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Grand Café at The Scotsman
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Grand Café
20 North Bridge,,
0131 556 5565
Open 7.30am – 3am

Mr & Mrs Bite were recently willing guinea pigs at the soft launch in this new G1 venture on North Bridge – open to the public June 28 and thus Mrs Bite found herself sipping bubbles in the former advertising hall of iconic Scotsman building. 

Most recently this was North Bridge Brasserie but the island bar has been moved to open up the space which has now been sympathetically redesigned in the style of the European Grand Cafes.

There were a few glitches in service, long waits for drinks and food but when the latter arrived all was forgiven. 

Masterchef: The Professionals finalist Chris Niven and Head Pastry Chef Philippa Baker put on a good show. The outstanding dish was the signature braised ox cheek and bone marrow cottage pie chosen as a main course by Mr Bite. Deep, rich and flavoursome with fluffy potatoes was how he described it. I was a little surprised that he didn’t choose the 28 day dry aged Buccleuch beef which boasts a Royal warrant. Next best dish was probably his chocolate and brown butter ganache with raspberry crumble and sorbet although my Sauternes poached peach with vanilla cream was fresh, fruity, creamy and luscious. 

I had started with scallops which had been paired with venison salami, a good burnt apple purée and nicely toasted crunchy hazelnuts. Hummus and flatbread had stood out from our nibbles selection; oily, creamy and lemony with flecks of caraway. Mr Bite was a little disappointed with his duck egg and Prosciutto starter thinking the former was slightly underdone. I only tasted the accompanying asparagus which was excellent being in season and cooked perfectly al dente. 

My main course was sea trout with beets, sorrel, salsa verde and rosti potatoes; a stunning dish of salmon coloured fish on swirls of pink beet and green sorrel yoghurts and then dark green and maroon veined chard. The skin on the trout could have been crispier. 

Grand Café is open for all day drinking and dining. The balcony overlooking the main hall has booths and there is a baby grand piano for live music from 10pm-3am every night. Breakfast starts at 7am and is followed by brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, bar snacks cocktails and dinner. With its central location and variety of eating in drinking options I can see myself popping in quite regularly. (S. Wilson)

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