It’s no secret we LOVE this restaurant. A gorgeous décor full of drama, outstanding views of Edinburgh Castle, and dishes are that dazzling, daring and delicious. But what, you ask, do we think of the brand new menu? Well HELLO … it’s f**king fantastic!
Despite a hectic day at our respective offices, we arrived looking effortlessly fabulous. There to greet us, Alvaro, our favourite maitre’d. Yes, he’s handsome, and yes he’s charming – obvs – but his best quality is an absolute passion for food and wine.
Without delay he offered us a table with the perfect view, and insisted we indulge in a saucer of champagne. Darling, we gushed, you read us like a book!
It also meant we wouldn’t be thirsty while considering what our first bottle of wine should be. Now that’s classy!
But anyhoo … several glasses later we were ready to consume as much of the new menu as possible.
Acting almost completely out of character, we decided to share a series of starters, and of course give serious thought to ordering a second bottle of wine.
Our first, and can we say rather inspired, choice was the Crisp confit chicken wings with corn purée, shiitake pickle, carrot & coriander slaw. Just wonderful!
A delicate and sophisticated dish, it boasts a delicious blend of intense and sharp flavours. What’s more, there isn’t a hint of oil, and only one bone, as well as the lightest of batters, between you and the chicken.
Next came the Seared West Coast Scallops with pea veloute, chorizo and chickpea popcorn. Cooked in butter, we suspect, the scallops are absolute perfection. But add those other gorgeous, gorgeous ingredients, and you’re really eating something special.
Now while an entree each is usually enough for people who aren’t eating their feelings, we decided to go one more dish. And besides, Alavaro insisted, we think …
Whatever the case, Katy Rodger’s Crowdie with beetroot, confit garlic crisp bread, and oregano dressing is a real delight. So creamy, so intense, we adore it. Like a savoury cheesecake, deconstructed, it will rock you …
After a small respite, and of course more wine, Isaac took all of one-and-a-half seconds to choose the Tweed Valley Lamb rump – served with broad bean mint gremolata, and pancetta potato stack.
While it’s something of a default choice, it’s also his ultimate litmus test. Needless to say, Twenty Princes Street passes with flying colours.
The lamb is perfectly pink, tender, and succulent. The potato stack, meanwhile is wonderfully crisp and crumbly. So, along with the gremolata, Isaac promises you this is the perfect combination.
I on the other hand wrestled with the idea of ordering the largest and juiciest steak imaginable. Grass-fed, sourced from the Scottish Borders, and dried for a minimum of 35 days – what’s not to love, right?
But instead I decided to be more adventurous. I looked to Alvaro for guidance, and of course more wine.
Gently he steered me in the direction of the Salt Baked Seabream with warm kale and new potato salad, parmesan courgette bites and a lemon herb dressing. And this Social Bitch is SO grateful that he did … this is the nicest piece of fish EVER!
Covered in lemon, and baked in egg white, salt and rosemary: it emerges perfectly moist as it’s dramatically revealed to its happy recipient.
The crust is lifted, steam rises, and in anticipation yet more wine is consumed (maybe just me??). Then the skin is gently removed, and the perfectly cooked fillet is placed atop the kale and courgette.
I took my first bite … and well … let’s just say it wasn’t only the seabream that was moist. Boom! Then, with every bite that followed, I felt compelled to loudly announce just how utterly amazing it tasted. A little dull for the next table to us, but hey ho.
Special mention should also go to our somewhat greedy selection of sides. The Triple cooked chips with rosemary & smoked paprika aioli, moreish to say the least. Panzanella salad with croutons, tomato and onion, so simple but just perfect.
The Bone Marrow Dauphinoise with beef dripping crumb, meanwhile, offered all the addictive taste of the traditional dish, but with more texture, and lot less dairy. Seriously delicious, but we wouldn’t object to say a cream & cheese sauce on the side, hint, hint.
Not quite ready for dessert, Alvaro suggested a dessert cocktail might bridge the gap. Before he’d even finished the sentence we said YES, and then started perusing the dessert wines just in case there was even the slightest chance we might still be sober.
On first sip, we weren’t quite sure about the Berry cheesecake cocktail. But half a glass later we were hooked. Combining vodka, crème de cacao, Greek yoghurt, cream, raspberries and a few other goodies it really is dessert in glass.
Mind you, that didn’t stop us from having dessert as well. I happily devoured the
Bramble Soufflé with lemon & raspberry sorbet in the record time of 23 seconds. Delicious, light, and a lot more sophisticated than the person eating it, but …
Isaac’s choice was definitely the winner. Flaming Alaska – with smoked Maldonado toffee, chocolate sponge, and marshmallow & chocolate button ice cream. Frankly, this could be our latest favourite thing in life.
Flambéed before your eyes, the drama of it all is delightful. But the gooey and glazed meringue, the combination of rich, sweet flavours, well, that really is something else. Isaac offered me a bite, the rest I had to take by force. Bliss.
So … suffice to say Twenty Princes Street is very much a hit with the Social Bitches, especially as Alvaro ended our perfect meal with two of our favourite words: More wine?
Well, rude not to …
In a pre-theatre nutshell:
Edinburgh Playhouse 9 minute walk / Rose Street Theatre 13 mins / Usher hall 17 mins
Lunch / dinner / cocktails
Entree £9 – £11 / Main £14 – £22 / Dessert £7 – £9
Twenty Princes Street
20 Princes Street
0131 652 7370