A Gourmet Lunch at number one at The Balmoral Hotel

A colleague emailed round number one’s Christmas lunch menu and from the minute I read it I knew I was going, and I knew a couple of other ladies who would need little persuading to join me! So AVM, Strawberry Blonde and I decided we’d do things properly and booked the Friday off work so we could do it full justice, this was one lunch we were definitely not going to be hurrying!

hmm, my kinda joint!

The Menu itself was streamlined, a choice from 4 starters, 4 mains & 4 desserts followed by coffee for a very reasonable £35 pp. I had the good fortune to have eaten an al fresco lunch cooked by number one’s Chefs, Craig Sandle & Jeff Sands last Autumn, on a day foraging in the Perthshire countryside so had a pretty good idea that it was going to be special.

A glass of pink champagne in the bar warmed us up nicely while we perused the menu.

the most expensive bottle of wine I think we've ever ordered, well in this country anyway!

On hearing our food choices the Sommelier recomended a French Red. SB & AVM took the executive decision to go for it despite it’s rather decadent (well for my pocket anyway) £55 price tag (am picturing my parents’ horrified faces here!).  If it’s any consolation it was VERY good Dad!

Carpaccio of Smoked Duck, Crispy Duck Tongue & Artichoke Salad

Although a huge lover of duck I’ve never tried duck tongues before and, for me, it did, somewhat fancifully, echo back to medieveal banquets where lark’s tongues commonly graced the tables of the rich and royalty. If they can do it so can I?! Not only did this dish taste fantastic but it was a visual ‘funfair’, bringing smiles all round especially when spotting the shape of the beetroot slices!

Borders Pheasant Roulade, Fondant Potato, Red Cabbage & Tarragon Jus

Again the complexity of the dish on every level impressed and I really didnt want this one to finish. The time that has gone into each part is astounding, I’ve never seen anyone lavish so much care & detail on a humble parsnip before, but it became something else under the kitchen’s clever ministrations.

Chocolate Chiboust, Pistachio Joconde, Clementines

Not being one for dessert I thought (for myself anyway) that my food heaven was pretty much ‘game over’ but happily our waiter came to tell us that we could have a complimentary cheeseboard before our desserts if we so wished! hell yeah! bring on the fromage! Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the cheese trolley but, WOW!

After the unexpected extra course we went on to the pudding, which I have to say, despite my lack of a sweet tooth, I managed to polish off pretty quickly, again surprisingly well married textures and flavours turned me (albeit briefly) into a dessert fan!

Petits Fours with our Coffee

Who’d have thought I would have had room for any more sugar but hey ho, petits fours went the same way as the dessert! Loved the presentation on a thin sliver of slate!

I was delighted this week to hear that number one retains it’s Michelin star, and deservedly so, well done Craig & Jeff!

number one, The Balmoral Hotel, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ. 0131 556 2414

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4 Responses to “A Gourmet Lunch at number one at The Balmoral Hotel”

  1. Jamie
    January 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    I like restaurants that limit the menu choices to a few courses. Makes you try something new!

    Duck tounge interesting!


    • January 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

      Me too, over expansive menus make it far too difficult to choose! Short, simple & seasonal works best for me! :0)

  2. October 7, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Congratulations to Chef Jeff Sands for retaining his star in the 2012 Michelin Guide!


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