27th August 2015 6.30pm
Another Zomato meet up brought me to the Observatory restaurant at the Glasshouse Hotel. This time it was to sample some delights in canapé form rather than get to taste full dishes. At the start of the evening we headed up to the roof terrace, which afforded beautiful views both of Calton Hill and down to Leith. Pimms was served on arrival but I did think it tasted a little weak (but perhaps I just have my Pimms quite strong). Sadly, we didn’t stay on the roof terrace for too long as the Scottish weather meant we needed to head indoors. We were taken down to the Observatory restaurant via an area called the Snug, which had a beautiful modern fire going and lots of comfy seating. Once we reached the dining room, it was easy to be impressed. It had an enormous window running down the side of the room with a beautiful view onto Calton Hill. You could easily think you were in the middle of a forest if you looked in the right direction.That being said, the room seats about 50, so you are not in a vast space but the window helps to give that impression. Once settled into the room, we were given an introduction to the food by the sous chef which also covered the ethos of the restaurant. Their aim is to treat each element of food on the plate as a whole, which can bring out best of complimenting flavours. It was clear there was passion in what the restaurant was trying to do.
Before the canapés came out, we had the opportunity to try some cocktails in jars made by King Bloom. These were all really interesting (with the coconut one having silver glitter in it) but I opted for the vodka with raspberry and kiwi which was called Ladybird. All the cocktails had milk thistle in, which is supposed to be good for you. Ice was added to the jar, the lid put on ad then the cocktail shaken. I’m not sure whether it’s worth all that extra effort but it did taste nice.
With a drink in hand, the canapés began coming out of the kitchen. Firstly we got to taste the canapé version of their cod main which comprised of sorrel marinade cod fillet, spring onion and leeks. This was delicious. The fish was moist and light and the flavours worked well. Then we got to try a mini burger with cheese in the middle. There was a surprising sweetness to this which I really enjoyed. I wolfed that one down. Then there was venison and broccoli which I think was really a little too small to make the most of the venison flavour but that’s what you get with canapés. The last of the savoury dishes was a version of their brown crab starter which was crab in a warm tomato soup topped with a parmesan doughnut. This was fun but I did think the tomato soup did taste a little like unseasoned passata so perhaps more seasoning would bring the tomato alive. The dessert canapé was the restaurant’s quirky take on a teacake, with hazelnut sponge, marshmallow, jam and a shard of chocolate. These were delicious and we managed to sneak some more from the kitchen thanks to @aquirkylife
Before we left, we nipped back onto roof terrace as it had stopped raining to take in the views and take a few snaps. A thoroughly good time was had by all. The staff were incredibly friendly and had a good knowledge of the food. I felt very welcomed.
There is no score for this mini review as canapés are not enough to score on. However, this is somewhere I will definitely be returning to for the full dining experience soon to fully review and place on Zomato.
Please note that whilst this event was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Zomato for arranging.