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Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux Seafood Celebration Menu
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Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux
The Balmoral,
1 Princes Street,
EH2 2EQ
0131 557 5000
Bar: Everyday from 11.00am - 1.00am (Food served 12.00pm - 10.00pm) Brasserie: Breakfast: Mon-Fri from 7.00am - 10.30am. W/ends from 7.00am - 11.00am Lunch: Everyday from 12.00pm - 2.30pm Dinner: Everyday from 5.30pm - 10.00pm (last orders)

A Scottish summer is not complete without a seafood feast.  

Mr and Mrs Bite were lucky enough to be invited along to sample Alain Roux' s Seafood Celebration Menu as it is one year since Monsieur put his esteemed name above the door at what was Hadrian’s at The Balmoral. Prince is a classic brasserie where hues of green, blue and mauve combine with polished surfaces to create an urbane, confident ambience. It's as if you are being told: "sit back and relax now; you are in good hands." 

Our leather seated booth softened by cushions encourages us to do just that. 

A blue cheese dip, croutons, Greek EVOO, butter and homemade bread shave the edge from our hunger and excite our palates. The excellent house champagne bearing Michel Roux's name is poured. Hailing from Laurent Perrier, it is dry with slightly spicy notes.   The official first course is oysters from Cumbrae. We ask about their provenance as we are so impressed with the balance of cream and brine. Later when Mr Bite and I choose our overall favourite course, we both say 'the oysters'.  

That’s in no way disparaging to our subsequent courses. A pot of ochre-fleshed mussels from *drum roll* Musselburgh are so fresh that following a light steaming and they virtually dissolve in my mouth. Mr Bite has smoked salmon from Loch Duart, thick and sumptuous it has been smoked over whisky barrel shavings, and the flavour lingers seductively.  

The waiter has poured me an NZ Sauvignon Blanc. His nib’s requests a Bitter and Twisted ale from Harviestoun Brewery which arrives in a frosted silver tankard, He comments that the beer complements the salmon well.

Main course for me is Lobster Thermidor. Half a crustacean baked in a creamy, spicy sauce freshened by dill, parsley and a side of skinny asparagus. Mr B has monkfish which, if we are splitting hairs, is a mere smidgeon overcooked. It is served with tender stem broccoli and nutty Camargue rice. These are classic dishes presented and cooked authentically.

The finale is cheese and what could be better than a runny room temperature Brillat-Savarin triple cream brie and Lanark Blue with walnuts, chutney and apricots on the side. Nuts always benefit from a light toasting but there we go splitting hairs again in what was a top-notch meal in beautiful surroundings.

C’est superbe value for £50. However, the menu only runs until August 9, so get your skates on. (S Wilson).


Seafood Celebration Menu:
One Year of Brasserie Prince 
A glass of Michel Roux Champagne & 2 Scottish Oysters
Balmoral smoked salmon with raw onion rings, capers, lemon & rye soda bread
Shetland mussels with basquaise sauce & Espelette pepper
Armoricaine monkfish with Camargue wild rice & tenderstem broccolior
Grilled Scottish lobster thermidor with asparagus & green leaf salad
Duo of Lanark Blue & Brillat-Savarin with chutney & biscuits 
Choice of 125ml Red, White or Rose Wine 4 Courses £50

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