Guest Blog – Bisque Bar & Brasserie

Folks, I’m absolutely delighted to introduce Carnahita, a regular visitor to Edinburgh and excellent dining companion. Here is her blogging debut and the first of many I hope! Nx

The Bruntsfield Hotel is in a great location for enjoying Edinburgh’s sites. It’s Bisque Bar & Brasserie “concentrate on offering casual gourmet food”, Strawberry Blonde and I checked it out on a chilly autumn evening.

Two vodka tonics at the bustling bar started the evening nicely. The Maitre d’ showed us to our table, and returned with a half bottle of Taittinger. This went down very well as we perused the menu, brought by our friendly, polite waitress.

We both knew we wanted steak, and headed straight for the “Grills”. Once we’d chosen our Entrecotes, we decided we could fit in a starter, well, it would be rude not to!

SB went for the Haddock Pannacotta, which sounded exceedingly naughty, and I cheekily chose the healthier Thai Fishcakes with tomato salsa. First impressions –  they were both a decent size, smelled delicious and looked very appetizing.  Unfortunately the fishcakes were cold. The tomato salsa made the dish – refreshing and flavoursome. If the fishcakes had been warm, this  would be a winner. SB thought too much panna and notta lotta haddock.

We popped outside to indulge in a naughty habit (nice garden for the summer!), and I tested the facilities on the way back. The Ladies, while clean, was  a bit of a letdown. The wash basin area was cramped and I’m not a fan of loo rolls stacked up on sanitary bins.  A big faux pas for a Ladies – no full length mirror – when the Christmas parties roll in I can see this being an issue!

Walking back to the table, I spotted a perplexed look on SB’s face. When I sat down and picked a chip – lukewarm – I knew why… the food had arrived while we were away. First impression of the plate in front of me – disappointment. The steak looked nice enough, mushrooms and tomatoes were appealing additions, but the mountain of chips was not! Less is often more, this plate was so stuffed with chips that to retrieve any morsel, you ended up with a few casualties on the table. Worse, both steaks were overdone. Very bad steak etiquette! I would have been satisfied in a pub, but not at £17.95 for the privilege.

So, the food had arrived before we had, the steaks weren’t cooked to order, if only there was someone to mention this to! Sadly, no. Our waitress loses a point. While working on our overdone meat (and SB doing her best to politely remove mouthfuls of gristle!), a couple arrived at the table next door. They were offered something we hadn’t seen before – a Specials menu! Waitress loses another point.

Once finished, we sat for a good 20 minutes before the plates were cleared. The waitress asked if we’d like to see the dessert menu – we were pretty full, but you never know when something will catch your eye, plus we wanted a good nose. 25 minutes later, still no menu, the waitress was scraping the barrel for points now.  SB caught her eye, and her face said it all.

A quick glance at the long awaited desserts list, and nothing tempted us to part with more cash. As we paid the bill, a waiter did ask if everything had been alright. SB politely mentioned that our steaks had been overdone – to which he said he’d speak to the chef and the waitress. Nice of him to say, but no incentive to return.

If I was staying at the hotel, I’d be satisfied with the onsite option of Bisque (although the decor was a touch Premier Inn). The prices are high in terms of quality of food and service. If you are in Edinburgh and decide to stay in at your hotel, that’s your choice.

Final reckoning  – the loos 5/10 – clean and functional but nothing more. Service gets 4/10 – very basic errors ruined our good first impression (SB thinks this is too generous!). Overall, Bisque gets a 4 from us.


Bisque Bar & Brasserie, 69 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4HH. 0131 622 8163

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3 Responses to “Guest Blog – Bisque Bar & Brasserie”

  1. Strawberry Blonde
    October 31, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I’m rather impressed with Bisque’s response to this post (below). I’ve popped in for lunch/coffee from time to time before the lovely Carnahita and I tried supper there – and now I fully intend to go back.

    Bisque Brasserie (@BisqueBrasserie)
    31/10/2010 10:57
    @nadinepierce We take all criticism seriously…we’re not happy with what you found at Bisque Brasserie. We’ll change today. Thanks.

  2. Nelly
    October 31, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    I have been to Bisque for a working lunch before and was not impressed at all. The food was extremely disappointing. I do not like the decor either. Shame as it is quite a good location. Hope they do actually take constructive critcism on board.

  3. October 31, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Thanks for the comments, a shame both your experiences at Bisque were below par but I have to say 10/10 for them publicly holding their hands up and offering improvement, makes a huge positive impression (unlike some restaurants who go down the alias comment route)

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