REVIEW : Christmas Lunch & Cocktails at Dine, Edinburgh

The Christmas Carol ~ Twinkle Twinkle little Star ~ is what sprang to mind as we took our seats beneath the fairy light canopy of tree, the centre piece of this restaurant.

We had come to Dine Edinburgh for our Christmas lunch and couldn’t wait to get started.

It was my first Christmas feast of the festive season and was eager to read what delights were on the menu. It’s a 4-4-4 menu (four starters, four mains and 4 dessert dishes to choose from).

First off there is always a stack of their scrumptious sourdough bread accompanied by a few large dollops of appetising green herb and garlic hummus.

And lovely large briny firm olives. I love it that they give you a decent amount of both bread and hummus so that you can spread a thick layer of the chunky hummus on the warm bread. Ideal for munching and reading whilst deciding what to choose for lunch.

We enjoyed a glass of bubbly on arrival which is definitely the best way to begin a Christmas lunch but also chose this Valpolicella Red Italian wine. As we were both choosing red meats for our mains and fairly fruity starters, this red bursting with fragrant fruit flavours of dark cherries and black pepper, was the perfect match for our lunch.

The four starters dishes on the menu are:

  • Chicken and cranberry rillette, Madeira gel, pickled beetroot, toasted sour dough
  • Roast tomato soup, basil, crème fraiche
  • Caramelised goat’s cheese, soused winter vegetables, bitter leaf salad
  • Smoked salmon, lemon and dill cream cheese, compressed cucumber, toasted brioche

TartanSpoonie, Ryan choose the Chicken and Cranberry Rillette, Madeira gel, pickled beetroot, toasted sour dough. A rillette is similar to pate, where the meat is cut up into small squares and set, but creamy enough to spread on toast or bread. The beetroot really shone on the dish, lovely and earthy cutting through the creaminess of the rillette.

I chose the Caramelised goat’s cheese, soused winter vegetables with a bitter leaf salad.

The caramelised goats cheese had a wonderful smoked flavour and hints of caramel from the charring around the edges. The veggies were sweet and the bitter salad balanced this dish out well. The toast was too hard, but would have been a great crunch addition to the dish.

The four mains are :

  • Pan fried seabass, harissa roast vegetables, gordal olives, crème fraiche
  • Roast chump of lamb, thyme and garlic mash, honey-glazed baby vegetables and kale
  • Crisp confit leg of duck, mulled wine cabbage, fondant potato, cardamom and orange puree
  • Strozzapreti with wild mushroom, tarragon, roasted chestnuts

Ryan chose the Confit Duck. A sensational dish that came with a 10/10 comfort score. The duck was well seasoned and fell off the bone. The orange puree was delectable and complimented the duck impeccably. The cabbage was well cooked and crunchy.

I went for the Roast Chump of Lamb. A hearty dish that would make any belly happy. Vegetables were yum, glazed in honey and the gravy was big, rich and beefy. The mash tasted fantastic but was a little lumpy.

Desserts you can choose from

  • Christmas pudding with brandy cream
  • Spiced apple crumble and clotted cream
  • Selection of ice cream
  • Stilton with caramelised pear and walnut bread

We both ordered the Stilton with caramelised pear and walnut bread. A Christmas Pudding was delivered to another table and I did look on in envy!

The walnut bread was tasty served with several large chunks of stilton cheese, the cutest wee pears that had been char-grilled and slightly caramelised and a nice side scoop of sweet tomato chutney.

Draining our wine we moved over to the comfy bar area for a cocktail or two.

Dine have a terrific Christmas Cocktail list and you’ll find cocktails like Claus Martini with vodka and campari; or Feliz Navidad with tequila and cinnamon marshmallow.

We couldn’t resist two of the coolest sounding cocktails namely Santa’s Punch (pictured above) with Darnley’s Spiced Gin, cloves and lemon Oleo Saccharum, orange bitters and berry cider.

We loved that it arrived in a large blue Christmas Bauble and our Santa hats off to the bartender who ever so carefully had to siphon this concoction through the straw opening at the top!

Next up was possibly the prettiest of Christmas cocktails. The was The Snowflake with Darnley’s Gin, maple and berry water, fresh lemon, ginger liquor, burnt fir and strawberry.

Very similar to a slush puppy and extremely more-ish.

Dine also have cocktails for a fiver! Above is the Cosmopolitan. Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or sweetened lime juice.

Their Mojito is excellent too with a good whack of mint, white rum, sugar, lime juice and soda water.

I rate Dine and think it’s one of the nicest restaurant around Edinburgh Lothian Road/West End. It has the wow factor not only in the decor but also in the food, the cocktails and the friendly super efficient staff. It also helps that it’s not hard on your wallet and you come away feeling like you’ve just had an amazing dining experience.

Christmas lunches are Monday – Friday : £21.50 2 courses / £27.50 3 courses
Christmas dinner Monday – Thursday : £23.50 2 courses / £29.50 3 courses

Dine, Saltire Court, 10 (1F) Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED. Tel : 0131 2181818


My Spoon Award : Gold Spoon Award (9/10)

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