Richard Bath went to review the new summer Market Menu at the Sheraton Grand’s One Square brasserie in Edinburgh.
It’s the Holy Trinity, right: good friends, lashings of booze, and properly decent food. Throw in a swanky city centre location, a new and weather-suitable light Market Menu, and you’ve got the perfect way to start the week.
That’s what I found when I met up with two fellow travel and food writers at The Sheraton Grand to try executive chef Shaun Woodhouse’s new menu at their brasserie One Square. The idea of this new market menu is that it’s a light, locally sourced menu that reflects the spring-summer seasons and which, at £23 for two courses or £29 for three courses, doesn’t blow the budget.
But as I hadn’t seen Janet or Minty for ages, we started with a chinwag in the hotel’s bar over cocktails. After a couple of Old Fashioneds and a Mojito had lubricated the conversation, we moved through to the Brasserie for more chat and to try the menu.
The Brasserie overlooks the Usher Hall, with the huge floor-to-ceiling windows letting the light flood in, which was perfect for an early summer’s evening. The menu was also spot on for three hungry diners. Each course has three options, so we each took one of the starters of salt baked celeriac with oyster mushrooms and truffles, a chicken and herb boudin with beetroot, confit garlic, puy lentils and cured bacon, and last but not least a healthy chunk of mustard-pickled seabass with cucumber, watercress and fennel. The chat momentarily ceased, to be replaced by a hum of pleasure from the three of us.
If that was a decent start, our main courses were equally enjoyable. This time the choice was between an excellent spinach, leek and saffron risotto, crispy pork belly with mustard pearl barley, and salt-baked cod with curried cauliflower puree. We rounded off with a chocolate brownie sundae with banana, salted caramel sauce and peanut butter ice cream, a sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream ice cream, and the best of the puddings, a key lime and coconut tart with pineapple and rum.
The verdict? It was, exactly as described, a light, bright meal from a thoughtfully constructed menu, with a well-balanced wine list helping to keep the conversation flowing. The Market Menu runs from Monday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 9.00pm.