Tuesday, 22 September 2009

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Harvey Nichols Brasserie


REVIEW
HARVEY NICHOLS
Seafood and skylines

NOT A LOT HAS CHANGED SINCE MY LAST VISIT TO HARVEY NICOLS' FORTH FLOOR BRASSERIE: THE RIGHT MENU ITEMS STILL EXIST, THE ONLY TABLES WORTH SITTING AT ARE THE ONES BY THE WINDOW AND THE VIEW OVER ST ANDREW SQUARE AND THEN EXTENDING PAST THE CASTLE AND TO THE HILLS REMAINS AWESOME. IT GETS BETTER AS THE NIGHT PROGRESSES, THE BAFFLING SCOTTISH SKIES CHANGING SHAPES AND COLOURS BEFORE MY EYES.

My friend and I marvel at the strangeness of empty post-festival streets below before focusing on the menu. In the spirit of trying something new, I resist my favourite from last time - a chicken terrine - and decide on the chicken liver parfait (£6), quite the indulgence of mouth-puckering rich mouse that I affix on brioche with a complementary spiced apple and walnut chutney. My friend's palmiers with chicory salad (£7) is a delightful dish of puff pastries imaginatively served with Parma ham instead of a cup of tea. She loves it.

The main dish is indeed the main attraction. We share the lobster seafood platter (£55), although there are several versions from which to choose. It is beautiful to look at with oysters, clams and mussels surrounding the mound of salmon, then whole langoustines and chunky, generously de-shelled lobster tails atop. All is remarkably fresh from the salt of the oysters to the mild sweetness of the lobster. In a country so well-known for warm comfort food and a predominately sun-less climate, it is nice to be reminded that, though not frequented in traditional attire, we really are so close to the sea and its delicious creatures that are best served cold, with a pretty sunset.

For dessert, it's too tempting to let the peach and blueberry crumble pass us by and it does not disappoint with the warm fruit and shortbread crumbles polished away with a perfectly mild caramel ice cream. And so yes, all seems right, and what could really go wrong from where we sit? By the time we depart, the Jennings sign and the castle are alight to remind us that even with skies of pure darkness, the city's sky-line still a sight of wonder.

30-34 St. Andrew Sq
Edinburgh, EH2 2AD
0131 524 8350

Monday to Friday:
Morning: 10:00am - 12noon
Lunch: 12 noon - 3:00pm
Afternoon: 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Saturday:
Morning: 10:00am - 12 noon
Lunch: 12 noon - 3.30pm
Afternoon: 3.30pm - 5:30pm

Sunday brunch 11am to 5pm

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