I was recently lucky enough to be invited to enjoy a tasting menu at Paul Tamburrini’s restaurant in The Macdonald Holyrood Hotel. What a way to spend a Monday evening! The restaurant, located close to the Scottish Parliament, opened around 18 months ago.

Paul Tamburrini trained with Marco Pierre White at the renowned L’Escargot in London and has since had stints at some of the Scotland’s best restaurants such as Martin Wishart, Rogano and Hotel du Vin.

I tried out a six-course surprise tasting menu with paired wine. The amuse bouche was a crab and lemongrass chowder but the texture was surprisingly more like a foam than what I would expect as a chowder. The lemongrass managed not to overpower the delicate crab. A great start to the meal!

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Next up was the rich and buttery foie gras. It came with a white wine jelly and aubergine miso puree. The acidity of the paired Gewurztraminer wine cut through the richness of the dish. image2

The following dish was probably my favourite; Orkney sea scallop with caramelised cauliflower, cauliflower puree and curry oil. The scallop was sweet and cooked perfectly and the dish was paired with an Austrian white which complimented it well. image3

The duck was the main course, served with braised chicory, brambles and celeriac puree. I really enjoyed the flavours in this dish but it did strike me as more of an autumnal dish than one I would expect to be served in Spring. It was served with a lovely, fruity Pinot Noir.

Dessert was crispy choux bun, served with a caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream. The sweet decadence was just what I was looking for from the dessert.

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To finish the meal I was served Tete de Moine; a cheese from the Swiss mountains, which is served in thin shavings. Apparently this is to help the flavour and odour develop as more oxygen reaches the surface. The cheese was served with quince and some lovely walnut bread. It was paired with sherry; whilst I do like sherry, the amontillado didn’t quite worked for me and I swapped it for a port which was more to my taste. image2

The main hostess who served us was fantastic; great service and got the timings just right. The other staff were young and a little less experienced but definitely keen to please. The restaurant is stylish and modern and the experience overall was excellent.