Grazing through Mark Greenaway, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AB (0131 222 8857). Starters £9.50-£11; mains £25-£29; cakes £9.50; wines from £25
Repetition leads, necessarily, to expectation. I even have sat at such a lot of tables, being informed so often that this specific establishment has a whole small sharing plate element going on, as if they’d decided to make wheels spherical rather than irritatingly rectangular, that I now anticipate this is what a restaurant meal is: a parade of small things, which diners have to combat over passive-aggressively, in a desperate try to get an identical reduce.
With this week’s restaurant the clue turned into within the name. It’s known as Grazing by using Mark Greenaway and springs complete with a task declaration wrapped around the menu. It publicizes that “the grazing idea has been an extended-held ambition” of the chef, which leads me to mutter below my breath approximately aiming low. We are invited to “loosen up, unwind and graze”. But cling on: what’s this? The menu lists arcane matters called “starters” and “predominant courses”. The only dishes specially designed for sharing are, going through their fee tag, ginormous. A shepherd’s pie is £32. Roast monkfish is £58.
Obviously, you could order whatever you like, call for they all be added at once, after which go snout down in them, sans cutlery, like a ruminant hitting the cud. That might be a form of grazing. It would additionally be extremely unattractive. Instead, I recommend you ignore all the advertising guff and realize this place for what it is: a serious, sweetly conventional eating place, serving very smart but still gutsy meals, at sizable costs, in laid-lower back surroundings. If you need somewhere to have a good time forthcoming graduation in Edinburgh, ebook right here.
It would be unfair to explain Greenaway as a touch-recognized chef. He’s had his awards and his TV appearances and published a prepare dinner e-book. But in Edinburgh, his name has sometimes been overshadowed by means of the ones of Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart. It shouldn’t be so. Recently, Greenaway moved out of his eponymous eating place to this set of interlocking spaces off the floor-floor atrium of the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian. As with so many resort eating places, it’s a stroll to get to the action, via different massive eating rooms, which can be filled, however, aren’t. Think of it as a way of having your Fitbit steps in, to mitigate the heft of what’s to come back. The third space is full of solid tables, the compulsory outbreak of tartan and masses of darkish timber.
Those deep shades are matched by using the still-heat treacle and stout sourdough, the color of a vintage leather sofa, with “duck skin” butter. It’s bread and butter, however, engineered for the Marvel Universe. It’s full of deep, lusty caramel tones and the butter takes to it, as though to a welcoming lover’s bed. It’s superpowered and so impossible to resist I ultimately have to get it taken away. The menu writing pulls the underneath-utilized trick of no longer telling you the whole thing. Compressed discs of deeply piggy ham hock (or “hough”, as right here) served at room temperature, do certainly include the advertised fried quail’s egg and a fanned slice of dehydrated pineapple, the sharpness of which does bring something to the plate. But what makes its miles a huge dollop of a foamy pea mousse. It turns the dish into a giggly take on pea and ham soup. The cleverness does not overwhelm its more obvious enchantment, that’s just how fun it’s far to eat.
Another starter of a fried duck egg, laid at the lowest of a dish like a picnic rug, is protected with fragments of warm confit duck, slices of duck “ham” and surprising dollops of a shiny parsley mayo. To display inclined we order the third starter of a still-heat crumpet, heaped with curls of cured trout and with salmon roe. In the center is but some other egg, this time poached. The repeated eggs in those starters became not intentional on our part, but as everyone was flawlessly cooked, the yolk prepared to run in all of the proper guidelines, I’m no longer going to whinge.
The simplest of the dishes is a rectangular of red meat stomach, slowly rendered over half a day, with crackling like glass, a “toffee apple” sauce, a few veggies and a big welcoming pillow of mash. It’s meat and veg that’s had a facial, its nails achieved and a full blow-dry. It is drop-dead fabulous. Even so, it’s miles overshadowed with the aid of a sensitively cooked hake fillet, the pores and skin crisped and given a spritz of acidity. Alongside is a shellfish boudin, wrapped in a roll of striped and silky pasta. The entire dish is brought together through a ripe bisque that tastes of the best of shells which have been roasted all the way down to their essence, then lifted from their sticking region by way of a glug of booze. Simmer all that, strain, lessen again, then bolster with cream. And hurrah: a sauce that puts the headrush into lush.
Even the 2 aspect dishes deserve to observe golden rustling pieces of “Kentucky-fried” cauliflower (the filthy bastards) and the pop of clean peas and little gem lettuce bound by using a bacon cream sauce. After all that take the motel-length trudge to the bogs. You’ll want the workout. Because believe me: here, you won’t graze. You’ll trough.
A combined plate of desserts gives the only head-scratcher. A halved doughnut is embellished with bits of fresh strawberry and dollops of white and darkish chocolate mousse and simply isn’t as quality as a freshly made, stuffed doughnut could be. Fluffy, diminutive buttermilk pancakes, served heat with syrup, are a good deal higher. But the winner is a brown sugar cheesecake with a Florentine base. We sigh and fight every different for the ultimate scraps despite the fact that we are absolutely crammed. With a coffee comes expertly tempered salted caramel mini-chocolate bars.