their first restaurant in Edinburgh due to its outstanding appreciation of food and culture, two of their personal passions.
A bijou relaxed fine dining restaurant, Le Roi Fou will serve modern European dishes influenced by Jérôme’s French roots across a variety of dining options including daily prix fixe, à la carte, tasting, vegetarian and weekend brunch menus.
“At the centre of most dishes will be the best fresh Scottish produce prepared simply and elegantly, always ensuring that natural flavours are the star of the show. Consistency of quality is vital, and while we will be serving some of the great classics and wonderful fresh fish dishes, I also love to explore my memories of cooking and eating abroad.” – Jérôme
“Le Roi Fou is a neighbourhood restaurant, which we hope will also have a sense of ‘home’ for people living and working nearby and in the arts. I always loved the European tradition of bars and restaurants where artists and writers hang out. Le Roi Fou is also about continuing the legacy and tradition of the ‘Salon’: Edinburgh has a genuine love for the written and spoken word, so we’re looking forward to seeing how the restaurant develops.” – Isolde
Le Roi Fou has a Bar and a Salon dining room created by Isolde in collaboration with contemporary British artists and designers. Influences include 20s Austrian architect Adolf Loos, Dada and the Absurd. She has designed the bar and lighting with award-winning Scottish furniture designer, David Watson. It has an Austrian modernist feel to it, in glowing golds and oak, with bespoke hand-crafted tiles by Karak. Meanwhile, the Salon is in the tradition of the ‘Belle Époque’, decorated in red velvet and dark grey greens, white tablecloths, fine china and crystal, and this spring will be hung with paintings by Darren Coffield and Geraldine Swayne.
All in all, Jérôme and Isolde’s restaurant embodies a love of food, word and image: its name roughly translates as “The Mad King” – ‘fou’ meaning ‘crazy’ in French and ‘drunk’ or ‘replete’ in Scots. Isolde explains that “ ‘Le Roi Fou’ is our gastronomic version of the character ‘Ubu Roi’, invented by French pataphysical writer Alfred Jarry. The character is always identified by the spiral on his belly”; according to Jérôme, “Le Roi Fou thinks with his stomach”.
From name to concept, food and design, every last detail of this new Edinburgh restaurant has been beautifully considered with the signature Le Roi Fou poster by Le Gun illustrator Steph von Reiswitz and Le Roi Fou branding logotype by Mike Dempsey RDI.
Le Roi Fou,
1 Forth Street
0131 557 9346