The Balmoral has two restaurants: Number One is their michelin starred fine dining restaurant, and Hadrian’s which offers contemporary dining with some classic Scottish flavours is their brasserie.
I’d already been given the heads up about how good the Scottish salmon was so I decided to take my mum with me who eats salmon 3-4 times a week for her expert opinion.
As you’d expect, the restaurant is well decorated inside with a relaxed brasserie feel. We ordered a bottle of rosé and got chatting. It took a little while for our order to be taken, but we were enjoying the atmosphere so it didn’t bother us too much. The bread kept us going and was served with a very tasty herb oil that I couldn’t get enough of.
The Smoked Salmon starter offers plenty of theatre. It arrives on a trolley with all the traditional accompaniments including capers, shallots, and a lemon wedge. The waitress was really knowledgeable and happy to share the provenance of the salmon which was really interesting, and a bonus for those guests interested in Scottish culture and cuisine.
Having recently developed a taste for haggis I decided to try the Haggis “Neeps and Tatties”. It was a perfect example of our national dish and I felt quite proud that visitors from around the world would be trying this dish as well as that smoked salmon every week – both represent us very well.
On a high from our starters our mains began to arrive. My mum had chosen the Innis & Gunn Beer Battered Fish. Unfortunately this fell a bit short of the dizzy heights of the salmon as she said it was a bit oily and ended up leaving quite a bit of the batter.
My own main course of Roast Letham Chicken Breast was very tasty and a comforting dish that wasn’t too rich. Many people avoid chicken when they’re out as it’s seen as not special enough, but when it’s cooked professionally like this it’s a real treat.
An unusual dessert of Coconut Tapioca was one that we thought would suit someone with less of a sweet tooth.
My Crowdie Cheesecake (pictured at the top) offered a good Scottish twist on a classic and looked very vibrant and appetising.
Overall the quality of the food was I would have expected at Hadrian’s and much better than some hotel restaurants I’ve dined in. The service was a little slow in places but unless you were in a rush, wasn’t an issue.
Location: 1 Princes Street
Price: Starters £8.50-£11.50, Mains £15-£22, Dessert £7.50-£12
Good for: Scottish smoked salmon