19th July 2017 6pm
No. 1 The Grange has been making some ripples since opening on the Newington/Grange border. The venue had a lovely horseshoe bar and we managed to snaffle a cosy looking booth for the two of us. Looking at the menu there were some amazing options, with both us is changing our minds frequently as we found yet another dish to tempt us the further down the menu we went. In the end I settled on crispy lamb belly followed by pan seared duck. My friend opted for the smoked fish chowder followed by the pork belly with a half rack of baby back ribs.
Both starters were nicely presented. I have to say mine wasn’t quite what I expected. The lamb was actually deep fried (or appeared to be) to make it crispy. The lamb strips were stacked in a star shape with a pea and mint side salad and a smoked garlic emulsion. I really enjoyed the flavour of the meat and the cooking gave it an interesting texture. On the other side of the table, the smoked fish chowder looked incredible. Served with homemade aioli, toasted bread and butter, this was quite a substantial starter (also available in a main course size). The content of the chowder was very generous and the taste it provided was excellent. My friend said she wants to come back to eat this again as a main course.
Onto the mains, my duck was presented beautifully, with vivid orange nasturtiums placed on top. The duck was cooked perfectly and was served with the most exquisite duck livers. The addition of bacon, chanterelle mushrooms and duck fat potatoes made it a hearty dish. Topping it all off was nasturtium oil and pickled cherry juice which was viscous-y and lusciously coated the meat. It is fair to say I polished off the lot. My dining companion was tucking into her pork belly and smoked half rack of baby back ribs. This, again, was a very generous portion. The meat was just sliding off the bones. The belly was braised in cider and the ribs were star-anise glazed. On top on this, there were greens, a stuffed salt-baked potato skin with bacon and wild garlic butter, all topped with a big piece of crackling, which gave an almighty crunch when eaten. The only part of the dish that my friend felt was a little off-kilter was the potato, which she felt didn’t really work and wasn’t sure if the dish really needed it. If it was a matter of needing carbohydrates, then maybe small potatoes would be better.
We were way too stuffed for dessert but noted that there were exciting options we wanted to go back and try. The staff were great so made us feel very welcome and happy to plan a return trip.
Food – 8.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8.5/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 35/40
Would I eat here again? Yes.
Cost £50 for two starters, two mains and two spirits with mixers