Castle Terrace Restaurant, Edinburgh
by the Edinburgh Eater
There must be more restaurants and places to eat in Edinburgh than anywhere else in the country. I keep spotting new ones opening or old ones re-vamping and the list called ‘Going there next’ gets longer. Anyway when time and money permit….we lunch!
Have increasingly found that this is a good option as lots of places do deals at lunchtime, including the ‘high-end’ eateries such as Castle Terrace, where we went by chance. Had walked past before thinking ‘No, too expensive for today’, but luckily the Organizer, who rarely passes by a menu, stopped for a look. Three course set lunch, £20, so in we went.
Nice interior, cool greys and tans with little purple tartan chairs thrown in for relief. The space is elegant, the staff welcoming and professional and they had a nice choice of gins at the bar (always important). Drinks were served with delicious canapés including anchovy pastries, deep fried squid ink pasta and cheese choux puffs.
The set lunch menu has a choice of three starters, three mains and three desserts and everything arrived looking like an exquisite painting…almost too pretty to eat. It all began with an amuse bouche of tomatoes in tomato jelly with a foam (mozzarella possibly? I wasn’t listening when the waiter was telling us. Busy eating the home-made bread), and a black olive crumble on the top. It looked like a tiny flower pot and tasted like being on holiday.
The crispy pork belly starter with black pudding, apples and pork jus was divine. Gazpacho arrived as a pile of diced vegetables with a quenelle of mustard ice-cream and the actual soup poured from a jug.
Main courses were cod, curried chicken or rabbit. My cod was so perfectly cooked that I wanted to take it round some other establishments and say “Look! THIS is how it should be done not dried out in the oven until it’s like chewing a jumper”. It was surrounded by summer vegetables that looked like a garden. The others had the rabbit that came as a perfect mini pie, densely packed with meat. The Organiser and her sister actually stopped talking to concentrate on the multi-layered tastes.
Dessert held the only slight disappointment, in that we felt the dark chocolate panna cotta and apricot sorbet didn’t quite work together, however, vanilla crème brulee, very flat, slightly warm, just crispy enough, was outstanding. Two of us shared, thankfully, because while portions are not vast, one feels pleasantly full by the end and a whole brulee would have finished me off.
As it was, we left, having paid £20 each for food, completely satisfied, still savouring the flavours and feeling very much like we’d come out best from the deal. This is wonderful cooking where you are very well looked after by people who know what they are doing.