paul tamburrini, edinburgh, review

Unfortunately since going dairy and egg free I’ve had to turn down a lot of the kind invites I’ve received to restaurants and launch nights. Although my baby is 100% worth the sacrifice, it’s nice to have lunches or dinners out to feel a little more like “me” when I can – and statutory maternity pay certainly does not extend itself to many of those!

So I was delighted when the team at Paul Tamburrini not only invited* me along for a four course meal but also said they could tailor the meal to my needs. Roping in my mum to babysit, my boyfriend and I headed off to the year old restaurant on Holyrood Road, set within the Macdonald Hotel on a Friday night – only our second night out together since baby was born!

We arrived to be greeted by the restaurant manager, Peter, and were shown to our table. The decor is sleek, with low lighting creating a nice ambience. A hefty investment was put into this still relatively new restaurant just a year ago and it shows, with marble topped tables, gorgeous tableware and crockery, plush banquet seating and understated artwork adorning the walls.

After some homemade bread, we tucked into freshly caught oysters with a gin and tonic granita; such a refreshing accompaniment.

Followed up by Scottish smoked salmon with cod’s roe and a zesty gel – my boyfriend’s came with a little boiled egg and cream whilst mine came without.

I’d made the poor error in judgment and drove there so missed out on the delicious New Zealand sauvignon blanc that Peter paired with this dish (I did sneak a sip or two).

The main course was a feast fit for a king (and queen) – Josper grilled cote de boeuf with coriander seed sautéed potatoes, grilled cabbage and a crisp salad. I was kindly served a little jug of jus from the cooking juices which was a treat – and made up for missing out on a sriracha bearnaise which was my boyfriend’s steak sauce! The carved in the kitchen but served with flare table-side meat was cooked perfectly and was really flavoursome – testament of the quality of the beef and its expert cooking. I’m not a big fan of steak usually, so this is high praise indeed from me! Surprisingly though, the star of the show for me was the cabbage – it was so delicious having been grilled along with the beef, it absorbed all the flavour!

We were feeling thoroughly spoiled by this point so we’re grateful for a lovely light and fresh dessert of apple sorbet with crab apple gel and pear. Perhaps usually more of a palate cleanser, the lightness of the apple sorbet was welcome after the sumptuous beef.

With many years of experience under his belt, including at Martin Wishart’s The Honours, this is the first solo restaurant for Paul Tamburrini. It seemingly opened with little fanfare last year so has been flying quietly under the radar – until now! Expect accessible and affordable fine dining, old school service with crisp linens and attentive staff, a varied menu with both classics and twists as well as the grill options, a focus on Scottish produce and a fantastic wine list compiled by restaurant manager Peter, former sommelier of No.1 at The Balmoral.

*We were kindly treated to this meal free of charge but all words, thoughts and opinions remain my own as always.

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