REVIEW The Lantern Room, Courtyard by Marriott Hotel

The Lantern Room created one of my favourite cocktails last year for the Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend. It was the Chilli Chocolate Mai Tai and it hit every spot possible (look out for their cocktail this year 15-21st October); so with this in mind I headed to dinner with extremely high expectations.

The photos of the Iberico Ham on their social media, was the first thing that made my wee tastebuds jump for joy. I could imagine the ham melting on my tongue accompanied by delicate, sweet, juicy figs and manchego cheese.

Figs, cheese and ham is a very classic Mediterranean dish were the delicate figs can stand up to the strong flavours of salty raw ham giving the whole dish a contrast of fruity, sweet, aromatic and salty tastes.

Unfortunately and disappointingly, no figs! Instead red and white grapes which still delivered on the fruit front.

It was really the jamon that was the masterpiece here with it’s rich flavour profile that could be described as nutty, sweet and earthy. It’s served at room temperature, and at room temperature the meat is primed to melt in your mouth. It’s served as wafer thin slithers that release the complex medley of flavours.

The manchego cheese, a full fat sheep’s milk cheese, was nutty and sweet too.

We enjoyed a glass of Prosecco too just to start the night off right.

We choose a white wine to enjoy over dinner – the Granfort Chardonnay , France, 2017. It’s a light, summery white wine. You’ll pick up soft hints of green apple on the scent and it’s quite tropical to the taste. Fairly dry.

As the Iberico Ham was a pre-starter we were convinced by Bruno, the Manager, to order something from the starter menu. There are only five dishes to choose from on the starter menu – how wonderful! Less is definitely more in my eyes.

The Halloumi and charred Mediterranean vegetables with pesto dressing sounded good as did the Edinburgh Gin cure salmon, juniper berries and pickled cucumber & lemon mayo but as two cheese lovers, we went for the Baked Camembert with sweet onion jam and toasted sour dough to share between us.

Plenty to share. Lovely warm sourdough toast with a small camembert cheese that was gooey and runny in all the right places. Dunk your toast in the cheesy goo and then spoon a generous amount of the sweet onion jam on top. Divine!

Mains were very civilised. Clare was torn between the Coq au Vin of slow roasted chicken thighs with fondant potatoes and baby vegetables or the Wild mushroom raviolo with rocket salad and truffle oil. You can see which one, won. The pasta was stuffed full with creamy mushrooms and surrounded by a woodland of mushrooms and rocket. A great tasting dish, just make sure you love mushrooms first.

I was swaying more towards fish dishes and I narrowed it down to the Monkfish in a curried broth or the Seared Tuna. I’ve not eaten tuna in years, mainly due to a lack of decent tuna, but decided to give this a go and it was fabulous. The tuna steak was at least an inch thick and cooked to absolute perfection. Beautifully seared and hot on the outside and slightly cold and raw in the middle. I ate the lot before I even tackled the chips and the mouli, chilli and coriander salad.

You can choose sides like Truffle Fries (yum), Red Onion, tomato and basil salad and Butter new potatoes. Broccoli and green beans for us.

The broccoli was served with toasted almonds. A nice crunch to the tenderstem broccoli.

The green beans were served with roasted shallots and butter. Soft and silky, lovely.

The dessert menu is also sensible, six dishes in total including the cheese board. It’s a pleasure to read and it genuinely does make the decisions less difficult.

The Apple Tarte Tatin with whisky ice cream was recommended to us. Not much to look at but this plate delivered 150% on flavour and texture.

The tarte was perfectly formed with glossy, gooey, sweet, syrupy caramel coating whilst underneath lay sweetened, soft apples. The whisky ice cream was a nice touch too.

I quite fancied the Seasonal fruit salad and berries but I though I’d end the night on a chocolate high and ordered the Chocolate Fondant with vanilla ice cream.

And oh, I am so glad I did! It was warm and the ice cream was slightly melting; opening this up it was filled with chocolate fondant that oozed out like slow moving chocolate lava…… happy!

The restaurant use to be upstairs; you’ll now find it downstairs – a mixture of tables, padded seating, and a private dining area that seemed to be hosting an intimate wedding reception whilst we were there. It’s a versatile space tastefully decorated in dark wood and lime green.

I loved the food here. The presentation needs a little work just to elevate it slightly but every dish we ate, we finished. It’s cooked well, seasoned well and just scrumptious. Bruno, the manager, looked after us really well, as did he with every other table that was in. He has a keen eye for details and huge ideas for the restaurant. This is one place to keep your eye on!

The Lantern Room, 1-3 Baxters Place, Edinburgh.

Tel : 0131 5263778 www.thelanternroom.co.uk

My Gold Award : Silver 9/10 (awarded when food and service are excellent).

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