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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wilson

The Palmerston- a classic city-centre brasserie

Saturday lunch at The Palmerston

The Palmerston is located in Edinburgh’s busy west end. It opened in 2021 in a former Royal Bank of Scotland corner spot.

High ceilings mean the space is airy and the acoustics from the service and clientele bounce around the room creating a bustling ambience; life has been breathed into this building’s former stuffy grandeur.

In true brasserie style staff are aproned and professional but also friendly and relaxed. I am meeting an old friend for lunch and we get a warm welcome. Sourdough bread and a slab of butter are complementary and simpatico with the venue’s Parisian brasserie ethos.

The menu is determined by available, seasonal produce and therefore changes daily. Founders James Snowdon and Lloyd Morse are adherents of nose-to-tail cooking and dynamic sourcing. When I book I don’t check the menu as I am confident The Palmerston will deliver.

Berkshire Pork

With desserts already in mind we skip starters and choose our mains. Linda has Berkshire Pork which is a breed known for its complex flavour and marbling. She comments that the fat is rendered to a melting texture. It is served with jus, sage, fennel and borlotti beans.

I have chunky Cod with a Romesco Sauce. The fish has crispy brown skin and the scorching orange-coloured mix of peppers, almonds and tomatoes in the sauce transport me to Spain.

Cod and Romesco Sauce

Portions are hearty, vegetables colourful and roasted to oily, collapsing sweetness. A green salad on the side is an abundance of lightly dressed lettuce leaves and is beautiful for its near-naked simplicity.

To drink, Linda is choosing white wines which are affordable by Edinburgh standards, especially by the bottle. I am not drinking but a tinny of Jumpship Pale Ale served in a frosted glass means this is no issue.

For dessert, Linda chooses Elderflower and Strawberry Panna Cotta which is tempting but my head is always turned by Peaches. I ask where they are from and am told Spain. When the puds arrive Linda wins. Her creamy floral dessert topped with scarlet fruit is summer in a glass bowl. My ice cream is grainy and I don’t like the addition of the squirty cream. The actual fruit is perfumed with star anise (I think) which is not needed.

I like the way they serve cheese at The Palmerston. One good cheese is chosen and matched with a suitable fruit and carb. A simple, unintimidating serve compared to a cheeseboard. Unfortunately, we are too full to indulge but there will be a next time at The Palmerston.

Linda approves of my restaurant choice. If you are looking for an informal place with friendly service, good food and a price tag that won’t make you splutter The Palmerston fits the bill.

The Palmerston - 1 Palmerston Place Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH12 5AF - 0131 220 1794

Elderflower and Strawberry Panna Cotta; Peaches

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