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Harvey Nichols Restaurant on the Forth Floor
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Harvey Nichols Restaurant on the Forth Floor
30-34 St Andrew Square,
Edinburgh,
EH2 2AD
[View Map]
0131 524 8350
Lunch: Mon-Fri: 12 noon-3pm; Sat-Sun: 12 noon-3:30pm. Dinner:Tue-Sat: 6pm-10pm
£55 Per Person and £90 with Wine

September 2011

 

Tasting Menu at the Forth Floor, Harvey Nichols

 

Mr Bite and me are sitting at possibly the best table in the city. The corner table at The Forth Floor Restaurant is treating us to a view of sundown over Edinburgh's rooftops. We are sipping a glass of fizz and anticipating the seven or so courses that will make up tonight's tasting menu.

 

I am familiar with Chef Stuart Muir's commitment to seasonal local produce however, what follows reveals he also possesses a playful imagination that will, more than once, tease out my inner child.

 

We start with pretty cone-shaped canapés of coronation chicken with game-dusted chips, tasty and retro but rather than continue with a blow by blow chronological account of our meal I am going to defy convention and relate the most memorable dishes first.

 

Sweetcorn pannacotta then with caramelized popcorn and nuts plus popcorn sherbet; “totally bonkers!" commented a friend. I loved it. The manicotti sat on a thin layer of sweet pastry and resembled a vanilla slice. The nuts and popcorn that dotted my plate added sweet texture; Snickers, sugar puffs and fairgrounds - whilst the caramel sauce recalled Spain's famous dessert. The sommelier paired it with Maker's Mark bourbon upping the adult ante. It wasn't to Mr Bite's taste as he failed to get his head around 'sweetcorn as dessert' but he nonetheless appreciated the imagination and risk taking and admired Chef for it.

 

Masala-dusted John Dory with pommes Anne slicked with clarified butter, would be, if you put a gun to our head, our mutual favourite. Beautiful, fresh fillets well-seasoned with autumnal girolles and sweet little onions for company; every ingredient harmonized and was further complimented by a glass of creamy rich New Zealand Pinot Blanc.

 

Shin of beef rolled in the 'richest ever' jus squats on a bed of spinach and is crowned with a dainty fried quails egg. On the other side of the plate, lobster on artichoke with spinach and parmesan; a totally hedonistic 'surf 'n' turf'. Rich, decadent and belly busting; difficult to match a wine but the sommelier does himself proud with a Reserva Rioja Alta.

 

Let's move onto our first course! Mackerel with Asian stuffed squid. The mackerel is soft, sumptuous and juicy; cooking time and freshness must be split second accurate to offer such a delicacy. Likewise the squid is cooked to perfect al dente texture; I love the delicate mousseline inside but Mr Bite is funny with texture and afraid that it contains his vegetal nemesis, cauliflower. It doesn't. Candied coconut and lemongrass complete the dish and Winter Riesling 2009, of course! (90/100 from Robert Parker).

 

Quail, breast and leg, on caramelized watermelon swimming in consommé. Sounds as if it shouldn't work? It does; succulent game on late-summer sweet fruit. A corbière rosé, very dry with lots of pink bubblegum.

 

Cheese! I do you a disservice by leaving you to last just because you are cheese. The trolley keeps six Scottish types at perfect room temperature (heaven!). I choose one that has until now, escaped my finely tuned radar, Broon Coo fae 'The 'Deen', naturally; a beautifully creamy Brie. Also, a Lanark White and a Strathdon Blue and for Mr Bite, a Strathdon Blue, Clava Brie, and Lanark Blue; grapes, chutney, quince paste and delicate poppy seed straws.

 

Wafer thin Petit Fours Madame? Bring them on! (S.Wilson)

 

 

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