4th August 2017 6pm
Le Roi Fou can be found just off Broughton Street. Unassuming from the front, this French restaurant is understatedly elegant on the inside. We were seated at the back of the restaurant, which gave it a cosy feel. We were given a lovely little amuse bouche, whilst looking at the menus, which was essentially made from chickpea flour and tasted amazing. This was served with a dip which was delicious. We also got some very warm bread to dip in oil too. We were faced with three different menus; a pre-theatre, an a la carte and a tasting menu. We changed our mind several times but in the end chose the a la carte menu to order from. I went for the steak tartare as a starter (also available as a main) and then liver with bacon for my main. My dining companion chose the spicy Caribbean fish soup to start followed by the braised globe artichoke for her main.
The starters were a healthy size, which I was a little surprised at (in a good way) as I was expecting a small portion considering the style of the restaurant. I do like having my tartare with the egg yolk presented on top, which wasn’t the case here, but it really made no difference as the dish was fully of zing and bite. I loved every mouthful of it. It was served with salad leaves and crispbreads and I’m pleased to report that the crispbreads were just thick enough to take the weight of the tartare. Thumbs up! On the other side of the table, the spicy soup was not very spicy, which led to a small level of disappointment. However, it was still considered a lovely soup. This also came with crispbreads to dunk in, should you so wish.
The mains were also a great size. My liver was plentiful and very soft. However, there was a piece that was thicker at one end and that bit tasted a little underdone (but not enough to put me off eating that too!). The bacon was incredibly crispy but not burnt. The chimichurri was subtle and worked with the dish and the red wine sauce pulled it all together. I had ordered a side of girolles with sugar snap peas as I felt I was overdoing it on the meat with my dish choices. These went really well with the liver and the other small amount of greens on the dish. I polished off the lot. Across from me, my friend was delighting in the artichoke. This came with a poached duck egg, greens and girolle mushrooms. She had ordered a side of fries but found that they weren’t really needed, so ate as many as she could fit in but found she didn’t make much of a dint in the bowl.
We decided to give dessert a go. My stuffed friend chose the light option of a lemon sorbet with came with a shot of gin. I would have gone for that but decided to try the honey poached peach and apricot. My dessert ended up also being quite large so I struggled to finish it. However, the fruit was lovely. It was supplemented with gooseberries as some other red berry I couldn’t identify. On top was a pistachio crumble and then a scoop of crème fraiche ice cream. I was mildly surprised that the fruit was warm as the ice cream scoop was not melting. What magic was this? It was simply sitting in the crumble rather than the warm fruit. My friend found the sorbet tart but refreshing. The shot of gin was generous and seemed larger than a standard shot but could be the optical illusion of the chosen glass.
Overall we thought Le Roi Fou was a nice addition to the Edinburgh restaurant scene. The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly without being intrusive. I think we’ll be back to try the tasting menu.
Food – 8/10
Service – 10/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 34/40
Would I eat here again? Definitely
Cost £76 for two three course meals and a glass of wine