One of our family members wanted to try scallops so I was tasked with recommending a restaurant. I got the shortlist down to Fishers, Ondine and Mussel & Steak Bar. All three have a great reputation for their seafood but we settled on The Mussel & Steak Bar at the Grassmarket.
We kicked off with queen scallops in garlic butter. These are the smaller version, the king scallops being the ones often featured on cookery programs.
Mushroom paté with caramelised onion chutney and oatcakes. The paté was lovely but the ratio of paté to oatcakes was out and I had to request a few more.
Filo wrapped haggis with sautéed turnip and whisky sauce.
For main I went for one of the specials, rare breed short horn beef served with tomato soufflé, portobello mushroom and some of that whisky sauce. The beef definitely tasted different with an earthy/grassy aftertaste which was much richer than standard beef. I’m really glad I went for something off the specials menu, it’s well worth having a look at.
The husband also turned to that specials menu for his main, a half lobster with chips which at £25 we thought was quite a good deal in comparison to the price of some of the other mains. After a battle with what looked like a set of pliers, a wrench and a screwdriver, he demolished the lot.
Pictured above: Hot Roast Seafood Platter – Mussels, oysters, queen scallops, crevettes, and fish of the day in a bouillabaisse and roast garlic oil. This dish ate really well but was crying out for some garlic toast or a hunk of bread to mop that bouillabaiise up. In fact, some bread at the start of the meal would be a really nice touch, especially when a meal for two is hitting the £100 mark.
And so we moved onto the desserts. The husband said his apple and raisin crumble was the highlight of his meal, which after seeing his lobster was high praise indeed.
A lovely chocolate mousse cake with coffee caramel and brandy snap cone. This went down well but I think with cake like this you want a slab, the person who chose this would definitely have liked a bit more!
I turned back to that specials menu for my dessert – chocolate and Tia Maria ganache filled ravioli, fruit and nut truffle, banana and peanut butter ice cream. I’ve been wanting to try dessert ravioli for a while and I love Tia Maria so this was perfect for me, I loved it.
A lovely meal that was lacking in a few small areas – bread for the table, and I’m not sure if the chips were handcut as opposed to the frozen ready for the deep fat fryer version. It’s not cheap but they are high quality ingredients and you’re on the Grassmarket so you expect to pay a bit more.
The Mussel and Steak Bar
Price: Meal for two £90-100