REVIEW – Dinner at Tempus, George Hotel

*****

Tempus

Tempus

Edinburgh’s George Hotel is one of the original jewels in George Street’s by-now packed string of bars, restaurants and boutique hotels. Now facing competition from the likes of The Dome, Le Monde, Tiger Lilly and the rest, it completely overhauled and redecorated its bar & restaurant in 2006, bringing it more up to date and therefore more appealing to the street’s new clientele.

Tempus is the result: an opulent bar and restaurant which sits next door to the main hotel. It is split into two main areas: at the front is the popular lounge bar, serving beer, wines and cocktails and providing a less formal setting to eat. At the rear is the main restaurant space, which is a large, grand ballroom-style room with detailed cornicing, deco chandeliers, leather seats and original artwork hanging on the walls.

The menu is fixed, although there is a wide choice available, with locally-sourced organic produce being used wherever possible. We both opted for the crispy duck salad as a starter and were delighted – and slightly overwhelmed – when this arrived, as the generous pile of shredded meat on a bed of greens looked more like a main course in size. It was however delicious, with the duck well-cooked and covered in tasty plum glaze. As we finished this, we wondered how large the main courses would be and mentally made notes to rule out dessert.

Beer battered cod

Beer battered cod


My partner had ordered the beer battered cod and this too was a large serving, the impressive chunk of fish accompanied by thick, hand-cut chips, a dollop of mushy peas and a portion of tartare sauce. This too was a treat, with the cod flaking apart into tasty mouthfuls and the fries being delightfully soft and fluffy inside.

Ballotine of chicken with truffle stuffing

Ballotine of chicken with truffle stuffing

I had opted for the ballotine of chicken with truffle stuffing and creamed mushrooms and was similarly impressed. The chicken had been finely poached and wrapped around an extremely moreish centre, and the mushrooms added additional flavour and interest; as did the bed of spinach on which the ballotine rested. An impressive dish, and again a very generous serving.

After these two courses, we were indeed too full to do a dessert justice (although choices such as the rum-soaked savarin and sticky toffee pudding did their best to tempt us); so we finished the meal with coffee and relaxed as we enjoyed the surroundings.

Service throughout the evening was friendly and efficient and the restaurant served a steady stream of diners, who were a mix of young and old; hotel residents and locals. Price-wise, Tempus is mid-range, in keeping with other restaurants and hotels in George Street.

Although the menu doesn’t vary, it does offer good food and large portions in a beautifully grand setting and is an excellent option for those looking to dine in the area.

Disabled access: Although the bar area is on the level and accessible from the street, there are several steps up to the main restaurant at the rear.

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