Friday, 22 May 2009

RESTAURANT REVIEW: The New Bell


REVIEW

THE NEW BELL

The reason to dine out


AFTER THE PRAISES I'VE HEARD SUNG IN THE PAST, I ARRIVE AT THE NEW BELL WITH A HIGH EXPECTATIONS. IT IS NOW EASY TO SEE WHY THE APPLAUSE FOR THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD INSTITUTION CAN STILL BE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL YEARS.

Located above The Old Bell pub, The New Bell has an old charm illustrated with mismatched wooden chairs, white linens and Miles Davis playing quietly overhead. It's a relief to settle in here from the rain and sink into a bottle of some highly drinkable Australian Shiraz (Katherine Hills, £17.95).


The menu is full of imaginative tradition. I recognise a combo of pear and blue cheese that I adore so I go for this salad with chicory and sherry vinaigrette (£5.50). It's very good but my healthy endeavour ends in envy of my friend's luscious plate of MacSween's haggis-filled crepe surrounded by whisky sauce and sheathed in crispy-fried leaks (£6.75). Just grand.


My main is poached and grilled chicken engulfed with sun-dried tomato mousse, a delicious concoction that has me sold in seconds (£14.95). Served also with buttered spinach and a roasted red pepper mash that one could only dream of recreating, it is suffice to say I am happy. My friend goes for the chef's special of pan-roasted loin of new season Borders lamb; brilliantly pink slices are fanned out on the plate with a delish pea puree, crushed new potatoes, black olive tapenade and a wild garlic and leek crust to match the flavours enriching the potatoes (£17.50). A table full of top notch flavours and just enough food to satisfy without negating the possibility of pudding!


The desserts deserve their very own page of recognition but this will have to do: one bite into the fondant exposes a molten lava of dark chocolate bewildering enough without a fresh mandarin sorbet at its side. Moving on, a banana and honeycomb iced parfait is also unstoppable, a great combination seldom seen, served with a caramelised cone of just-made raspberry cream and summer fruits that are tart from marinating in their own juices. (Both £5.50)


The New Bell is the reason that we want to dine out. Why kid yourself in your own kitchen when you can leave yourself in the hands of professionals?

The New Bell
233 Causewayside
Edinburgh
EH9 1PH
0131 668 2868

OPENING HOURS
Sun–Thu 5.30–9pm
Fri,Sat 5.30–10pm
Sun 12.30–2pm
Also published in Bite Magazine, June 2009

1 comment:

Marcus said...

The food really sounds delicious. I will have to check it out the next time I am staying nearby.