Karens Unicorn

Price guide: Mid-range

Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6LB

Price guide: Mid-range

Karen's Unicorn Entrance

By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#10 of 40
expert-rated restaurants in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.6 out of 5
Food and drink:
Value for money:
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Business travellers, Culture vultures, Foodies, Seasoned travellers, Escaping the crowds, No fuss, Shopping, Sightseeing

Expert review of Karens Unicorn

The freshest ingredients mark this as the best Chinese restaurant in the city.

Karen's Unicorn started as a tiny restaurant in St Stephen Steet, which is still going strong. So strong, in fact, that she  expanded into this Abercromby Place venue, a lovely New Town building that seats 100. There's not a drop of MSG or food colouring here. You won’t taste fresher food.  Karen is a highly accomplished restaurateur who offers  geat prices in a modern, airy room with high quality white paper tableclothes and a choice of chop sticks or good quality tableware.

The lunch is incredible value and they are open from 5pm for dinner. If you want Chinese food in Edinburgh you won't get better than this.

Food and drink: 

The menu is what you would expect from a good Chinese restaurant but it is the way it is executed here that seperate Karen's Unicorn from the rest.

Freshly prepared, fresh seasonal ingredients, cooked to order and served on immaculate white plates

Recommended dishes: 

The deep-fried squid in thin batter, stir-fried with fresh red chilli and onion is salty but great.

Duck spring rolls.

Shredded chilli chicken has me hooked. A lighter version of the traditional  shredded chilli beef.

Vegetable chow mein fresh seasonal vegetables with heaps of noodles.

Schezuan prawns a spitting hot iron bowl is placed in front of you, the prawns, chillis etc. are then added and it all heats up infront of you sizzling all the way. Fun and fab.


Very welcoming but on a grander scale to the original Karens Unicorn. The New Town Georgian building gives a sense of grandeur, which the food more than lives up to.

Dark wood seats, square well spaced out tables. 3 window tables, the only incongruous things are flat creen  TV screens which show chinese food on them - no sound just vision. White walls, and UV lights which give it an ethereal glow in the evening.

From the outside this lighting can mean it looks shut - it's not - in you go - you'll love it.


Charming, young uniformed staff. Efficient and quick. You can tell they love the restaurant, it just shows.


Abercromby Place is in the New Town of Edinburgh, a minute from St. Andrews Square, New Town and  Broughton Street.

Price advice: 

There's a lunch deal from Mon-Wed from noon until 2pm for £7.95 per person for a two courses - top value. Big choice and normal size portions.

Most main courses off the a la carte menu come in at under £10, including the boneless duck - one of the chef's specialities.

There's a banquet available for £16.95 per head

Other useful branches: 

The tiny original restaurant on St Stephen Street is in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh. It's the same phone number but there are only 10 tables so you have to be quick to get in here. It's like eating in someone's home; very small, intimate and comfortable. 

More information on Karens Unicorn:

Price guide:
Restaurant, Takeaway
Chinese, Seafood, Snacks, Vegetarian
Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6LB
0131 220 6659
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Mon-Fri noon-2pm and 5pm-11pm; Sat & Sun 2pm-11pm; closed Tuesdays
Accepts Credit Cards:

Have you been to Karens Unicorn? Would you recommended it?