REVIEW : Browns Brasserie, Edinburgh
What a difference a refurbishment makes. Gone is the dark interiors and the browns of Browns, now its gorgeous turquoise and sea blues, splashes of burnt orange/red. The beautiful new look takes inspiration from 1920s interiors. Echoing art deco styling with high ceilings, black and white tiled floors and opulent gold finishes.
Every inch of this restaurant has been given the luxe treatment and you cant wait to take a seat on very comfortable looking seats. It’s most certainly exudes elegant brasserie style dining.
Besides a refurb of the venue, they’ve also overhauled their menu focusing on quality fresh seasonal ingredients.
Browns are open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. They serve Afternoon Teas, Daily Specials (Chefs Specials like lobsters on a Thursday and fresh oysters on a Friday) and a Sunday menu as well as catering for vegans, vegetarians (stated on the main A la Carte menu) and gluten freebies (separate menu).
BURRATA (v) - Basil and almond pesto, heirloom tomatoes, savoury nut granola and rocket (£9.95)
Burrata is the ingredient of Summer. It’s incredibly light and creamy, with a very mild taste but the perfect partner to sweet tomatoes and rich nutty pesto. It’s a simple dish but absolutely spot on for Summer. Loved it!
I was torn and did want to order the PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS with cauliflower purée, caper & golden raisin vinaigrette and watercress (£10.25) but as Clare was ordering a fish dish too, I went for a vegetarian dish.
TORCHED MACKEREL - Gooseberry compote, cucumber, Greek yoghurt and sourdough croutons (£9.50).
We expected this dish to be cold but it was warm (I know it says torched mackerel) and they kinda tasted like they had been deep fried. The fillets weren’t the prettiest of things as they’d shrivelled with the heat but very tasty indeed.
Had Clare not chosen the Torched Mackerel, she would have ordered the RAINBOW BEETROOT CARPACCIO (VE) - Rocket and walnut pesto, crispy capers, vine cherry tomatoes and pea shoots (£6.75). Sounds lush!
SLOW-COOKED SALTED PORK BELLY - Savoury apple pie, crackling, red wine jus, green beans and buttered mash (£16.50)
Unfortunately both our main courses arrived at our table stone cold. So this was the second attempt.
The pork belly was unctuous with that lovely jelly tasty fat layer just underneath the skin. There wasn’t much of it (not a bad thing as you don’t want too much), but enough to pack each bite with flavour. Crackling was lovely as were the green beans. Mash was faultless, not a lump in sight. The savoury apple pie is a lovely touch although I scooped out the apple sauce rather than eating the pie and mash. Carb overload!
There are so many lovely sounding mains dishes on the menu that I really deliberated on what to order.
The CORONATION CAULIFLOWER (VE) -Saag aloo, coconut raita, toasted almonds, broccoli shoots, beluga lentils and curry oil (£13.50) was my first choice but they had run out of this dish so wasn’t available. The LOBSTER RISOTTO with Heirloom tomatoes, Parmesan and chive (£19.50) was also a dish right up my street but the Pork Belly made it to the table.
Clare, ordered the HALF ROAST CHICKEN in a lemon, garlic and thyme marinade with fries and a Bordelaise sauce (£15.50).
Well cooked chicken breast, wing and leg with a large portion of fries arrived at the table. It was well seasoned and tender. Fries lovely and crispy. You couldn’t really taste the lemon, garlic and thyme marinade on the chicken but it was still flavourful.
We were pretty full and trying to start the week off on a good note so decided to forego desserts. There are 10 desserts including a cheese board to choose from and its a lip-smacking selection from Salted Caramel Profiteroles to Glazed St Clements Tart to Red Berry Eton Mess. If we had to choose a dessert, I reckon we would still be there trying to decide.
The service was stop/start due to them changing shifts at the time of us trying to place our order. Once the switch was made, it was efficient if a little flustered but friendly.
This is a slightly mixed bag, there are some wee points (and I mean wee) that need tweaked but overall the meal was nice and the service good.
Browns Brasserie, 131-133 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JS.
Tel : 0131 225 4442 www.browns-restaurants.co.uk//edinburgh
My Spoon Award : Silver Spoon 8/10
I was invited by Browns Brasserie Edinburgh to review their menu. Food and drink to a total of £50 were complimentary but the views are very much my own.