|Value for money|
As the cloudless skies on the warmest day of the year produced a spectacular sunset, I was in the delightful position of enjoying a tasting menu with paired wines at the Cannonball with a view across the Esplanade to Edinburgh Castle and the final fingers of the receding flame glow to the west.
The restaurant is surprisingly modern given the age of the building, but maintains the warmth and relaxed atmosphere you’d expect by an establishment owned by the Contini family.
Our meal began with creamed celeriac soup accompanied by a cheese crouton. The soup was rich and silky smooth and the crouton was wonderfully crispy. The wine, from Slovenia, was a Chardonnay. Chardonnay tends to be a love or hate wine and I’m normally firmly in the hate camp, but this particular wine was unoaked and therefore lacked the heaviness normally associated with it.
The next course was a gin soaked salmon served with crispy caper, pickled cucumber and pumpernickel, dressed with egg yolk crème fraiche. The salmon was deliciously oily, the dressing was a beautiful balance of the richness of egg yolk and the tang of crème fraiche and the cucumber added the perfect fresh hint of tartness to balance the dish. I’m not a fan of pumpernickel, but my dining partner pronounced it delicious. The salmon was paired with a viognier, a crispy, fruity white which has long been one of my favourites.
The main course was venison, with chantenay carrots which had been roasted in balsamic to offset their sweetness, curly kale, creamed celeriac and sweet rhubarb. The venison was tender and moist and cooked to perfection and the pairing of the earthy fruitiness of Rioja was an ideal choice.
The first of the two pudding courses was a lemon posset, a dish which I find rather heavy. That said it was rich and creamy and the lemon jelly, lemon curd and mini lemon meringues were skillfully prepared and the whole was greatly appreciated by my dining partner. The botrytis Semillon was not overly sweet like many wines chosen as pudding accompaniments and was pronounced an absolute winner.
The last of the pudding courses on the tasting menu is a warm chocolate pudding which was almost weightless. The accompanying Aleatico was reminiscent of a fine port, but thankfully lacking in heaviness without loosing the ruby richness of flavour.
My dining partner for the evening, a fantastic cook herself, had eaten at the Cannonball previously and there was much to live up to – it didn’t disappoint.
Even though Cannonball is owned by the Contini family, its position at the top of the Royal Mile led me to think it would be a little touristy. I was delighted to discover that I was completely wrong.
Address: 356 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF
Telephone: 0131 225 1550
Website: Cannonball Restaurant Edinburgh