Out and about – Hadrian’s Brasserie

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Time for the second of my “out and about” posts where I talk about places where I have eaten. Today’s post is about Hadrian’s Brasserie in the Balmoral Hotel on Edinburgh’s Princes Street where I was for a work lunch today.

The decor of the restaurant is lovely, and the atmosphere is welcoming, if a bit stuffy although given that the brasserie is part of one of Edinburgh’s most prestigious (and expensive) hotels this isn’t too surprising!

After a rather uncomfortable few minutes next to an icy draft in the doorway whilst our coats were taken we were shown to our table. I ate from their Seasonal Menu and had a starter of Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffle oil, followed by seared fillet of chicken with mashed potato, braised cabbage and a mustard sauce.

After taking our order a waiter came to set the cutlery for our lunch, but a colleague who had ordered soup followed by steak was given a spoon on the right and a knife on the left!? Realising he hadn’t got this quite right the waiter decided the addition of a second knife, this one next to the spoon was just what was needed, and then looked vaguely cross when he was asked for a fork!

The soup was delicious, but the promised bread to accompany it never arrived, – although to be fair I could have asked for this had I been desperate to have it! The chicken was nice and moist, and the portion was a good size, and the mashed potato it sat on was rich and creamy.  The cabbage and the sauce tasted quite salty and over-seasoned, but had a nice flavour underneath.

We skipped desert, through a combination of needing to get back to work (with a coffee after the main course we had been seated for 2 hours by this point), and being quite full.

So overall, I think the food was nice but overpriced (2 courses for £16.50 on the seasonal menu and more if ordering from the a la carte), and the service left a lot to be desired given the reputation of the restaurant. Maybe I caught it on a bad day, but I probably wouldn’t go back in a hurry….. not because I think it’s bad, but because I think there is much better food to be eaten in Edinburgh for better prices.

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