Girl Versus Food

Reviews, recipes and thoughts from a Scottish food blogger

Tag: matched wines

Review: Paul Tamburrini Edinburgh

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.

Mono Edinburgh Review

Does Italian food automatically make you think of hearty, homely cooking; lasagne, Bolognese, pizza? The type of meal where you might need to undo the top button on your trousers afterwards? If you fancy trying a different side of Italian cuisine, I may just have found the perfect place!

Mono opened a few months ago and I’d heard really positive things so I was keen to try it out. It describes itself as ‘progressive Italian dining’ and walking in off the busy South Bridge, it felt like a serene sanctuary with tasteful, modern décor.

The three course lunch (£22) seemed like a good starting point and I added on matched wines at £15. Mono also do à la carte as well as a tasting menu. The lunch menu is concise, with three or four options for each course. The menu doesn’t give a lot of clues as to how the ingredients will be served, but that’s part of the excitement.

After a delicious beetroot and goats cheese amuse bouche and some hand made bread and olive oil, it was on to the first course. I opted for the baked ricotta whilst my friend chose the tuna tortellini. The ricotta dish had lots of colourful elements on the plate and was finished with a tomato consommé poured over the top. The baked ricotta and creamy ricotta mousse worked well with the other elements including the olives, tomatoes and what my friend described as the orange ‘pieces of coral reef’. The tuna tortellini was fresh, had a beautiful bergamot sauce and was topped with crispy onions.

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IMG_6009On to the mains and I had taken our waiter’s recommendation on the cod. A decision I did not regret! The fish was well seasoned and perfectly cooked. The accompanying mussels were a treat! My friend opted for the porcini risotto; probably one of the more traditional dishes on the menu but perfectly executed and the mushroom flavour came across well.

IMG_6016For the desserts we opted for the olive oil cake and the plum tart. This was my first olive oil cake and I was pleasantly surprised. It had a soft texture and wasn’t overly sweet but the honeycomb and ice-cream on the dish gave the right balance. The plum and chocolate tart was dramatically served with a puff of Laphroaig whisky from a perfume bottle.

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The staff in Mono were knowledgeable and attentive without being overbearing. They chose some really nice matched wines for us which I thought were excellent value at £15.

This was an all-round excellent experience and I confirm I there was no need to unbutton my jeans after lunch!

Keep an eye out for special events from Mono; the most recent one was an eight course Truffle Tasting Menu which sounded unbelievable!

I was invited along as a guest of Mono.

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