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Dakota Bar & Grill
South Queensferry,
EH30 9QZ
0131 319 3690

A view from the bridge

It was high time I took my friend 'The Dowager' out for supper and Dakota was the venue of choice. The hotel has a very classy restaurant with lots of dark wood, soft light and an air of urbane indulgence. The brand aims for five star quality at an affordable price and delivers this with apparent ease. 

A Venetian-style dip of roasted tomatoes filed the edge from our hunger and then on to starters. I chose mussels steamed in a coconut and ginger broth and for The Dowager, asparagus (from Kent) with poached egg, hollandaise and a walnut dressing (both £8.95). Fresh coconut with heaps of herbs and spices combined to make a sweet and fragrant bowl which would score above average in any shellfish contest. The Dowager commented that the egg was poached 'just right' and you can't go wrong with new season asparagus.

For main course she chose grilled west coast langoustines with garlic and parsley butter (£19.95) which were über fresh and juicy, “the best she had ever had" and with a lifetime of high-end dining under her belt, this is praise indeed. I had pan-fried halibut (from Peterhead) with buttered brown shrimps (£15.95). The fish was toasted golden brown, the shrimps were tiny wrinkled curls swimming in butter and capers; simple, unadulterated and delicious. Jersey royals on the side had unrivalled flavour.

Desserts, unfortunately, didn't live up to our high expectations. 'Her nibs' had rhubarb crumble with gingerbread ice cream, (£5.95); the former was nothing special, the latter tasted as you would expect cake mixed through ice cream to taste. I had the butterscotch parfait with madeleines (£6.95) which was way too big a portion of runny sauce on moussy cream.  The madeleines were very good but didn't address the other problem of lack of texture in this pudding. Desserts lacked the refinement of our previous courses.

Despite our 'dessert disappointment' however, we both agreed that Dakota Bar and Grill is generally excellent and we determined to visit it more often. 




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