I was delighted to be invited along to sample the delights of the recently launched Mark Greenaway restaurant at Hawke & Hunter. Mark recently won Rising Star Chef of the Year 2011 at the Scottish Hotel Awards and after reading the rave reviews on Edinburgh Spotlight and The List I suspected we’d be in for a treat.
I went along with Alison Grieve who is a super-fabulous woman, mother of twins, inventor, MD of Safetray and negotiating queen. It was the first time I’d seen her since bumping into her at Foodies Festival back in December. We had a great time catching up and she gave me some exceedingly useful tips. Thanks a million Alison!
The restaurant is well-sized – small enough to feel intimate but large enough that the tables are well-spaced, with additional private dining areas. I like the simple and sophisticated feel with exposed stone work (which I’m partial to as we have at home), a fireplace and the statement light fittings I like so much. It’s fine dining with a relaxed vibe.
The food was superb and at just £20 for 3 courses. It’s exceptionally good value too.
The pictures speak for themselves.
To start, Alison chose the line caught halibut raviolo in langoustine broth, with avruga caviar.
I choose the Gressingham duck leg with hot orange jelly, beetroot carpaccio, sakura salad and raspberry dressing. This starter was mmmmmmmmmagnificent. The combination of the sweet orange jelly with the tart beetroot carpaccio worked beautifully with the duck and with the raspberry dressing it was a real triumph. As you can see it looked beautiful too. It would be interesting to see the production of beetroot carpaccio. Not one to try at home methinks, unless planning a new purple kitchen colour scheme!
For main Alison chose the skate wing sous-vide with beetroot purée, crisps, olive mash, crispy squid and brown butter jus. It looked amazing and Alison enjoyed it.
I chose the free range chicken with mini pomme fondants, confit garlic, onion rings, toast purée and Pied Blu mushrooms. I’d love to know how the chicken was cooked as it was so moist it was creamy. The seasoning was very good too. On this one, my picture doesn’t do it justice.
Alison was going to go for the cheeses, until she saw this sweet being delivered to another table and knew she just had to try it. Good call. Her jam jar, rhubarb and custard with rice pudding, rhubarb and vanilla ice cream was very very good.
And for me a divine ending to a lovely lunch with the Manjari Chocolate fondant with vanilla tuille, white chocolate mousse, orange caviar and tonka bean ice cream. Oh! My! Goodness! Where do I start? The fondant on it’s own would have been dreamy, moist and soft sponge with a hot and gooey centre, it was love at first bite. And then the chocolate cup. I so love chocolate cups for the same reasons I enjoy Easter eggs, it special in a way that chocolate bars – even the most delicious – simply don’t. And this chocolate cup was filled with a rich and creamy white chocolate mousse.
It was pleasure overload and I haven’t even mentioned the orange caviar. Like eating two sweets really. I can’t wait to do it all again.
Mark Greenaway is a great addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene with exciting combinations, perfectly cooked and beautifully presented – as much a feast for the eyes as the tastebuds. I wonder if he’s available for hire…
EDINBURGH DIVA RATING: 9.5/10
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