1st July 2016 6pm
A group of 10 of us headed here from work to try the pre-theatre meal, which is incredibly reasonable £13.50 for two courses and £17 for three courses. Connected to Hotel Indigo, this is a contemporary and plush dining space which probably wasn’t quite ready for the squawking rabble. However, our main waiter for the evening dealt with it graciously and with a great deal of humour.
I went for game and venison pate for my starter where others went for Cullen skink tart or tomato soup. I went for mushroom ravioli for my main whereas others went for fish and chips, chicken balmoral and one diner went for the rib eye steak which came with a hefty £11 supplement. For dessert I went for chocolate torte and the others opted for lemon cheesecake or ice cream topped with crumbled Edinburgh Rock. Wine was consumed and a few of us went for cocktails (there are some really fun ones on the menu).
We seemed to wait a little while for the starters but we were quite happy with our drinks. My pate was really coarse and much more terrine like. It was still very tasty and had a really beautiful appearance. The salad was covered in a lovely dressing but the chutney was placed on the salad too, which made it difficult to eat with the pate and oatcakes. There were also some vegetable crisps on the side which weren’t really needed. The Cullen skink tart was a bit hit and miss with no-one really finding a consensus on it (and also had the same salad and crisps). The soup was nice though and came with a good sized bit of bread.
The mains came out and it was clear to see that the portions were generous. No scrimping on the pre theatre options here. My mushroom ravioli was decent. It sat in a garlic, tomato and balsamic sauce with a sprinkling of cheese on top. The menu had said there was going to be a rocket salad with it but that was nowhere to be seen. The fish and chips came in a massive portion but everyone seemed to have a good go at it. The chicken balmoral was also praised and large in size. Someone did opt for the steak and also proceeded to request for it to be very well done (sigh). However, she really liked it and they did cook it exactly as requested.
As for dessert, all of us who had the chocolate torte enjoyed it but struggled to finish it. It was a massive slice with a weighty cake base but was delicious. This was accompanied by strawberries and chantilly cream. The cheesecake was nice and was joined by a berry pile and coulis. The ice cream was good but sadly it was actually topped with what seemed to be a minty Blackpool rock rather than Edinburgh Rock, which led to disappointment and a clash of flavours.
We weren’t rushed out so got to finish our drinks at our own pace. However when we got the bill we had an ambiguous 20% gratuity on the bill where it wasn’t clear if it was added or not. I’d usually expect a tip to be added automatically for a group our size but we felt a bit annoyed with the 20% as it should be our choice whether to give more than 10% but at the same time it wasn’t added to any final total. We paid it as the waiter had treated us well but they really should be clearer and fairer with their billing. Whilst Turquoise Thistle won’t set the world alight with its food, I wouldn’t completely write it off as it did have some nice elements.
Food – 6/10
Service – 8.5/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8.5/10
Overall – 30/40
Would I eat here again? At a push.
Cost £305 for 9 x 3 courses and 1 x 2 course, three bottles of wine, 1 glass of rose, three cocktails and an orange juice, inclusive of tip.