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Bisque Bar & Brasserie
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Bisque Bar & Brasserie
69 Bruntsfield Place,
EH10 4HH
[View Map]
0131 622 8163
Open 7am to 1am daily.

In the neighbourhood

Bruntsfield is a bustling corner of the city, and home to some excellent neighbourhood eateries. The area also happens to be my old high-school stomping ground, so it was with a soupçon of nostalgia that I headed out with my fella for dinner at Bisque. Tucked away underneath The Bruntsfield Hotel, on this particular visit it was a buzzy place with people enjoying a drink and a bite to eat.

Whilst by no means a balmy Edinburgh eve, it was bright and just warm enough to enjoy a pre-prandial drink in Bisque's lush garden area. Indoors, the brasserie has a modern feel, without being overly 'trendy', and offers a choice of booths or more formal tables.

Once seated, the cheery waiter steered us around the extensive menu and wine list. To drink, I went for a 2006 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, and after much deliberation over the menu, opted for ham hock and apricot terrine to start. Packed with richly-flavoured layers of meat, it was accompanied by a little dish of candy-like stewed apricots with soft cinnamon spice; the perfect foil to the savoury ham. The fella's plate displayed an elegant offering indeed. Quenelles of crab and crayfish pâté were light in texture but big with deep seafood-y flavour, and dressed with a generous handful of crayfish tails.

My main course of braised lamb shank was as tender as you like, but a whopper of a portion. Fluffy mash and a rich red wine jus were perfect partners to the hearty fare, but two tiny baby leeks were a bit sparse in their contribution. The chef evidently has a love of the sub-aquatic. When Sir's salmon arrived, it was not only well presented with crushed new potatoes and crisp green beans, but the pan-seared fish was perfectly moist, and I found myself repeatedly stealing tastes of the buttery tarragon sauce.
It may be that I'd been thwarted by the epic lamb, however unfortunately the desserts didn't really excite. We tried the treacle tart, and the pear & almond tart. Both came with a scoop of decent ice cream, however limp pastry let them both down.

After some excellent coffee, well-fed, we headed out to continue my stroll down memory lane.

The Bill: £77.50 including wine and coffee

Leila Arfa writes www.leilappetit.blogspot.com



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