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Bread Street Brasserie
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Bread Street Brasserie
34 Bread Street,
Edinburgh,
Midlothian,
EH3 9AF
0131 221 5555
Breakfast: 7am-10am, ( 11am on weekends), lunch: 12pm-2pm, 7 days , pre-theatre from 5pm -7pm, dinner: 5pm-10pm.

The hotel most of us knew as 'The Point' has had a huge refurbishment this past year and now flies under the DoubleTree by Hilton banner. Their ground-floor restaurant, The Bread Street Brasserie has kept its moniker but has had a make-over in the process and is looking rather chi-chi. Hotel dining has always had a tricky rep, but it must be said over the past few years, the culinary efforts available in our city's hotels has improved immensely. 

 I met my buddy Rachel for G&T in the bar, before moving to the brasserie for a bite and a blether. The menu reads well, with a particularly good smattering of veggie and gluten free options and accents of Scottish ingredients as expected. I started with 'haggis filo' (£6), a crisp spring roll stuffed with spicy haggis and served with the classic sweet red onion chutney and well-seasoned parmentier potatoes. Rachel tucked into a warm ratatouille tartlet with a cheddar glaze (£4), which she reported had a lovely short pastry and suitably soft veggies, however to really 'Med' it up, it needed a bit more on the ol' garlic and herbs front. 

On to mains (both £15) , and despite being a smidge overdone, my pan-seared duck supreme was still tender and flavourful with Asian-style soy and sesame glaze and a superbly zingy radish and grapefruit salad which accompanied the meat to perfection. R's whole baked plaice was an impressive fish, the soft sweet flesh easily came off the bone and the drizzling of sauce vierge dotted with capers kept things fresh. The side of chunky chips should have been better though, as they were disappointingly soft on the outside. Tsk tsk!

Rachel's espresso crème brĂ»lée was a new take for both of us, bold but sweet, silky as you like and passed the 'tap-tap-crack' spoon test with flying colours. My plum and ginger tart was equally proficient on the flavour front, but a dollop of simple vanilla ice cream would have been a better plate-fellow to the maple and walnut variety which appeared.  

Whilst there were minor issues, some avoidable (watercress garnish on 3 of 4 savoury dishes) some not (the vast expanse required of a room that must accommodate an entire hotel's worth of breakfast guests can never feel right for a few cosy bistro tables), there were some nice ideas on the menu made with good ingredients and well-priced. (Leila Kean writes www.leilappetit.com)
 
 
 
 
 

 
2013 

Summer in the city - It was Friday night, Scotlandwas experiencing a heatwave and Mr Bite and me had an invite to eat. Life was good and about to get better.

The décor and menu of this restaurant have been ramped up under the new management of The Hilton Group and it now bears the hallmarks of a classic brasserie; buzzy ambience, efficient, aproned staff, easy to read menu.

To start I chose crushed broad bean and pea crostini with lemon, mint and marinated feta (£6). Herb, salt and citrus hinted at Greek holidays, the seasonal veg recalled childhood allotments. The latter had the vibrancy of lush summer lawns. Mr Bite had pressed ham hock, leek and carrot terrine, vegetable chutney and oatcakes (£6). Stripes of deep green and orange vegetable complemented rustic ham.

Main course for me was parmesan herb crusted salmon fillet, smoked salmon and dill croquette, leek velouté (£12). The crispy golden croquette oozed silky mash. Pink fish perched on a thick slice of just-charred fennel. Veloutéwas creamy and bound every mouthful. I fear I embarrassed myself as I tucked in with the speed of a swivel-eyed food loon. Mr Bite had fish pie with poached pollok, prawn, spinach, smoked haddock, cheddar mash and green salad (£14). Large mustard dressed leaves covered half the plate. Huzzah for a real salad! Lettuce is the business in summer. Abundant fish, nice mash, the latter a tad salty.

We need to talk about pudding.

A hot tip was offered from a passing critic. Dark Belgian chocolate cake, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream (£5) got the nod and Mr Bite swooped. A string of adjectives followed "voluptuous, dark, unctuous, mysterious". I stole a spoonful of springy pud rich with flavour but was distracted by my own syrupy peaches, hazelnut meringues and mango sorbet (£5). Scorching crimson skin clashed with burnt orange flesh, ripe and sweet. The syrup was light as a fairy, the sorbet, icy and perfumed. A crunch of crushed nuts and a crumble of sugary meringue completed every joyful mouthful.

I could nit-pick. More mint and lemon on a crisper crostini, ditto dill in the croquette,  chewier meringues, but these wee things pale against the bigger picture. We had eaten six plates of delicious food which were so much more than an obligatory nod to the seasons. They were a rip roaring all guns firing celebration of British summertime and pregnant with the promise of good things to come. (S. Wilson)

 

 

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