Sunday, 8 April 2012

Restaurant Mark Greenaway

Restaurant Mark Greenaway was another one of those places in Edinburgh that I noticed when it opened, but then eyeballed speculatively from a distance until I started to hear enough good murmurings to warrant a visit.  I remember a while back that the food at The Dryburgh Abbey Hotel was rated, but hadn’t realised until just recently that this was the Chef’s previous haunt.

So, it was the dual challenge of 1) trying somewhere new; and 2) appeasing the in-laws, that found us sitting down to a late lunch in No.12 Picardy Place’s light and airy dining room.  

Between us we tried all of the three starters on the exceptionally good value £20 for three courses Market Menu.

The parsnip veloute was smooth, silky and packed full of earthy parsnip flavour.  Completely more-ish.

Parsnip veloute, confit parsnip, curried oil, parsnip crisps
The picture below doesn’t do justice to the goats cheese and herb raviolo unfortunately - the delicate pasta pillow with its tangy goats cheese filling is hidden beneath a crown of foam (previous viewers will know foam isn’t one of my favourite things, but it felt more purposeful here, and did actually taste of basil).

Goats cheese and herb raviolo, basil emulsion and crispy sage
 Ham Hough and Granny Smith Apple ‘Pie’ was served with a plump scallop and proved to be just the cutest take on surf and turf I’ve seen in a long time.  I didn’t get to try it - it was dispatched very quickly in lip-smacking fashion by the father in-law. 

Ham Hough and Granny Smith apple 'pie', seared west coast scallop, parsley mayonnaise and pickled shallots
Mains didn’t overtly display the flair of the starters, but more than made up for it in execution and taste.  

Three of us having roasted hake fillet meant we were didn’t have to share; something we were all delighted about.  The deceptively simple looking mild and delicate piece of fish, cooked to moist flaky perfection was complemented beautifully by the salty, buttery, seafood and vegetable broth-thing. 

Roasted Hake Fillet

For once however I was enviously eye-ing up the mother-in-law’s vegetarian main - a spelt risotto.  I’m realising I’ve come a bit late to the spelt party, but our cupboards are now stocked with organic spelt as recommended by our waitress.  Grains of aniseed-y spelt ‘popped’ satisfyingly in your mouth, lubricated by the yolk of the perfectly poached egg. 

Chestnut and spelt risotto, poached hens egg, coriander and tarragon crumble
Desserts got us back to the presentational flair of the starters.  The dark chocolate pave with tonka bean ice-cream (I’m loving tonka bean right now!) was a delight, and the kumquats were cleverly chosen bursts of flavour.

Dark chocolate pave, tonka bean ice cream, and kumquat syrup
Lemon and honeycomb parfait was similarly well thought out, with surprising and interesting cherry mousse and rum and raisin syrup accompaniments.

Lemon and honeycomb parfait, kiln dried cherry mousse, rum and raisin syrup
As mentioned in my CastleTerrace post, Restaurant Mark Greenaway got pipped to the post in the Most Innovative Restaurant of the Year category at the Scottish Restaurant Awards this year.  A crying shame, in my opinion.

BTW the wine list at Restaurant Mark Greenaway warrants a very special mention - good-value, interesting and some seriously tasty wines.

Oh, and the in-laws are still raving about it.  Top all this with endlessly smiley, helpful and knowledgeable staff.  One word. GO.

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