Last week I was lucky enough to be taken on a hot lunch date to The Bonham; a boutique hotel which houses one of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh. I therefore make no apologies for the fact that this review might be a bit on the gushy side.
The Bonham is one of the marvellous Town House Company hotels which also includes the wonderful Blythswood Square in Glasgow.
Situated in Drumsheugh Gardens , The Bonham is easy to miss. No neon signs or a-boards hint at what lies beyond the elegant frontage. Understated elegance continues inside the Bonham where the interior decoration is simple and contemporary with more than a hint of luxury. There is a lovely feeling of space in the restaurant, possibly because they have not attempted to cram every available space with tables.
I must have eaten in the Bonham around ten times now and I have never once been disappointed in any aspect of my dining experience – this lunch was to be no exception
We chose to eat from the Festive Menu as it was our Christmas ‘date’. This was an amazing £25 per person for three courses which includes half a bottle of wine per person. We normally opt for a “Boozy Snoozy Lunch” which is even more remarkable value at £22.50 a head for three courses and half a bottle of wine each. The quality of the food makes this the best darned deal in the city as far as I am concerned.
I wanted everything on the menu as usual, but in the end decided to start with Beetroot tart fine with horseradish cream and goats cheese. BC went for the Chicken liver parfait with crispy shallots, truffle jelly and toasted brioche. Oh my goodness what a fine start to a meal. BC’s Chicken Liver parfait was in my humble opinion worthy of awards – superbly smooth with an intense flavour and a crispy shallot surprise. I did prefer BC’s starter due to the intensity of the flavours but my more delicate starter was also a sure-fire winner. The goats cheese was delicious and this is something I plan to emulate for this year’s New Year’s lunch. Watch this space!
Well it was Christmas so for my main course I opted for Roasted brown turkey with duck fat roast potatoes, parsnips, red cabbage and cranberry. The serving of meat was generous and cooked to perfection. I am not the biggest turkey fan but I do like it when its done well and it was. The cranberries were terrifying at first. After popping a fork full in my mouth I realised that these sour little critters were best smeared ‘sparingly’ on my meat where they served their purpose beautifully. The lightly spiced red cabbage tasted amazing and is definitely something I would like to add to my Christmas repertoire.
BC opted for Slow cooked rib of beef with smoked potato puree, wilted greens and a bourguignon sauce – wowzer! This dish was something special. The super succulent meat (of which there was a lot) effortlessly slid off the bone. The potatoes were extremely smoky and I have no idea how they achieved this but hey ho the result was lovely. The wilted greens were green and wilted and very nice indeed. Again god dammit I liked BC’s main course a teeny tiny bit more than my own.
Surprisingly there was still room in my ever-expanding Grumbling Tummy for a dessert. Vanilla rice pudding with caramelised pears was the truly triumphant pudding which I opted for. Rice pudding is so old school and brings back memories of my granny’s cooking, however granny Hill never included vanilla, and any pears were straight from the tin. This version of the retro classic was divine. Can’t be that hard to make, can it? Might give it a go.
Finishing as he started BC chose a parfait – Christmas pudding parfait with warm brandy custard. It looked stunning and tasted lovely but I was far too engrossed in scoffing my own dessert to take much more notice than that I’m afraid.
So another hugely successful Bonham lunch was complete and we happily rolled out of the restaurant bidding farewell to the marvellous staff and continued rolling to the wonderful Bon Vivant in Thistle street where we finished off our date with a couple of glasses of Tempranillo wine.
Happily sated and a tiny bit tipsy we headed home to plan our next trip to the Bonham.