Contini Edinburgh // Cannonball Restaurant & Bar // Best Seafood in Edinburgh in 2019

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A heritage of Scottish fish and seafood at Cannonball

Our building, Cannonball House, is built on foundations of oysters shells! The fast food of the artisan skilled tradesman who built this fabulous 4 story building originally in the 1600’s.

Scotland is an island nation and with 11,800 km of coast and only 154 km of land border you can see (pardon the pun) why the fishing industry has been such an important part of our economy and how fish is such an important part of our diet.


Seafood at Cannonball

Cannonball and Seafood

At Cannonball Restaurant we change our menus about 8 times a year to allow for changes in seasonal ingredients. These seasonal ingredients extend to the land and the sea so while we may have beautiful lemon sole on the menu in February we may have hake on the menu in June.

Giving us to taste the best in season and giving nature the best opportunity to regenerate and be sustainable for future generations.

Brought up on lobster and mussels

Scotland has the best seafood in the world. My father Johnny Di Ciacca always said that because our waters are crisp and cold and the lobsters, crabs and crayfish have to fight harder so they taste better. I think he was right.

Beside the seaside…
Living beside the sea, well it was on the shores of the Firth of Forth, brought huge respect for nature. The winds and the tides could change the course of your promenade on gale force day but in the summer with beautiful clear blue seas and skies, there really isn’t anywhere that beats the East Coast of Scotland and the fabulous shellfish and fresh fish that the sea gives you.

The fishermen that my family grew up with from the 1920s to the 1990s would all be fans of haddock. Mussels were rarely eaten by the locals and anything as exotic as lobster or langoustine would be thrown back or sold abroad. No wonder today it is such a valuable industry. The shellfish industry alone is valued at £9.8 million with farmed mussels alone valued at £8.4 million annually.

Farmed salmon is in a league of its own it values of over £500 million per annum in exports.

As the only Italian (and probably one of the few foreigners) in the village at the turn of the last century we were always are beneficiaries of any of these exotic lobster, mussels and what we call prawns. We were brought up on all varieties of fresh fish even sprats, those tiny little anchovy tasting fish that are great deep fried and enjoyed whole.

Carina Contini

East Coast Lobster Thermidor

East Coast Lobster Thermidor

If you’re looking for something more filling our Lobster thermidor Macaroni Cheese is now a classic. Not to be missed either for lunch to keep you going, after all, that sightseeing or for a romantic dinner in what is one of the city’s most beautiful rooms.

Carina says:

“I’m more of a lobster lady than an oyster addict. I was brought up in Cockenzie which is a tiny fishing village with a beautiful harbour that neighbours a slightly larger village Port Seton with an even more beautiful harbour just 10 miles from Edinburgh.”

Where does our Lobster come from?
We serve our fabulous East Coast Lobster supplied by Belhaven Smokehouse just half an hour down the coast at Dunbar. Enjoy grilled with garlic butter or Thermidor.

Reviews for our lobster

"It was honestly the best lobster we have ever had"

"I wanted to sample Scotland lobster"

"Great dinner - loved the lobster with tarragon butter which is their house speciality. Lovely scallop appetizer."

"Would recommend the lobster thermidor Mac and cheese."

"I highly recommend the smoked salmon starter and the lobster thermidor macaroni cheese."

Loch Fyne Oysters are such a treat!

Loch Fyne Oysters are such a treat!

Oysters used to be sold by street vendors as a staple of the Scottish diet in those early years. Now they are a treat for us and we’re delighted to share a selection of the best varieties on offer from around Scotland depending what’s best in season, Loch Fyne Oysters are one of my favourites!

How to serve oysters
If you’re going to enjoy oysters with us we let you choose if you want them au natural (raw), which we shuck to order, or grilled, Kilpatrick.

If you are having them raw we serve either completely natural or you can squeeze some fresh Amalfi lemon, which we import directly from Italy, with a shallot vinaigrette which is the traditional French serving.

Unique to Cannonball, we serve with a recipe found during our research on oysters and is over 2000 years old and comes from the Roman tradition. It’s worth trying just to say you’ve tasted something that is over 2000 years old. History plus!

Where we buy our oysters
Regarded as one of if not the best oyster suppliers in Scotland the Loch Fyne Oyster Company do what they say, grow oysters on Loch Fyne.

They pride themselves on delivering the best in authentic Scottish seafood, whilst minimising the environmental impact. They are as much about community as business.

But we buy whatever is best in season so it may by Loch Fyne or Cumbrae that’s on offer. The team will be able to share when you come to the bar and enjoy a glass of chilled Scottish lager from Paolozzi’s Edinburgh Beer Company or a wee gram of Glengoyne works just as well.

Reviews for our oysters

"The fresh oysters were delicious and super fresh."

"We don't eat meat, but we love seafood. We had oysters, very fresh and tasty, with wonderful sauce"

"The oysters were such a stand out!"

"The oysters were fabulous!"

"We ordered the oysters to share (brilliant)"

"Oysters were amazing"

Posh Fish and Chips for High Tea

Posh Fish and Chips for High Tea

Our Posh Fish and Chips have the best, freshest, haddock with a tempura battered langoustine served alongside our hand cut chips, beetroot tartare sauce and minted peas. A real treat.

Where does it come from?
Belhaven Smokehouse is situated on the edge of the John Muir Country Park, just outside Dunbar. It’s only a 40-minute drive down the East Coast motorway.

Any other specials of fresh cod, hake or lemon sole always come from this lovely family.

Reviews for our Fish & Chips

"The haddock was delicately coated in a light batter, which was delicious and not a speck of grease on the plate."

"Between our group we enjoyed the posh fish and chips, pork belly main and the scallops starter and all were deemed delicious."

"I couldn’t say no the fish and chips. A good portion size, and lovely fresh, crispy batter, it was exactly what I needed!"

"The fish and chips were amazing"

"We had scallops on roasted cauliflower puree and fish and chips, big portion, perfectly cooked."

"The fish was cooked perfectly"

"The cod was beautifully cooked"

Fresh Salmon and Smoked Salmon favourites

Fresh Salmon and Smoked Salmon favourites

But you can’t come to Cannonball without tasting our smoked salmon. Smoked for us by Dicksons of Cockenzie. Our dear friends the Dickson family have been great friends of my parents and grandparents.

This oak smoked, hand sliced salmon that is searched from Shetland is smoked in the families smokehouse 100 yards from the harbour in Cockenzie. It’s world class and we know you’ll love it as much as we do.

Hand cut so it’s slightly thicker than most others. This is our family favourite and although it’s slightly more expensive than the other choice on the menu it’s worth every penny.

Reviews for our Salmon

"Starter of salmon was my highlight - fresh and beautiful to taste and look at."

"I highly recommend the smoked salmon starter and the lobster thermidor macaroni cheese"

"The salmon was to die for; the oysters served with scotch were extremely pleasantly surprising"

"Best smoked salmon I've ever had"

"The quality of the salmon was top and the taste was amazing."

"I also recommend the Scottish smoked salmon appetizer"

"The smoked salmon was probably the best I ever had!"

Scallops from Guy Grieves

Scallops from Guy Grieves

Isle of Mull scallops from Guy Grieves are also available. Hand dived and prepared just for you. Scotland at its best and at its freshest.

Guy Grieves Ethical Shellfish Company on the Isle of Mull is regarded as the best sustainable scallops in Scotland.

Hand dived, regardless of the weather, and dredging, pro-ethical environmental choices they are the scallops to enjoy when you’re visiting Scotland.

Reviews for our Scallops

"The scallops were also another big hit"

"The scallops starter was delicious."

Cannonball seafood gallery

Seafood in print

Carina in Print – March Scotsman Column

Published in the Scotsman Saturday 17th March 2018 Life is full of surprises.  You think the first day of Spring is upon us and the snow arrives by the meter.  The beginning of this mouth was more than just a surprise it was a shock. Snowmageddon indeed. The impact in the restaurant was felt with…

Carina in print – June Scots Magazine

A sneaky preview of of Carina’s June 2018 article! When I was little June was always a very special month.  The Cockenzie & Port Seton Gala day for one was an annual highlight of our village. The school children’s houses would be decorated,  windows, fences and arches all covered with beautiful paper flowers and the…

Carina in Print: July Scots magazine

Carina writes a monthly column each month for Scots Magazine, a monthly publication packed with entertaining and informative features on Scotland’s people, places, culture and leisure. Every issue is a celebration of Scotland’s rich urban and rural life – from the great outdoors to the vibrant city scene; all complimented by stunning photography. Read more…

Award winning

When we say award winning restaurant, we really mean it

We are very proud of our restaurants and delighted when they are noticed and praised! We are always trying to improve your dining experience. Here are some of the awards for Cannonball Restaurant…

  • Taste Our Best Accredited for Contini George Street, The Scottish Cafe & Cannonball 2017
  • GTBA – Gold
  • SRA 3 Star Award
  • Chefs Alliance Member
  • Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) member
  • CIS – Winner 2013 sustainable restaurant of the year
  • Slow Food Member
  • Where Chefs Eat – recommended
  • Trip Advisor Excellence Award
  • The List, Hit listed 2011 – 2013
  • Scottish Chefs Association

Our awards in detail

Find Us

Cannonball House

356 Castlehill

Phone: 0131 225 1550

Opening Times

Open especially for Mothering Sunday 31st March, Easter Sunday & Father’s Day

LUNCH (now served in the restaurant)
Tuesday to Saturday 12 noon to 3pm

Tuesday to Saturday 5.30pm to 10pm

Drinks and bar bites served in the bar from noon until 11pm

Private Dining and Exclusive Events available 363 days of the year. Call 0131 225 1550 option 4 or email to enquire now.

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