As part of my ‘venturing to pastures new’ effort, I’ve been spending more time in Edinburgh recently. I have a (and I’m aware how ridiculous and lame this sounds) list that I call my hit-list; a list of places I want to go to. Restaurant Mark Greenaway was on this list and my sister mentioned she fancied it too. For her birthday we booked a table and decided to sample the goods!
The restaurant is really nice inside, but quite plain. The walls are a dark teal and there are very few accessories to decorate it – it seemed odd to me! Another part of the restaurant had a big detailed mirror which looked interesting!
The waiter arrived with the amuse bouche and from looking at it I could instantly tell it was mushroom based…my sister hates mushroom with a fiery passion. It was a mushroom, tarragon and truffle oil blend. It was like posh mushroom soup and tasted beautiful. Lovely deep, earthy flavours but they felt soft and light. It amused my bouche. The proof that it was tasty: my sister not only tried it, but tried it, finished it, enjoyed it and questioned her own taste!
Loch Fyne Crab “Cannelloni” with Smoked Cauliflower Custard & Lemon Pearls
This wins hands down for being the most creatively served starter I’ve eaten. It was served on what looked like a purpose-built board with glassware.
The triangular glass holding the crab cannelloni is sealing in the smoke which flavours the cold cauliflower custard.
You simply lift it off and sit it in the cleverly designed wooden plate.
So smoky. The fragrance was beautiful – it was like standing by a bonfire on a beach.
The cauliflower custard tasted amazing. It was rich, creamy, and sweetly aromatic from the taste of the smoke. The crab cannelloni was nice but a little lacking in the taste department – it was a little plain. The lemon pearls were nice but didn’t add a whole lot of flavour to the dish. The crab and salad were beautiful and fresh but it lacked the Je ne sais quoi.
Hand Dived Orkney Scallops
These were perfect. Scallops aren’t pleasant when they’re over cooked and its something I always look for – crispy on the outside but juicy and tender inside. Mark Greenaway’s scallops were the latter and served with bright parsley mayonnaise and tomato jelly cubes which were really unusual but an excellent addition. The parsley mayonnaise made it for me – it added a bold and fresh taste.
Roasted Sirloin of Aberdeen Angus Beef with Bone Marrow Crumble
This wasn’t the dish I ordered, and when it arrived I suffered from a little food-envy. It was one of those dishes that the sight and smell of it just entices you. I’m so lucky that my friends share! The braised beef was beautifully moist and tender with a rich and deep savoury flavour. The confit potatoes were pale with a light, fluffy texture and the dish was served with a rich red wine jus, bone marrow crumble and topped with a quails egg. I love the attention to the aesthetic – the potatoes were in cylinders and everything was placed so very neatly on the place. It was absolutely delicious – I totally recommend it.
Pan Roasted Scottish Hake Fillet with Lobster Tortellini
This was served with: Fennel & Dill Purée, Purple Mash, cubed Pumpkin, Radishes and a Ginger and Spring Onion Broth.
Whilst the beef gave me a bit of flirtation and I reciprocated with some food envy…that was cut short when my own food arrived. It had the X factor. The colours just shone and you felt like you were staring at a work of art. Isn’t it stunning? Straight away the purple mash stands out: before anyone asks, yes, you get purple potatoes naturally! White, orange, purple, red and black potatoes exist! Green potatoes cause food poisoning, please be aware of that! Go to a farmers market and educate yourself!
The Hake was pan friend until soft and flaky and the skin was nice and crispy. It was served with a whole mixture of flavours, but I really loved the piece of hand made lobster tortellini and the small serving jug of Asian-style broth to add to the fish. The dish contained very mild flavours but tasted absolutely delicious. Again: it comes highly recommended.
I’m going to make my final comment and it is regarding the atmosphere in the restaurant. The restaurant was empty due to it being early, yet we were seated right at the front door with the reception and staff standing literally 4 feet away. I personally felt that we could have been seated elsewhere and given a bit of space and privacy to enjoy our meal. I felt pretty awkward. When I go back, it won’t be so early so sitting up at the front wouldn’t feel as weird, but in a quiet restaurant it’s not great sitting under the staff members’ noses and I’d recommend that the restaurant consider this when placing customers. That said, I definitely would go back as the food and staff were both lovely.
Restaurant Mark Greenaway
69 North Castle Street,
(0131) 226 1155