In a classic New Town Victorian building on the corner of Castle Street and Queen Street, with dark grey walls, pristine tablecloths and a large central chandelier lies the exciting Restaurant Mark Greenaway.
Mark is an award-winning Chef, having received 3 AA rosettes and Michelin Guide recommended in 2014-2017; and has received the Best in World – Chef Category for his cookbook Perceptions at the 2017 Gourmand Cookbook Awards.
If you are a Great British Menu fan, an avid watch of Masterchef and Food Network is your default station on your television; if you get excited by vivid visual presentations and when words like sous vide, ceviche, confit mean your tastebuds go into overdrive; then I guarantee you will love Restaurant Mark Greenaway.
So these were the ‘snacks’ to start us off with. A wooden presentation box of ‘cigars’ filled with Beef and Juniper Cream; Barbajuan (pastry parcels) of Broccoli and Blue Cheese and ‘egg shells’ filled with Smoked Salmon Espuma (foam).
The barbajuans or pastry cigars as I call them, were so light that you almost felt like you were lifting air. The pastry casings were merely vessels to carry the luscious fillings. Both the beef and the blue cheese were prevalent in each. The salmon foam was whipped and pillowy with a full salmon hit. The expectation bar was sent.
First course – Potato Crisp with Cured Salmon, Beetroot and Treacle. Paired with Ruppertsberger, Spätburgunder, Pfalz (Germany) 2013 wine.
This was like unearthing a bowl of delights, piece by piece. The potato crisp was super fine and released the perfect ‘snap’ sound that makes one smile. There were small treacle meringues, globs of beetroot and luxurious slithers of smoked salmon.
You’d expect to pair this with a white wine especially when it come to German wines. But the Pfalz region is producing some big reds. This one is a classic Pinot Noir. You’ll pick up strawberry on the nose with lovely fruit on the palate but fairly dry which helps to cut through the oiliness of the salmon.
Second course – BBQ Shiitake Mushrooms served with Sourdough Toast, Truffle Butter and Parsley. Paired with Cline, Zinfandel, Lodi CA (USA) 2015 wine.
A stunning outrageously delicious dish. The BBQ shiitake mushrooms are served hot and cooked on their log. You are provided with scissors and tweezers to choose and cut off your mushrooms. They are served with truffle butter (you’ll want this by the bucket load) and sourdough toast. Sublime! I honestly could have spent the remainder of the evening eating this.
The wine is from California and you’ll pick up jammy dark berry fruit profiles like black cherries, strawberry and plums with a little vanilla and some spices. Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold meaty foods like lamb shanks and pork ribs, or anything barbecued. A perfect match with the earthy bold barbeque flavours of the mushrooms and the truffles.
No filter used on this pic! The veloute is that green!
Third Course – The Picnic. Wild Garlic and White Onion veloute with Charcuterie and savoury Choux Bun served in a picnic basket. Paired with Massaya, “Le Colombier”, Beguaa Valley Lebanon 2016 wine.
A delightful wicker picnic basket is lovingly placed on your table. Undoing the buckles and lifting the lid you are presented with a silver flask, a packet of dried mushrooms, thin slices of duck and pork charcuterie and choux buns wrapped in shiny brown paper. A cup and saucer are placed down in front of you.
Pop open the flask and the heavenly smell of wild garlic and onion waft through the air; but it’s when you pour it out that you crack another smile. It’s bright, vivid and unexpected. I had three cups of this! Sprinkle the mushrooms on top and just enjoy the savouriness of it all.
The wine is a Rare Red Blend from Lebanon made from unusual or rarely seen combinations of grape varieties. There’s rich aromas of cassis and hints of spice and pepper. It’s lighter than a Cabernet Sauvignon but will hold the flavours from the mushrooms and the bold flavours of the wild garlic and the overall ‘meatiness’ of this dish.
Fourth Course – Plaice with Black Olive, Beetroot and a Chicken Lollipop. Paired with Pulenta, Pinot Gris, Mendoza Argentina 2016 wine.
A nice piece of fish but I would have preferred hallibut and not plaice. It was well cooked and seasoned. The little spheres popped in your mouth bursting with flavours and the chicken lollipop was lovely, a little out of place but delicious. I didn’t enjoy the black olive paste.
The wine is Argentinian from Mendoza and when you mention Mendoza, I automatically think of steak and Francis Mallmann’s Siete Fuegos restaurant, possibly the best steak house in the world. I digress however, back to the wine. This Pinot Gris has a nose of stone fruit, spice and a little smoke but you might pick up peaches and minerals with just a touch of sweetness. It’s a fresh young wine which goes perfect with seafood.
Fifth course – Duck with watermelon, salsify and hot pot vegetables. Paired with Domaine Mas Barrau, Cabernet Franc, Pays du Gard 2016 wine.
This is one of those plates of food where one pea and a slither of carrot would not look out of place; however the difference is that each element of this dish was cooked perfectly, and no matter the combination of ingredients on your fork, each mouthful was mouthwatering. The jus did bring this dish together. The cooked watermelon was genius!
The potatoes were also served separately in a wee casserole dish. Fluffy, hot and buttery and a nice filler.
The Domaine Mas Barrau, Cabernet Franc, Pays du Gard wine is very rich, juicy and ripe. You’ll definitely taste the sweet fruit but with earthy and root like characters too, complimenting the root vegetables and the watermelon and enhancing the smoky earthiness of the duck.
Sixth course – Strawberry with Meringue, Vanilla and Pink Peppercorn. Wine was the Moscato Passito, Palazzina, Piemonte Italy 2014.
A cool and creamy palate cleanser of refreshing and complimentary flavour combos of strawberries and vanilla. Soft and smooth ice cream and vanilla sauce with crunch from the meringue, and strawberry shard. There is nothing on this plate not to love.
The Moscato Passito is a beautifully balanced dessert wine that’s sweet with notes of honey, lemon curd and marmalade.
Seventh course – Raspberry with Candy Floss, Mousse and Jelly. Our last wine was the La Fleur d’Or, Sauternes, Bordeaux 2014.
Oh it’s so pretty and fun! Candyfloss melting to reveal scrumptious raspberry treats from whole raspberries to jelly spheres and raspberry mousse. It’s a playful and utterly delightful way to end your meal.
The last glass was the La Fleur d’Or dessert wine. Creamy with pastry notes that is sweet and luscious. A lovely match to the sticky sweetness of the fruit.
Last but not least, Petite Fours with runny gooey centres of passionfruit and salted caramel served on a bed of cacao nibs in a cacao seed shell. Wow!
This seven course tasting menu with paired wines is like having won a lottery ticket to Flavourland and you are in for one hellava taste rollercoaster. Outstanding!
Restaurant Mark Greenaway, 69 North Castle Street, Edinburgh.
Tel : 0131 2261155 www.markgreenaway.com
My Spoon Award : Tartan Spoon 10/10