Looking across the city from Princes Street, The Scotsman Hotel stands out guarding the entrance to North Bridge stretching up from Market Street to tower above the road. The brasserie is located in the old reception area of the building where traders and merchants would buy copies of the Scotsman Newspaper or place their advertising.
The restaurant is beautiful with all the original wood panelling and galleried dining area and the most fantastic marble staircase leading down through the centre of the building.
I must admit I have either walked or bussed past the brasserie many times admiring the twinkling fairy lights adorning the entrance without ever having been in – more fool me.
Executive Head Chef, Paul Hart serves modern Scottish cuisine with seasonal menus focusing on ingredients of the highest quality and their new set course daily lunch menu is a fantastic way to try out many of their signature dishes. Using local produce and suppliers Paul showcases Scotland’s abundant larder from breakfast right through to dinner.
We went on a Sunday lunch time to try out the menu. Having popped into a free show at the Tron beforehand we were all starving when we arrived! We were sat down at the table and presented with a problem – I wanted everything on the menu! After much deliberation I decided on the Seaweed and apple cured Loch Duart Salmon with mushroom, apple and seaweed salad, my dining buddies chose the Summer Pea and lettuce soup and Dave ordered everyone’s favourite Venison haggis fritters with whisky mayonnaise.
My salmon was one of the prettiest plates I have ever been served and the flavours were sublime – it looked far too good to eat. The salmon was delicate and the apple matched perfectly with the seaweed and wasabi in the sauce. Despite my love of haggis fritters I didn’t share! Pea soup went down very fast indeed and the silence was evindent everyone was very happy!
For the main course I was still trying to be good (wedding diet!) so I ordered the Roast Fillet of Gurnard, caramelised chicory and orange salad which was a lovely light option and having never tried Gurnard before I certainly will look out for it next time I am in the shops.
The boys went for the classic roast Scotch Hangar steak with duck fat chips, watercress and béarnaise sauce. There was a brief moment of food envy, not helped by the constant reminders that their steak was ‘so good’ and the chips ‘awesome’ but I decided to ignore them!
Dessert was also a really hard choice – I had hoped for their signature dish which is on the website: Hot chocolate mousse with toasted marshmallow ice cream and crunchy milk rocks, however that was not on that day so the Vanilla Pannacotta with strawberry jelly and basil sorbet was my choice. The pannacotta was silky smooth and perfectly match with the sweet strawberry and sharp basil sorbet. It was a fantastic end to a really delicious meal and I didn’t feel too naughty either! The boys had sticky toffee pudding with ice cream which was a huge portion which despite them feeling there could have been a little more sauce I felt it was nothing short of perfection.
We had a fabulous lunch in a beautiful setting and will most certainly be back. Not least to try the afternoon tea that was coming around as we were leaving!