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  • Writer's pictureVivian Maeda

A delicious gastronomy lecture at The Brasserie at The Scholar 

Chef Ed Fortune

When I think of university food, I picture a canteen-style menu with simple dishes. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by The Brasserie at the Scholar.

It’s a new kid on the block located between Holyrood Park and the ‘Commie’ Pool inside The Scholar Hotel. 

I am invited to the launch but before dinner, we enjoy a tour of the bedrooms. They are furnished with a dark green velvet chair, a comfortable bed, toiletries by Laura Thomas, and a coffee machine with compostable coffee capsules. These amenities reflect the high standards and comfort offered by the venue. It is worth noting that all profits are reinvested in Edinburgh University.

Desserts include a cute Lemon Tart and Poached Pear

As we take our seats for dinner, Group Manager Gavin MacLennan warmly welcomes us to the gastronomy experience curated by their new Head Chef, Ed Fortune, an English Chef, who fell in love with Scottish produce.

The evening begins with a flavorful pumpkin soup, enhanced by creamy ricotta, and finished with a kick of chili. This is followed by a torched Mackerel Ceviche, served on a bed of radish and yellow beetroot, and topped with crispy kale.

The Scottish Salmon takes center stage for the main course and is paired with fondant sweet potato, spiced ratatouille, and black olive. For those seeking a vegetarian option, the Roast Cauliflower is accompanied by spring onion, cavolo nero, orange, and capers, and seasoned with raisin vinaigrette.

For dessert, we are presented with two delightful options. The first is a cute crowd-pleasing Lemon Curd Tart with torched meringue, the second is classic red wine Poached Pear, complemented by an intriguing truffle mascarpone and almond feuilletine.

To elevate our gastronomic experience, Richard Bouglet, director of L'art du Vin, shares his expertise as a great storyteller and wine connoisseur. He carefully selects and curates nine different wines for us to enjoy. These include a safe, yet excellent choice of German Riesling, an orange Georgian wine, and the revived Lambrusco for a touch of fun.

The evening is an insight into Ed Fortune’s passion and ambition to create flavoursome dishes with a great appreciation of Scottish heritage and seasonal ingredients. 

So whether you desire a good meal, wish to support the university, or both The Brasserie is an intelligent choice and gets top marks. (V. Maeda)

The Brasserie at The Scholar, 18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY

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