Mark Greenaway opens in Edinburgh and is a man to watch.
Talented Scottish chef, Mark Greenaway will officially launch his first signature restaurant inside 12 Picardy Place later this week. Mark’s restaurant will reflect his enthusiasm for modern Scottish dining, combined with the fusion and excitement of his training in Sydney and across the UK. We were lucky enough to try out this welcome addition to Edinburgh’s culinary scene last week and are pleased to report that the food was nothing short of excellent. It was also a pleasure to meet Mark after our lunch where his enthusiasm for living and working in Edinburgh was apparent.
The Food – by Lea Harris
Taking shelter from the fierce Edinburgh winds, we were warmly welcomed into the restaurant and were allowed ample time to peruse the exceptional menu.
We started our meal with an amuse bouche of such intensity both in colour and in flavour, we knew we were in for something special. It was a simple carrot and coriander spume (a soup blitzed to a mousse-like fluff) garnished with a shard of beetroot and seeds that added a crunch.
Next came three plump langoustine holding each other up next to avocado and its hourglass dried apple crisp balancing on top; this in turn was next to a tomato sorbet on a semi-dried tomato. This was no ordinary prawn cocktail! The other side of the table had an equally delicious looking starter – shredded duck leg confit on a hot orange jelly sitting on wafers of beetroot. The jelly, root vegetable and raspberry sauce cutting through the richness of the well-flavoured meat. With nods of approval and lots of mmmms, we couldn’t wait for our mains.
“This was no ordinary prawn cocktail”
Sometimes when looking at a menus, it’s difficult to decide what to pick and this one was no exception. Would it be halibut, John Dory or 11 hour slow roasted belly pork? We plumped for the Borders beef (always a good bench mark as to how the kitchen treats its meat) and the Dornoch lamb.
The plates arrived and we were pleasantly surprised by the dishes, no stinting here and we would not go home hungry. Four lamb cutlets cooked perfectly pink and two thick slices of medium rare beef and a twee meat pie. We were quiet as we ate, savouring each mouthful. There is no faulting the quality here or the deft handling from Chef Mark Greenaway. Our mains were utterly gorgeous.
“Four lamb cutlets cooked perfectly pink”
It may strike horror in others, but rhubarb and custard is such a comfort food for me I could almost do a jig. Here it came in a jam jar – pink layers of the tart fruit, custard and rice pudding with rhubarb ice cream nestling in the lid. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
I wasn’t even envious of the chocolate fondant that oozed onto the plate as it is prized open on the other side of the table. I wasn’t even tempted by the dark chocolate shell hiding Tonka bean ice cream. No, I was happy tucking into memories from my childhood.
The dining experience was concluded with coffee and delicious petits fours.
Those whose palate is jaded, have your taste buds reawakened by the food of Mark Greenaway. His execution of the dishes is stunning; the combinations are amazing and his sourcing policy of using local and seasonal as possible has to be commended. And I, for one, can’t wait to go back and eat the rest of his menu. Even the Market Menu at £19.95 for three courses is excellent value and changes every Monday.
This is a man to watch.
March update – Lea Harris has since returned to the restaurant and has blogged about her second meal here. Mark accommodates coeliacs where possible.
À la carte prices are reasonable : Starters £7-£11, mains £16-£18, sides £3, desserts £6.50, cheese £7.
An eight course tasting menu where you leave your dining experience in Mark’s hand is £65.60 ( £90.50 with paired wines by the sommelier).
A three course market menu is available for £19.95 at lunchtime and 5.30 – 7pm (pre-theatre)
Sample menus are available to download.
Nine wines by the glass and bottles from £18.
Mark Greenaway at 12 Picardy Place opening hours:
Lunch: 12.00 pm – 3.00 pm
Dinner: 5.30 pm – 10.00 pm
Private dining available.
12 Picardy Place Edinburgh EH1 3JT 0131 557 0952
Suitable for disabled? There are a couple of steps up into the building and the restaurant is on ground level, as is the bathroom.