The 5* G&V Royal Mile Hotel has recently come into its own following a revamp featuring the new ‘botanical’ Epicurean cocktail bar. The Cucina restaurant upstairs has some tasty new décor – intensely, splashily, warmly floral – to add to the previous Missoni geometrics.
A la carte offers a pasta menu in between starters and mains, with a 4 course tasting menu at £50 and ‘signature’ 3 courses at £35, with which you can choose to add matched wines. There’s also a 2 course set menu £18/3 courses £23 (matching wines £12/18).
Mr Fussy, on fine form after a mad dash dodging hailstorms, had zoomed in on mackerel with fennel purée, confit lemon and borage, perhaps inspired by the sudden summer indoors. As if to prove their fresh provenance, these had run out, so he moved quickly to scallops with cucumber spaghetti, despite a frisson of alarm from the described ‘white chocolate sauce’. No fear here, with subtle sweetness freshened by textures of cucumber and samphire. I ordered mozzarella in warm chilli and prune infusion with outside temperatures in mind. I do love a perfect, pure mozzarella as I feel it’s a crime to cook such a gentle fresh cheese when the produce is of top quality. This interesting infusion really lifted it to something extra special, prune offering sweet substance, balanced with chilli, the whole remaining light.
We reluctantly skipped gnocchi with amaretto and sage in favour of mains. Guinea fowl with sweet onion stuffing, potato cream, savoy cabbage, oats and grape painted a perfect pairing picture and tasted as good as it looked. My tablemate had a light saddle of rabbit, potato cake, hazelnut and red endive with mustard cress. The little touches were beautifully thought through: the texture of the hazelnut, the bitterness of the endive, the sudden heat of the baby leaves which all went so very well with tender rabbit.
Our choice of Soave Pieropan La Rocca (£56) punching above its weight for 2014, was a balanced vinous delight to match with our meal and worth the cost. To round off my menu I savoured milk sorbet with honeycomb & white truffle honey (there’s house honey here, from roof hives) while Mr Fussy kept busy with his caramel sponge, pistachio ice cream, sweet home-made ricotta and candied fruit, declaring it ‘outstanding’. (The Go-Between)
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