I’ve always associated Twenty Princes Street with cocktails which is partially correct as it is the restaurant partner to Juniper Cocktail Bar both situated inside the new Hotel Indigo on princes Street. I have also known there was a restaurant here, but having never made it past cocktail hour, I never ventured in … until now.
They say it takes seven seconds to make an impression and this restaurant delivers this within the first 5! The space is large and open with high ceilings and beautiful triple height bay windows looking out over the cityscape showing off stunning panoramic views over Princes Street, the Old Town and all the way up towards the Castle. Large plush looking booths line the walls on either side and there is an enviable wine wall towards the back of the dining room.
We were shown to our table, a large round marble one right by the window. It was rather bright but I was glad for the great light when it came to taking photographs!
Twenty presents a wondrously elegant and stunning setting, offering a trendy and sophisticated dining experience where the ambience is refreshingly informal and the atmosphere is glamorous, but not glitzy.
I love the menus. The straightforward limited menu screams Scottish produce and you can tell that the kitchen concentrates on freshness, provenance and good produce.
Starters dishes include Scottish mussels, Fresh Goats Curd with Scottish heather honey and Wood Pigeon. I always opt for Scallops so chose the Seared West Coast Scallop ‘Cullen Skink’ (£10) with smoked haddock croquettes, leek and parsley. This essentially is a deconstructed Cullen Skink. The scallops were cooked perfectly, soft, sweet and a lovely caramelisation on the top. The haddock croquettes were fluffy and light and along with the creamy veloute made for spoonfuls of perfect bites.
Mr TartanSpoon chose the oysters! His favourite. There were three dressings to choose from – sherry vinegar and shallot; cider, honey and black pepper and chadonnay vinegar and shallot of which he chose the cider one. Beautifully presented, 6 glistening oyster pearls on a bed of ice that disappeared quickly. (£6 oysters for £14).
The drinks menu booklet is rather fun; they have broken down sections of areas of Edinburgh and paired them with recommended drinks. The Old Town is Classics with a twist; or the Royal Mile which are elegant drinks and champagne. I opted for the cocktail called the Breezy Knees (£9) which falls under the East End. This cocktail is made up of Calvados, Red Squirrel Gingerbread Liqueur, Crème de Peche, False Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Fresh lemon, Grapefruit bitters and Angostura Bitters. Simply delightful.
The wine paired with the oysters was the Domaine de Castelnau Picpoul de Pinet (£9.10). Full-bodied, herbal and citrus.
For mains you can choose from some of the best Scottish produce such as the Perthshire Venison with potato fondant and scorched pear (£19); or the North Sea Cod with langoustine bisque (£17.50) but we choose the Whole Scottish Lobster (£42) and the T-Bone steak cooked on their Josper Charcoal Grill (£34).
I was impressive with the Scottish Lobster. It was a decent size and came dressed accompanied by a copper pot filled with an unctuous garlic and lemon butter drizzle. The flesh had a slight bite to it, but was sweet and so delicious. Watch me drizzle the gorgeous garlic and lemon butter over the lobster here
I ordered parmesan and truffle chips too (£3). These were perfect for soaking up the garlic butter.
Mr TartanSpoon’s T-bone was cooked medium rare and came with chunky chips. A T-bone steak is generally considered to be one of the highest quality steaks as you get two steaks in one – a tender fillet and a flavoursome sirloin.
We shared a lovely bottle of red wine with our mains. Mr TartanSpoon chose the Le Miccine Chianti Classico Riserva (£45).
We thought that there was no room left for dessert but the dessert menu was so tempting that we gave it a go. Desserts include Cranachan Souffle and Pumpkin Pie. I decided to order their most popular dish which was the ‘Fire and Ice’ Bannoffee Baked Alaska (£6.50) and Mr TS the Pistachio and Rape Seed Oil Cake (£5.50).
The Fire and Ice is a showstopper! Sprayed with rum it is lit at your table, burning off the alcohol and melting the merinque before tucking into the gooey caramel, sponge, banana, ice cream concoction that lies beneath. It was very sweet, quite sugary and far too much but worth it! Watch the flaming spectacle here
The Pistachio and Rape Seed Oil Cake was a pretty little dish with the pear tender but firm and sweet. The cake was a little crumbly and overall an okay dessert.
The service here is outstanding. Richard our waiter is extremely informative, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
It is a great restaurant and I am so glad that I have been, as it definitely stands up there with the best restaurants in Edinburgh serving up the best of Scottish surf and turf!
Twenty Princes Street currently has a great offer on called Twenty’s Plenty – two mains and two drinks for just £20 – Monday to Friday, 12 Noon to 5.30pm. They also offer a delicious Breakfast, Afternoon Tea and Sunday Lunch; and if you are looking to make an impression or show off Edinburgh to a visito, this is definitely one to consider!
Twenty Princes Street, Grill and Smokehouse, 20 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AN www.twentyprincesstreet.co.uk Tel : 0131 652 7370
My Spoon Award : Tartan