I love a set menu. The idea of only having a few choices (or a tasting menu with no choice at all) appeals to me. I end up trying things I usually wouldn’t. I also like the set price that comes with them. Cucina’s Table D’Hote Menu is simple: four starters, four mains, four desserts. Two courses £16.95. Three Courses £19.95.
If you want something more substantial during the festival without breaking the bank, this is a good option. Cucina (‘kitchen’ in Italian) is part of the Radisson Collection Edinburgh, it’s a vibrantly decorated space serving contemporary Scottish cuisine with Italian influences.
Alex started with the Bresaola, air dried beef served with a fresh celeriac slaw. It was a good portion with the shaved meat filling the plate.
I had an inkling that the Ham Croquettes would be a highlight, something similar had appeared on the afternoon tea here and they were delicious. I wasn’t disappointed, this time they had forgone the potato and packed the crispy bites with pure shredded ham hock. On the side, a mini quail’s egg salad and some curried mayonnaise. Perfection.
The four mains don’t offer too much variety, two pasta and two pork dishes, fortunately I like both pasta and pork so it didn’t concern me at all. After a long day at work I was looking for something filling and homely, the Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu hit the spot. A huge bowl of handmade ribbons of pasta with a comforting ragu and a good helping of parmesan.
Alex had the other pork dish, Slow Cooked Pork Belly with cabbage, whisky, and a large deep fried haggis bon bon. I’ve seen this dish feature on many menus, it’s a tried and tested combination and often costs up to around £26, so given the whole menu is just £19.95, it’s great value.
The self confessed Sticky Toffee Pudding connoisseur reported back that this version was ok but the sauce needed to be darker and the sponge needed to be more moist. Despite his complaints he did finish it, so you can draw from that what you like.
I had the very Scottish Irn Bru Jelly with lemon sorbet. I thought this might be a bit of a gimmick but it was actually a very refreshing and well balanced dessert, and I love that they have featured haggis, whisky and Irn Bru on a menu that I’m surely will be eaten by lots of visitors to the fringe.
If you’d like to book a table for this menu, visit the website here.