Edinburgh has a whole host of excellent restaurants but The Apartment, in Barclay Place, is undoubtedly one of its best, not only in its eclectic choice of ingredients, but also in terms of value for money. The set menu offers two superb courses for £15 and three for £17 (£19 after 7 pm). There’s also a selection of Chef’s specials, a choice of three kinds of healthy skewers, steaks and (a nice touch here) three dishes that can be ordered as small or large portions, the former clearly aimed at customers with a lot more control than I have! On the night we visited, we were greeted by the maitre d, an affable and chatty Irishman, who certainly knew how to make us feel relaxed and happy. The staff are attentive, without being pushy and the surroundings, though smart and modern, are nonetheless atmospheric and entirely convivial.
For starters we had Pan Fried Squid with Chervil and Butter Sauce and Chicken and Black Pudding Terrine with Star Anise Apricots. If the descriptions sound enticing, let me assure you that the food absolutely lived up to them! The squid was deliciously light and suffused with a subtle lemon tang, while the black pudding had a spicy ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ quality, that ensured the platter was virtually licked clean.
On to the main courses: I went for the Roasted Pork Loin with Merguez, Soupy Puy Lentils and Crispy Pancetta while Susan ordered the Grilled Plaice Fillets with Wild Garlic Mash, Brown Shrimp and Mussel Vinaigrette. Once again, both courses were note perfect – the pork was succulent and perfectly offset by the dark, earthy lentils and the spicy Spanish sausage, while the fish was light and flaky, swimming in that citrusy mussel vinaigrette. Yum!
Was there room for pudding? You bet! And frankly, who could resist the Mille Feuille with Lemon & Lime Curd or the Dark Chocolate Pot with Dulche De Leche and Blueberry Jelly? Not us, that’s for sure. The former was light and buttery, the latter… well, if chocolate’s your thing, then you’re going to be very happy with this.
The meal was accompanied by a very decent Sauvignon Blanc which at £17 for a bottle, was once again, excellent value.
So, should you find yourself in Edinburgh, hungry and in need of something a little bit special, take my advice and steer yourself up towards Bruntsfield and The Apartment. You won’t be disappointed.