Once upon a time, ‘yours truly’ was was the Events Co-ordinator at this boutique hotel, and I was excited to hear that they’d recently opened their long-planned bar. Prior to becoming a hotel, the Victorian townhouse has had an illustrious history, both as a private medical practice and latterly as halls of residence for Edinburgh University’s medical students. The new bar has aptly been titled ‘The Consulting Room’, and The Silver Fox and recently I stopped in for a pre-prandial before going to dinner. Dry martinis were just what the doctor ordered.
Through in the restaurant, the atmosphere was relaxed with a mix of hotel guests and locals. Reflective of their 2AA Rosettes, the à la carte menu features fancy fare, however tonight we were in to try the prix-fixe Market Menu. At £16.50 for two,and £20 for three courses it’s succinct but classy, with three choices per course.
A dainty amuse-bouche of carrot and cumin soup arrived to kick-start our appetites ahead of our first course. Mushroom risotto with a parmesan froth for me, and for monsieur, a terrine of hare with piccalilli. The terrine was sweet and gamey without being overly so, contrasting with the mellow hazelnuts studded through it. Risotto can be a claggy mess, but this was the best I’ve ever eaten with an incredible depth of flavour from the stock, creaminess and the wild fungi retaining their requisite bite. Heavenly!
My main was pan-fried (and Fish-Fight friendly) sea coley with herb spätzle and crayfish bisque. The white fish was cooked just so, and the buttery bisque was wonderful, the sauce coating each little spätzle noodle. Across the table, monsieur heartily tucked in to his duo of pork, accompanied by crushed burgundy heritage potatoes and verdant kale. Of the duo, I thought the sweet braised belly meat the clear flavour winner, with the roasted loin being just slightly on the dry side
On to desserts, and my fella’s Drambuie and honeycomb parfait was sweet but light, decorated with a candy praline and infinitely steal-able. My silky dark chocolate marquise was full-on rich, and with a tuile of coco nibs that would knock any chocco-lover’s socks off.
The Auld Alliance of Gallic flair and Scottish ingredients are always going to be a winner, and so the daily changing Market Menu at The Bonham might just be the best value in the ‘burgh.