Printing Press

20th October 2015 6pm

www.printingpressedinburgh.co.uk

Printing Press

Printing Press

Printing Press Bar and Kitchen has popped up in the venue where Tempus used to reside on George Street. A complete refit has taken place and the venue now has more of a plush brasserie type feel. It seems that the restaurant was going for a soft launch, with many people invited before their official launch on 22nd October. We were offered 50% off food so we snapped at the chance. Obviously this discount was being offered to give the place a chance to iron out any kinks in delivery of food and service so this review is writing with that in mind.

Bread - Printing Press

Bread – Printing Press

The restaurant was fitted out with low lighting, dark wood and plush seat coverings. This place is still so new the seats zipped a bit across the shiny floor. The menu offered a good choice, not just in types of food but sizes of dishes. Whilst the standard starters, mains and desserts were on offer, there were also salads, sandwiches and lighter bites available. The wine list seemed extensive but there were only 3 cocktails which were written on a board. A little disappointing particularly as I didn’t fancy any of them but it does seem that there are more on offer now after checking their website. I opted for venison tartare to start followed by a flat iron steak. My friend went for hot smoked salmon followed by chicken, avocado and smoked bacon salad (yeah I don’t get a salad for a main either!!). Whilst waiting for the food to come we were given some complementary bread. This was warm and delicious, particularly with the curl of butter but it would have been easier if the bread had been completely sliced instead of half way as the butter knives weren’t good enough to cut through the base of the bread, leaving us to manhandle the loaf to tear a bit off. Didn’t stop it from being delicious though.

Venison tartare - Printing Press

Venison tartare – Printing Press

The starters arrived, looking appetising. As my regular readers will know, I am keen on a steak tartar but I’d never tried a venison one before. I have to say I really enjoyed it. The meat had more intensity but it worked well with the flavours and the egg was yummy. The sourdough toasts also were perfectly crunchy and added a wonderful texture element. It also left a nice tingle in my mouth afterwards which was very satisfying. On the other side of the table, the salmon was good but she felt as if the creamy part of the dish was like a splodge on the plate and made the dish a little unbalanced. She wasn’t sure if this might have been a personal preference though.

Hot smoked salmon - Printing Press

Hot smoked salmon – Printing Press

Flat iron steak - Printing Press

Flat iron steak – Printing Press

We didn’t have to wait long for the mains. My steak looked to be of a decent size but it was already cut into slices for me, which was a bit odd. However, it was cooked a perfect rare, just as I had asked and was full of flavour. The meat was tender and not chewy in the slightest. The chips that came with the steak were the perfect fries and probably the best I’d had in a very long while. They were crispy and fluffy in equal measure. The béarnaise sauce was served cold. I’m not sure if this was the intention or not (as it can be served either way) but all the other sauces available were ones which are usually served warm. As a result, it did leave the sauce a bit thick but it was still incredibly tasty. The added side I got of wilted greened where incredibly good, having been cooked in garlic. My dining companion’s salad seemed ok but a little less generous than expected for a main. The reason became apparent about 5 minutes later when a senior member of staff came out with a second dish of salad and an apology as my friend had been given the starter size rather than a main. My friend commented that the size was probably quite generous for a starter but gladly took the additional salad as she was really enjoying it. She particularly commented on the quality and taste of the chicken. This was also a sign of good customer service, acknowledging an issue even when it wasn’t overly apparent to the customer and fixing it immediately.

Chicken, bacon and avocado salad - Printing Press

Chicken, bacon and avocado salad – Printing Press

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pot - Printing Press

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pot – Printing Press

We were getting close to stuffed but couldn’t miss the opportunity for dessert. There were a nice range of sweets and left us both with a good dilemma. I ended up plumping for the chocolate and salted caramel pot and my dining companion went for some cinnamon ice cream. The chocolate pot actually arrived in a tea cup and looked very attractive. There was a creamy top to it with shards and curls of chocolate to make it look like I was having a coffee or hot chocolate. The pot itself was not as heavy as I was expecting which meant I was able to polish off the lot. The chocolate was bitter enough that it wasn’t sickly and there was a smallish amount of salted caramel for the same reason. This was accompanied by a couple of delightful hazelnut biscuits which were equally as light and had a tasty dusting of sugar on top. The ice cream on the other side of the table was good and had a distinct cinnamon flavour without being either too weak or overpowering.

Cinnamon ice cream - Printing Press

Cinnamon ice cream – Printing Press

All in all, we enjoyed our meal at the Printing Press. The service was good and the food was tasty. Was I incredibly wowed by the place? Probably not. Was I extremely content? Most definitely. I’d happily go back for more (and to checkout that cocktail list).

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 8.5/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8/10 (but 10/10 with 50% food discount)

Overall – 33/40

Cost £37 for 2 X 3 course meal plus 1 Glass of wine and a Diet Coke (true cost just over £60).

The Printing Press Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Observatory – mini review

27th August 2015 6.30pm

www.theglasshousehotel.co.uk/food-and-drink/relaxing/The-Observatory

The Observatory

The Observatory

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.

The Observatory

The Observatory

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.

Rick’s

NOW REBRANDED AS RABBLE

3rd August 2015 – 7pm

www.ricksedinburgh.co.uk

Cocktail - Rick's

Cocktail – Rick’s

I was invited to Rick’s for a Zomato meet up. This was the first time I got to attend one of these events and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet other bloggers who were just as excited about food as I am. Rick’s recently launched a new menu and we were invited to see it showcased. We were greeted by the manager Andy who told us a little bit about Rick’s and what they offer (as it is not just a restaurant and bar but a boutique hotel). We were given a lovely cocktail to start off the evening . This was quite a delight as it included egg white to make it fluffy and light.

Zomato - Rick's

Zomato – Rick’s

We were taken through to the dining area and talked through the different spaces Rick’s offers. Many of the dining spaces can be closed off the parties which is handy thing to know. The group executive chef Jon Wood, who looks after food for the whole Montpelier’s chain, came had a chat with us and it was clear that he had a passion for food. The knowledge he had about different types of food and the way that he engages and trains his staff really got me intrigued about the type of food I was going to be eating that evening. Jon explained that as a hotel as well as a restaurant, they have to strike the balance between the two markets and therefore is aiming to have a brasserie feel to the menu. We all perused the menu and I think they seem to have hit the mark on where they were aiming but there were also some deals such as their dine out for £10 if your budget couldn’t quite stretch to the main menu. I chose the pig cheeks for my starter. I was originally going to opt for the hake for my main but as they had not got the mussels that it came with I decided to give it a miss, which was a shame but shows that they are not using frozen ingredients and are dependent on availability. Jon has expressed an excitement and knowledge about lamb and this is what I ended up picking for my main. Around the table there are plenty of choices from duck to salmon for starters and chicken to cod for mains.

Pigs cheek - Rick's

Pigs cheek – Rick’s

My pigs cheeks were absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe how soft and tender the meat was. The pancetta and onions complemented it well and the potatoes gave it a bit of weight to the dish. The crispy sage was a nice surprise and brought the dish together. I’ll be honest, I scoffed the lot quite quickly. This could have even been a main with a bit of expansion, it stood that well on its own. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their starters around the table.

Lamb - Rick's

Lamb – Rick’s

Onto the mains, the Inverurie lamb which had been built up by the chef was not a disappointment in the slightest. I had been concerned about the goats cheese gnocchi being paired with the lamb but the chef had explained the thinking behind this so I thought I would give it a go and to my surprise it worked perfectly. I couldn’t believe the combination would be a success but the gnocchi blended with the goats cheese so it didn’t become an overpowering element. The pea puree added a nice dimension and I adored the rosemary jus. I did find the greenery on top of this and the starter a little bit pointless, at least in the way it was presented as it was placed on top of the meats on both dishes, hiding the star of each plate. I have to say I think I inhaled this course too.

Salted caramel and chocolate tart - Rick's

Salted caramel and chocolate tart – Rick’s

We were offered desserts and practically the entire table went for salted caramel and chocolate tart with ice cream. Upon arrival, the slice was very slim but it needed to be because it was quite a rich dessert, so much so that it stuck to the spoon often. Saying that it was very tasty but did need the ice cream to balance it out, although chasing ice cream round a flat slate was not ideal and I had to push a bit of ice cream onto the spoon with my finger at one point. @wewantplates again would be having a field day.

After all the food, another cocktail was offered, showcasing their bottled cocktails which are ‘aged’ for several months to develop flavour. Unfortunately I couldn’t drink this one because of the Aperol but I think the others found it really interesting.

Bottled cocktail - Rick's

Bottled cocktail – Rick’s

The staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable at all levels. The food was of a good standard and I would happily recommend Rick’s as somewhere to try.

Food 9/10
Service 9/10
Atmosphere 8/10
Value 8/10

Overall – 34/40

Cost – whilst complimentary, I estimate it cost around £40 for a three course meal plus two cocktails per person

Please note that whilst this meal was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Zomato for arranging.

Click to add a blog post for Rick's on Zomato

Anfora

NOW CLOSED

10th July 2015 7pm

www.anforawinebar.co.uk

Anfora

Anfora

A couple of us at work had been talking about trying Anfora and when we saw a deal for four, including starters, mains and a bottle of prosecco for £49, we thought we would take the opportunity with a couple of colleagues. Anfora is situated in the Vintner Rooms and when we were greeted and seated, we were given a short and interesting history of the building. The restaurant is split into two, with the dining area near the bar a darker area and the dining section we were in was a light, bright room, lit by candles as they cannot put any wiring in the room. The walls and ceiling are still the originals dating back from the 17th century. Although we had a voucher deal, this did enable us to order form the standard a la carte menu. For starters I went for scallops and then surprising I opted for the tofu for the main. The others went also for scallops, mackerel and quail for their starters and two went for pork and one for fish for the main.

Scallops, quail, mackerel - Anfora

Scallops, quail, mackerel – Anfora

We were given a couple of types of bread and some soft butter whilst we waited for our food. I did find it a little odd that the waitresses were leaning across diners to reach others, rather than going behind the diners when the tables either side were unoccupied and therefore left enough space. However, we had prompt service and the starters arrived not long after. Weirdly, they were not all brought out together and another table were also getting part of their meals at the same time. This seemed a little strange. Anyway, back to the starters. They were visually impressive. The scallops I had were not rubbery but small and soft. The chorizo jam was exceptional and provided a wonderfully sweet and spicy element. The apple and kohlrabi was also lovely and light. The other diner eating the same dish felt exactly the same. My friend eating the quail commented that she was a little worried that the dish would be too sweet but was actually just right. The mackerel eater commented that the orange was slightly bitter but the mackerel flavour was strong enough to stand up to it. We were all very happy with the starters.

Pork, tofu, fish - Anfora

Pork, tofu, fish – Anfora

The mains that followed continued the theme of excellent presentation. My tofu was an inspired choice, even though I am a hardened meat eater. I had been swayed by the honey and soy element of the dish and I wasn’t let down. The dressing was excellent and the summer salad was fresh and full of goodness. It was a perfect choice for a summers evening. The pork was also enjoyed by my two friends who had opted for it. The cheek element was particularly well received. The crackling was also crunchy. My friend who had chosen the fish commented on the generous portion size and that it was delicious. Again, a course we were all happy with.

White chocolate tart, elderflower cheesecake - Anfora

White chocolate tart, elderflower cheesecake – Anfora

We had a bit of a chat as to whether we would head on somewhere for drinks or whether we would stay for dessert. We decided to stay on and try a dessert. Three of us decided to indulge, two going for the white chocolate tart and one for the elderflower cheesecake. Sadly, we waited an inordinately long time for these. These types of desserts should only have needed plating up. We were waiting for the best part of 40 minutes for them. When they arrived, we did get an apology for the delay but no real explanation. The white chocolate tart was actually delicious and not sickly in the slightest. However, the ‘cherries’ that accompanied it turned out to be three halves of cherry. I think that when it is that minimal it doesn’t constitute part of the dish and is mere decoration. The ice cream was not a full scoop and much of what was there had melted. The reason for this became more apparent as the diner eating the cheesecake delved in to find it was starting to melt. Not what you expect for a cheesecake. These desserts must have been left on the pass for a considerable time. We did think about complaining but at this point we had waited so long we decided just to ask for the bill. We did this but then that didn’t arrive. I had to ask a different waitress and it eventually arrived. This took another 10 minutes or so. It really took the edge off the meal.

Had we finished after the mains, we would have left with a pretty good impression of Anfora. Sadly the experience after ordering the desserts took the shine off the experience. That, combined with the slightly strange waiting style (and my friend’s coat which had been thrown, inside out and at an angle, on a coat stand) meant that we were a bit deflated by the time we left.

Food – 7/10

Service – 5/10

Atmosphere – 8/10

Value – 8/10

Overall – 28/40

Cost – £49 for four starters, four mains and a bottle of prosecco plus an additional £19 for three desserts. True cost without the voucher would be around £140.

One Square

4th July 2015 2.15pm

www.onesquareedinburgh.co.uk

Chicken liver pate - One Square

Chicken liver pate – One Square

At this time of year, One Square was bustling with graduates and their families. It’s the perfect location as graduation ceremonies take place over the road at Usher Hall. We had decided we were going to have a lovely late lunch which probably was going to involve cocktails. When we originally booked our table we had intended to do a set menu deal but in the end we all opted to go for the a la carte menu as the set menu didn’t really grab us. Cocktails were ordered and when they arrived most of us found they were quite strong. They certainly don’t water them down here. We placed our orders. I went for the chicken liver pate followed by the steak sandwich. My friends went for a variety of starters including salmon and salad and two others went for steak sandwich for their main and the other (a vegetarian) went for the risotto.

Salmon - One Square

Salmon – One Square

Whilst waiting for the starters we were given some bread. The slices were seeded and made for a very tasty stop-gap. Sadly the butter was rock solid, so it made it virtually impossible to spread. The starters arrived and looked lovely. My pate was light, fluffy and almost of a mousse consistency, not like your normal pate. I found this wonderful. The red onion jam complemented it well as

Rocket, parmesan & balsamic salad - One Square

Rocket, parmesan & balsamic salad – One Square

added a bit of zing to lift the dish. The toasted sourdough was sturdy enough to hold the pate. Elsewhere around the table the salmon was enjoyed and my friends commented on how fresh it tasted. The rocket, parmesan and balsamic salad, whilst simple, fitted the bill. This is actually a side dish on the menu but the restaurant were happy to provide it as a starter.

IMG_0612We didn’t have to wait too long for the mains. Three of us had the steak sandwich, which was accompanied by fries and a garlic mayo. Now I love garlic but I have to say that the mayo was particularly strong, to the point that it made the other two cough and the taste lingered for several hours afterwards. That being said, I still ate it heartily. The steak was still a bit pink and had some flavour. The accompanying salad leaves had a light mustard seed dressing over it which I particularly enjoyed. The fries were rustic but thin, which was good. The risotto was deemed decent and was eaten quickly. We all thought the food was good.

Banana split martini - One Square

Banana split martini – One Square

Onto dessert, we all opted for dessert cocktails and two of us also had a scoop of ice cream. I had a banana split martini which I thought worked well for dessert. The other dessert cocktails the others had seemed a little strong and perhaps not sweet enough. One of the cocktails had been spilt on a friend upon its arrival but the waitress was immediately apologetic and offered to try to fix it but it really hadn’t been much of an issue. The ice cream was standard but nothing stunning.

So overall, the staff were friendly and helpful. The food was good but I do think it is a little expensive for what it is as I could have had something similar elsewhere to the same standard for closer to half the price.

Food – 8/10

Service – 8/10

Atmosphere – 8/10

Value – 6/10

Overall – 30/40

Cost – approximately £250 for 5 starters, 4 mains, and one side, 2 ice creams, 1 bottle of white wine, 6 cocktails and 1 gin and tonic.

Under The Stairs

19th June 2015 – 6pm

www.underthestairs.org

Homeycomb Save Me - Under the Stairs

Homeycomb Save Me – Under the Stairs

A large group of us headed here for a work do. Hidden just off Candlemaker Row, if you didn’t know this place existed you might miss it as it’s situated in a basement. Upon arrival we entered what was a rather dark venue and may well be better suited to winter rather than summer dining. We crammed round the table we were given and I was squished onto an end with my legs around the table leg, which made it for a slightly uncomfortable experience. That aside, we all ordered drinks and started looking at the menu. There was quite a bit of variety and all sorts of cuisines covered, so everyone should be able to find something they like. I ended up going for the pitta bread with dips followed by loin of venison. One of my fellow diners tried to order the chicken but it wasn’t available so had to order something else. Also those ordering steak were a little miffed that they had to order chips separately. However, the staff were very accommodating with a member of our group who was going to be late and let us put in a later food order for him. We also had water for the table but can I make a plea not to put cucumber in it. It really is a pet hate of mine.

Pitta & dips -Under the Stairs

Pitta & dips -Under the Stairs

Once the food arrived, everyone seemed pleased with their choices. My pitta with dips was delicious. The pitta still had an element of softness, which complemented the dips. The dips themselves were suntouched (!) tomato and feta; pea, walnut and chilli and lastly cayenne pepper, date and charred red pepper. I thought these were all of a good standard but particularly like the tomato one. To be honest, it was so comforting I could imagine spending a lazy afternoon sipping drinks and munching my way through a couple of plates of these.

Venison - Under The Stairs

Venison – Under The Stairs

Onto the mains and my venison was a generous portion of meat. It was heavily pepper coated, as advertised, but did leave me reaching for the water at one point. The celeriac puree was tasty and the accompanying broccoli was roasted to give it an extra element of flavour. The berry jus was not too watery and as expected, was perfect with the venison. I had been asked how I wanted the meat cooked and I asked for rare but this was closer to medium. A couple of my friends had the Bombay aloo burger which was massive. One really enjoyed it but the other thought it tasted a bit gritty. Another of my fellow diners had the curry and virtually licked the bowl at the end.

I skipped dessert but some of the others went for a cheese board. The rocky road cheesecake also seemed popular around the table. The cheese board was confirmed not to have blue cheese on but arrived with blue cheese. There was no problem with getting this changed but it was a little annoying after already having asked about it.

Although my review expresses some niggles, overall, we had a good time and the food was generally good.

Food – 7/10

Service – 8/10

Atmosphere – 8/10

Value – 7/10

Overall – 30/40

Cost – £300 for 11 diners, including drinks.

Malmaison

7th June 2015 – 1pm

www.malmaison.com/locations/edinburgh/brasserie

Situated on the Shore in Leith, Malmaison’s Brasserie sits nestled into the ground floor of their hotel. I had bought a voucher deal for Malmaison’s Sunday lunch, which consisted of a soup and/or buffet starter, a brunch or lunch dish and a dessert. Upon arrival, we weren’t really sure whether the Brasserie was the venue of the meal but as there was no-one in the main reception area to ask, we headed that way. Luckily we were right and were greeted by a member of the waiting staff. We were shown to our table and given the menu, which listed the contents of the buffet along with the mains and desserts. There were a selection of brunch options, including a cooked breakfast, and for the lunch options there were a couple of roasts and some other mains such as burgers. I decided to risk full scale over eating and ordered the ½ roast chicken. My friend went for eggs benedict. We had to wait a little while for someone to take our order but we assumed this was to make sure the buffet table was never too busy. This seemed to work well as we were the only two selecting our buffet items at that time.

Buffet - Malmaison

Buffet – Malmaison

We decided to skip the soup and picked some bits and pieces from the buffet. There was a nice selection of Italian and Spanish meats, terrines, bread, cheeses, crackers, salmon, pate and a couple of salads (including a bean salad). There were also a number of dips and sauces but were not labelled so it was a bit of a guess as to what they might be. The buffet table is also relatively small, which means nothing is sat out too long and is replenished regularly. We were restrained enough not to get a bit of everything but between us we managed to taste most things that were available. The spread was pretty tasty. My dining companion particularly liked the terrine and I thought the pate was delicious. The meats were of a good standard and the salads were fresh. The only real complaint was that the bread was a little hard. Not that it was stale but it was just a little difficult to eat. We only went for one helping but some diners were heading back up for more.

Roast chicken - Malmaison

Roast chicken – Malmaison

We received our mains pretty quickly after completing the buffet course. My chicken came with a pork and lemon stuffing, vegetables and gravy. Sadly, the first mouthful of the chicken I had was from a piece that had been sat directly under the stuffing and a piece of what looked like pickled lemon. It was so overpoweringly lemony that I thought I had eaten washing up liquid. However, the stuffing itself was actually quite nice and when I moved to eating other parts of the chicken that had not been touched by the lemon, it was moist and tasty.

Eggs benedict - Malmaison

Eggs benedict – Malmaison

The accompanying gravy had a good flavour and wasn’t too greasy. The vegetables, which has been served in a cast iron side dish had a mixed success rate. The carrots and parsnips had been honey roasted and were absolutely wonderful. I probably could have eaten a plateful of just those. The green beans were nice but were quite crunchy and could have probably done with a minute or two more cooking. The potatoes were disappointing. They were really too large and the outsides were chewy rather than crispy. On the other side of the table, the eggs benedict was proving to be a nice dish. My friend commented that there seemed to be just the right amount of everything on the plate, so each mouthful had a balance of ingredients. The only complaint was the fat on the bacon wasn’t rendered enough and should have been a little more crispy.

Berry and coconut slice and hot chocolate - Malmaison

Berry and coconut slice and hot chocolate – Malmaison

As I had not eaten quite all of my main, this made dessert easier to eat than trying to cram it in down the sides. There was actually a very nice choice of classic desserts including crème brulee and sticky toffee pudding. Once our order was finally taken, I opted for a hot chocolate dessert and my dining partner went for the dessert du jour, which was a berry and coconut slice. When the hot chocolate dessert arrived I had to check that they hadn’t just given me a drink of hot chocolate as it arrived in a cup. Talk about confusing! However, a gravy boat arrived with the hot chocolate sauce inside it and within the cup there was ice cream and a swirl of vanilla cream topped with a couple of marshmallows. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I was particularly surprised at how good the cream was as often cream doesn’t stand up well to ice cream. Everything was smooth and silky. The chocolate sauce was a touch too bitter for my taste but not so much as to spoil the dish. I know that many people would prefer this bitterness level so it’s just a matter of personal taste. On the other side of the table, the berry slice was enjoyed but it was a little difficult to tell what was in each layer.

So, overall Malmaison’s brasserie offers some solid food, when they get it right.

Food – 7/10

Service – 7/10

Atmosphere – 7/10

Value – 9/10

Overall – 30/40

Cost – £30 for two three course meals, no drinks (voucher deal) and would be £40 without the voucher.