It’s easy to overlook hotel restaurants in Edinburgh, but a friend was staying here on business so I joined her for dinner. The Bonham is in a Victorian townhouse in the West End, gently modernised. The wood-panelled dining room is well-lit to dispel the Victorian oppressiveness that some of these buildings can have, and a table by the open window was a lovely, airy space for dinner.
There’s a slightly predictable menu (halibut, venison, lamb, a veggie option) but a surprisingly interesting prix fixe which I found more inviting. I had a very juicy, well-cooked piece of mackerel nicely contrasted with some shredded kohlrabi and with a dollop of gooseberry puree (which I could have had a little tarter, as the purpose of this famous partnership is to cut through the oil of the fish, but no real complaints.) Then I had some of the lightest gnocchi ever, with roasted cherry tomatoes and basil—a perfect combination perfectly cooked. I also got a forkful of my friend’s confit of duck which was light and crispy and with a great flavour. We blew the money we had saved by ordering off the prix fixe menu on a really good albarinõ. I wish all restaurants had wines like this—really well balanced acidity and with a bit of substance but not overloaded with alcohol.
After these nicely balanced dishes with thoughtful flavours and textures we were ready for pudding. I had crème brûlée flavoured with tonka bean, which is a kind of slightly spicier vanilla and BANNED in the USA! I am still alive though. The crème was great—rich but light and with perfect caramel. Good coffee too.
So everything was great and I will come back and try the main menu at some point.