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Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini
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Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini
81 Holyrood Road,
0344 879 9028
Mon-Sun 12pm to 2:30pm (lunch); 5pm to 9:30pm (dinner)

A fire is going, the flames creating a welcome warmth after the chilly evening air outside. From behind the leather-clad bar, martinis and craft beer are served. Oversized platters and black-framed paintings of cutlery feature against the monochrome walls, lit by angled designer lighting.

This is Bistro Deluxe, the new venture from Paul Tamburrini of Michelin Star restaurant L’Escargot and The Honours Brasserie fame. The elegant new eatery only opened two months ago at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, a short distance from the popular Royal Mile towards the end of Holyrood Road.

Tamburrini's career history would not allow this to become another safe, conservative hotel restaurant, though. Take the five-course tasting menu: amuse-bouche is paired with Ridgeview Bloomsbury Rosé from England; Lindisfarne oysters with Austrian Grüner-Veltliner; Iberico pork with Pinot Noir from Uruguay. Might we add we love the sourdough and salted butter (admission: we just about ate it all). 

There’s also an a la carte menu if you prefer, including Angus sirloin and duck, foie gras and lentil terrine, or a prix fixe option. And of course, using local suppliers and producers is a priority, according to Tamburrini.

Relaxing at the banquette-style seating with crème catalan and pineapple, banana and mango sorbet, it’s easy to see why Tamburrini feels that, "working on this level, you become obsessed with perfection”. Aside from the intriguing dishes – "you’ve got to be a chemist on flavours and an artist on presentation,” he says – the wine list, put together by maître d’ Peter Adshead, is an integral part of the experience, complementing the flavours of Tamburrini’s art. 

The decor, too, is considered. The hotel used interior design company Dynargh Design to work their magic – and that they did. The London- and Cornwall-based practice, whose name, if you were wondering, means "welcome” in Cornish, uses casual touches such as the banquette seating as well as neutral colours (black-and-white scatter cushions, toned-down wallcoverings) to create a sophisticated but unpretentious vibe. 

We will definitely be back to try a hazelnut and dark chocolate espresso martini. No, a Wiper and True milkshake stout. Okay, make it both … (K. Wilkins) 

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