There are few restaurants in Edinburgh with a view to rival the Forth Floor at Harvey Nichols on Multrees Walk. Add to this delicious food, a good wine list and great company and you have the perfect ingredients for a memorable dining experience.
Harvey Nichols offers a choice between fine dining in its Forth Floor Restaurant and more relaxed meals in its adjoining Brasserie, with each using fresh seasonal produce and currently offering a traditional Christmas menu.
We were lucky enough to be experiencing the a la carte menu in the fine dining restaurant and having met in the bar, we were sat at a table set with crisp linen, polished glasses and flatware and quickly served with chilled Champagne.
As a starter I ordered pigeon breast. The notoriously difficult to cook meat, so often overcooked and tough, was served perfectly pink in the middle with a more delicate richness than other game birds and the firmness of a well-cooked steak.
My dining partner chose the scallop with a honey and whiskey glazed pork cheek. The gentle kiss of smokiness from the baba ganoush and the freshness of the mint lime yoghurt mousse produced an imaginative marriage of flavours to accompany the silky texture of the pork cheek and the sweetness of the scallop.
As a main course I opted for monkfish. Cooked to bring out the subtle sweetness and succulent texture of the flesh, the dish was accompanied by a langoustine and vanilla foam, about which my doubts were unfounded. The merest hint of vanilla was just enough to enhance the flavour to the langoustine and was beautifully balanced with the tangy sweetness of roast tomatoes and caramelised chicory,
My dining partner chose the shin of beef as a main course, and here I thank my lucky stars that she’s a food sharer. The tender meat, rich in umami warmth, was complemented by unctuous confit shallots and beautifully light mashed potato with a gentle nip of horseradish. The crispy bone marrow and king oyster mushrooms added a further heartiness to an outstanding dish.
Sophistication was brought to the childhood favourite dessert of treacle tart by serving it with roast apple puree brown bread ice cream, clotted cream and a glass of Tokay. The Christmas pudding, packed with sticky fruit, served with a traditional brandy sauce and a glass of Sauternes, saw me once again thanking my lucky stars that I was with a food sharer.
The ambiance at the restaurant is sophisticated and friendly, the staff are efficient and knowledgeable and the chef obviously has the lightness of touch necessary to make flavours sing.
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