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33a St. Stephen Street,
+44 (0)131 226 3500
Lunch Tue-Sun 12 noon - 2pm and for Dinner 6pm-11.30pm.

Bite reviewed Purslane last year and enjoyed casual fine dining in chi chi Stockbridge. 

It had been some time since an outing with my friend ‘The Dowager’ and a restaurant of distinction was called for. 

I chose Purslane as this bijou basement eatery has gained quite a reputation for fine dining over the past few years.

First off an amuse bouche of velvety celeriac veloute which was proof that a mere root can be transformed into a luxurious dish -  in the right hands.  

Next another thumbs up for a bottle of Viognier which was far classier than the price tag of £22 suggested. From my favourite wine region the Languedoc it had notes of apricot, nectarine and honeysuckle but it is also dry and was versatile enough to complement most of our dinner choices. Purslane serves all its wine in Riedel glasses which definitely helps. 

Starter for me was warm breast of duck with a shallot tart tatin and watercress salad – successfully mixing aromatic, sweet and fresh flavours respectively. The Dowager had goats’ cheese mousse with fine herbs pickled veg and a peach and tomato salsa.

Main course for me was Bouillabaisse -  pan-fried sea bream, prawns, red mullet, and monkfish with steamed potatoes, curly kale and shellfish sauce. This was a refined, sans shells version of the classic Marseille dish with baby-tender chunks of fish in a rich bisque. For the Dowager apricot and sage stuffed loin of pork with mash, broccoli purée and red wine jus. Usually delicate of appetite she left her plate squeaky clean. 
If you are looking for mammoth portions Purslane isn’t the place for you. If however you want to taste numerous courses of skilfully executed dishes book a table. A tasting menu, starting with a glass of Prosecco, is available at £50 per person, whilst the regular dinner menu comes in at a reasonable £25.95 for 3 courses.

And so we could both happily manage dessert. For me carrot cake with carrot halva and crème fraîche sorbet and for The Dowager poached rhubarb with a rosemary panna cotta and rosemary ice cream. 

Creative attention to the execution of seasonal ingredients, and imaginative combinations of flavour and texture exemplifies what to expect should you choose to dine at Purslane. But the ambience is casual so you can wear your jeans.  Win Win.

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