Edinburgh’s George Bar & Grill (Guest review)

A huge thanks to Llara for taking the time to review the George Street Bar & Grill for me – that tarte tatin looks sooo good!

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Llara can also be found on twitter and instagram.

Here’s how she got on….

As a (somewhat lapsed) blogger, avid instagrammer and self-confessed glutton, when Nadine asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the George Bar and Grill for Eating Edinburgh, I jumped at the chance. Having previously been a member of their gym, I was keen to see what they could do to fatten me up, as well as slim me down.

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The George Bar and Grill is very pretty on approach, whichever side you come from: on Charlotte Square you enter through the very grand hotel lobby, passing by their amazing outside-inside dining area (which must be a gem in good weather!) and, from George Street, their floral display adds a touch of romance. Tip – when you come in from George Street, you want a sharp right down the side of the bar.

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We were seated by the window right in the sunshine, which was a delight, given the grim, cold weather we’ve had this week. Even when the sun got too right-in-the-eyes, I was able to shuffle back and forth across my double couch (perfect height for dining) to suit. Add to that a nice glass of chilled prosecco and I was the proverbial pig in doo-dah.

Which leads me neatly to the food… We started with some pig – Parma ham to be precise. It was part of our Italian Antipasti plate, which also included salami, olives, sunblushed tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and foccacia. It was the perfect size for two people and the perfect complement to the prosecco!

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We followed with catch of the day, red snapper, (me) and beef cheeks (my friend). In truth, the snapper was somewhat stringy and underdone, the crushed minted potatoes could have been more crushed and mintier and I’d have preferred the lemongrass salsa with a bit more lemongrass. All in all, after a strong start, it was a little disappointing. However, had it arrived hotter and with a little more flavour, it’d have been wonderful and I see where they’re going with it! The beef cheeks also could have done with a shade more cooking time. Rather than rendering off as expected, the fat was a little too present and solid for my friend’s liking. However, the risotto was well done and the flavours came together nicely.

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And so to pudding. My apple tarte tatin was a tasty dream – the apple was beautifully soft and perfectly spiced, the pastry was tasty, the toffee sauce was sweet and the ice cream added the necessary creamy finish. Unfortunately, the chocolate fondant (20 minutes wait handily specified in the menu – we were in full gossip and prosecco flow and in no rush!) wasn’t up to the same standard. It was very tasty but sadly not at all fondant – more just a chocolate sponge. Were I reviewing it as a chocolate sponge, it’d have done very well but, as a fondant, it just didn’t cut the mustard.

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All in all, I had a lovely evening. The staff were all super nice, the company was great and some of the food was good – with a few tweaks, it all could have been. With any luck things will improve and, if they do, this could be a great value and quality eat (set 3 course menu for £19.95) in a prime location.

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