Hotel Du Vin, Edinburgh

Dinner for 4 Friday night March 19th 2010. Lovely atmosphere, warm, welcoming, buzzing. We very optomistic we were in for something special. As we entered the dining room a woman ran past us at speed, choking . As we sat down we noted her partner a geezer sat and continued eating nonchalantly as the poor woman presumably adminstered the heimlich manouvre to herself in the ladies.

 It was certainly an unusual start to the evening  but not quite as unusual as the Cheese Souffle  which myself and Jackie ordered despite the 15 minute wait which is noted on the menu.Ok Ok I know I am prone to exaggeratation but 15 mins later there were literal gasps as two vast  volcano shaped souffles emerged from the kitchen.  They were almost a foot high!

Is it a volcano? Is it a Hotel Du Vin souffle?

These comical, conical, comestibles  were served with a jug of cheese sauce to the side which we poured over the summit of mount souffle. Delicious.

The boys mistakenly thinking souffles were a little girlie opted for, in Long suffering Husbands case, stuffed pigs ears – small circles of pinky porky ear encased peppered forcemeat which looked appetising but LSH’s verdict was the pigs ear was like a strand of fat. In fact his summation was the chef had made a bit of a pigs ear of it. Ho Ho. Leo’s starterof smoked halibut was served cold and to be honest  the only thing lukewarm about it was it’s reception.

Gimmee red meat now shouted Macho Man. Grrrrrrr

Main courses the boys stuck to their  man, hunter gatherer casting and each ordered a Donald Russel Steak which arrived on a platter cooked as requested with a small poke of chips to the side. The steak  was  declared delicious and kept the neanderthals quiet – aye a blessing.

Staying with pork, and possibly the same pig of ear fame,  I ordered pig cheeks. Two small balls of  pork arrived  rather forlorn and alone in a small puddle of jus.  Rather inconsequential for it’s not insubstantial   price tag. One bite in and it was apparent the reduction of the sauce had resulted in an intensely salty flavour permeating the meat as well as the jus. Lucky for us we’d ordered chips as the pork on it’s own would have far from satisfied a strapping Scots appetite. Chips being extra did hurt the Aberdonian sensibility however.

Pudwise, the boys determined not to fall at the last hurdle had tarte tatin with ice cream – exceptionally good and then we all  finished with a wee doad of home made Irn Bru Turkish Delight. A quirky idea.

Great for hangovers not great for Scottish delight

 They were a familiar Irn Bru colour but taste free and so gellatinous I would make a point of avoiding them were we to darken to doorstep of Hotel Du Vin Again.

The wine waiter got the best Press of the night. Knowledgeable, helpful and well measured.

A big hand for the wine waiter - lovely!

In a nutshell we were disappointed having heard great things. The Glasgow Hotel Du Vin has won many accolades and recently when in the company of a man who once held 3 Michelin Stars he confessed it was one of his favourite places to eat in Glasgow. In my opinion  I’m afraid Edinburgh is far from being in  that league and Hotel Du Vin it may be but it’s far from Hotel Du Cuisine.

Atmosphere. Excellent. 9/10 Staff 9/10 Food 7/10

Hotel Du Vin Edinburgh
11 Bristo Place, Edinburgh (0131-247 4900, www.hotelduvin.com)

Starters £4.95-£8 Main courses £12.50-£19.95 Puddings £6.75 Cheese £8.50 Two-course lunch £10 per person (minimum two people) Two-course dinner £30 per person (includes carafe of wine)

James Dean stylishly posing with fag.

Hotel Du Fume. As an extra wee bit of chat. If you are still a smoker then the outside area at Hotel Du Vin is lovely. Instead of hanging around on a street corner you can sit in elegant surroundings in the external courtyard and they even have a little purpose built wooden open walled hut if it’s raining.

Author: AlisonsDiary

Writer & broadcaster.