My instructions to myself were to keep my head down, not to look left or right at all the pretty things and stay on the escalators to the fourth floor. I was in Harvey Nichols and my bank account thanked me afterwards.
I did catch a few things that were gold and sparkling, calling my name beckoning me to come over but I was here for one thing only which was to try out the new Summer menu at the Harvey Nichols Brasserie and my mission was successful.
The HN Brasserie is located on the Forth Floor (I could have taken the lift, access via Multrees Walk which would have removed all temptation) with incredible views out over St Andrews Square and across the city.
The revamped menu sees a new style and layout that champions classic dishes and seasonal specials. It’s a refreshing dining experience with moreish snacks, appetising starters, hearty mains, meats from the grill, Harvey Nichols Classics, tempting sides and mouth-watering desserts. With it promising so much, I was keen to get stuck in.
The gorgeous Summer evening started of with a light and bubbly glass of HN Prosecco from Sorelle Bronca, Italy.
Thick slices of warm bread with oil and balsamic was set down on the table. I tried to resist I promise but I succumbed to the dough ….
Their new menu is light, refreshing, and a great mix of healthy and something naughty. Chefs from each Harvey Nichols have been working hard on sourcing local produce and quality regional ingredients resulting in fresh flavours and the tastes of Summer on a plate.
For starters you could order the Pickled Vegetable Salad with broad beans, feta and candied lemon or the Moroccan-inspired Fishcake with pickled cucumber and red pepper salsa.
They have an All Day Menu as well as the Summer Dining menu, from which you can chop, change and swop.
I ordered the Burrata with grilled peach segments, raddichio and a honey dressing.
Wow! I absolutely loved this dish. Stunning looking plate which tasted fabulous. The burrata was the celebrity on this plate; a whole burrata with a perfect wobble and a splodge when you pierced and popped it open causing the soft stracciatella (Italian Buffalo milk cheese) and cream to burst out of the solid mozzarella shell. The peaches were warm, char grilled and caramelised resulting in sweet crunchy edges; and the radicchio was fresh and bitter providing the perfect spoon to scoop the creamy burrata and peaches up with but creating the perfect bitter flavour to balance out the sweetness and the creaminess.
Up next was the Honey Mustard Ham Hock with orange segments and pine nut salad.
This was one of those salads you wish you could make at home and when you do, it never tastes the same. The ham hock and the orange are wonderfully matched. The citrus tang and acidity from the oranges balances out the salty savoury taste from the ham hock.
They compliment each other, enhancing their true flavours rather than cancelling them out. The pine nuts added a lovely wee touch of earthy creaminess and the salad brought it all together. A generous dish for a starter.
For mains we had a choice to choose dishes from the Classics Section like the Beef Burger served with bacon, cheddar cheese, dill pickle, tomato, gem lettuce, fries and onion rings; OR the Superfood Salad of grilled courgette, quinoa, baby spinach, tenderstem broccoli, avocado, edamame beans, pomegranate and lemon dressing.
Or from the Mains Section which included dishes like Pan-fried Atlantic cod, roasted root vegetables, pumpkin and creamy minted peas; OR the Roasted spiced cauliflower, aubergine balls, garlic tahini, rocket and pomegranate.
On the Summer menu, you’ll find a Soy and Ginger Borders Pork Belly dish which sounded finger licking good, OR Pan-Fried Coley with crushed new baby potatoes. Both dishes would have ticked the box for me.
However it was a steak kinda night and we choose the Rump Steak with Bearnaise Sauce and the Scottish Borders Rib-Eye steak with peppercorn sauce served with watercress and fries.
Both steaks were cooked to our liking – rare and medium rare and seasoned well. The chips were light and fluffy, freshly cooked and seasoned. Although not the most difficult of dishes to cook, steaks are still pretty difficult to cook right and we were chuffed with our choice.
We loved the sides of coleslaw and Peas a la francaise. The coleslaw was crunchy and creamy but not drowning in mayonnaise. The peas were superb – a mixture of peas, cabbage and baby onions in a cream sauce. Spoon this over some of your steak along with a chip or two and you’re in creamy pea steak chip heaven!
To accompany the steak we opted for some red wine. We chose the Pinot Noir, Framingham Wines, Marlborough, New Zealand. It’s slightly floral with notes of cherries but also a savoury palate ideal for red meat or game.
It was such a lovely evening, that we had time to chat and let our dinner settle before choosing dessert.
I opted for peach ice cream. Creamy with a good peach flavour and chunks of peaches running through it.
And a cheese board. The cheeses are all British – a cheddar, a brie and a gorgonzola with apple and peach chutney and oatcakes.
Harvey Nichols may be filled with designer labels and lots of things to make you beautiful, but the Harvey Nichols Brasserie is a place for a treat whether or not you are laden with shopping bags. It is a large open, airy and welcoming space to dine with magnificent views, and menus that would suit any diva’s, ladies that lunch or those that just want somewhere really lovely to enjoy conversation, cocktails and great food.
Harvey Nichols Brasserie, 30 – 34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. Tel : 0131 524 8350 www.harveynichols.com/restaurant/edinburgh-dining/brasserie/
My Spoon Award : Gold Spoon 9/10