You might not know his name but you’ll certainly recognise the restaurants where Paul Tamburrini has spent honing his Chef Skills; from Head Chef at Cameron House, Loch Lomond, to Executive Chef at Glasgow One Devonshire Gardens; to most recently Chef Director at Martin Wishart’s Honours Brasserie and now as Chef Patron in a partnership with Macdonald Hotels.
Macdonald Hotels, in a move to make hotel dining more exciting and modern have and will continue to team up with some of the UK’s greatest chefs such as Atul Kochhar who owns Sindhu at Macdonald Compleat Angler in Marlow; and Tony Borthwick (ex Plumed Horse restaurant in Leith) who is the new Executive Chef of Rocca Restaurant, St Andrews.
I was invited to the Press Launch night of Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini and along with approx 20 other journalists, bloggers and influencers.
The restaurant has it’s own entrance or you can enter from the hotel. The interior has been finished to an exceptionally high standard right down to the glassware, crockery and cutlery. Every care has been taking in selecting the perfect lighting, the chocolate box of colour tones (all the warm beiges and browns), the dark wood, right down to the lush fabrics. It oozes style.
On arrival we were greeted and provided with a choice of two cocktails; Bellini or Negroni.
These were served by Sommelier Peter Adshead who would be imparting his wealth of knowledge throughout the evening as he paired up our wines with each course.
We were seated in the raised semi-private dining area of the restaurant. Our tables were laden with cutlery and glassware that was well and truly admired.
According to Chef, the menu at Bistro Deluxe is French cuisine using Scottish ingredients. Our menu was five courses which had quite strong Spanish influence paired expertly with wines. Bistro Deluxe has over 40 varietals of wine making up an extensive wine library. They have wine to suit most tastes.
First to the table was sourdough bread and with lovely round disc of salted butter.
The bread is outstanding. Some people don’t like sourdough as it’s often quite tough but I like when the inside is soft and springy and you have to pull on the crust!
Amuse Bouche was double chicken consommé, glazed grelot onions & baby morels. This was such a welcome dish on this cold night. It was warming, light with deep earthy notes from the mushrooms.
This was served with Ridgeview Rose Sparkling Wine from England. A delicate salmon colour with an abundance of fine bubbles. Chardonnay brings freshness and finesse, whilst the Pinots add the classic red fruits for which England is so acclaimed. A raspberry and redcurrant nose carries through to a fresh fruit-driven palate. It’s really creamy and semi-dry.
Sadly the next two dishes are possibly the only two things in the world that I don’t eat! I didn’t get to see the menu prior to the event otherwise I would have asked for alternative dishes.
The is the Sauteed Foie Gras with spice roasted chickpeas and apple. My fellow diners were all oo-in and ah-ing so I reckon that this dish receives a great big thumbs up. I did try a bite and the foie gras was silky smooth; the caramelised apple adding the sweetness to a very autumnal dish.
Fortunately the Foie Gras was paired with my favourite wine of the evening, the Gewurtztraminer, Rolly Gassman from France. Beautifully concentrated aromatic flavours of lychee, rose petals and violets on the nose. The palate is full bodied with a lovely glycerine texture and some hints of apricot. Deliciously long. This wine picked up the apple and the strong bold flavours of the duck liver.
Third course was the Lindisfarne Oysters G&T. Two large, fat, plump oysters served on a bed of crushed ice with Gin & Tonic granita. Lindisfarne oysters are simply some of the best oysters out there and are gracing the tables of many top end restaurants.
The wine of choice was the Gruner-Veltliner, Mantlerhof from Austria. A fine full bodied spicy wine with wonderful floral aromas. An amazing wine with great depth and structure.
This Acorn-fed Iberico Pork with cauliflower and carrots was truly delicious. It was melt in the mouth and the jus was rich picking up all the flavours from the dish.
The only dish served with a red wine, a Pinot Noir, Bodega Garzon from Uruguay. A Carmine red, this Pinot Noir is bright, elegant and expressive with aromas of cherries and roses. In the palate, flavours of red fruits and a touch of earthiness unfold. Complex with notes of mocha from barrel ageing in the finish. It held up well against the bold flavours of the pork.
Dessert was Creme Catalan with pineapple, banana and mango sorbet paired with dessert wine, Royal Tokaji Late Harvest from Hungry. A very light desert to finish off the five courses.
I like the concept of dining somewhere fabulous that’s located within a luxury hotel. For one thing the fine decor is carried throughout, the foyers are always welcoming and decadent and the staff across the board are knowledgeable, efficient, friendly and happy to help.
Here its all that. Throw exceptional Scottish produce into the mix expertly cooked and you have the perfect recipe that takes bistro food to the next level.
If you are looking for somewhere to impress that’s just on the quieter side of the city centre, then this is the place to go!
Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini, Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, 81 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh. Tel : 0344 879 9028 www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk