We are eating our starter and I exclaim, “It’s just like being in France!” “No it’s not.” says Mr EF, “This is better.” So starts our special Bastille Day menu at Galvin’s Brasserie de Luxe at the Caledonian Waldorf Astoria.
I know what you’re thinking already, well that’s no good it if it’s just for Bastille Day! Please read on, I am pleased to tell you that very similar dishes appear on the standard menu.
It seems that no one can quite agree on a definition of Brasserie —do read Jay Rayner on this very subject)—but in my mind, this Brasserie captures much of the flavour of one you might find in Paris. There are the obligatory twinkly mirrors, dark brown wooden furniture and smart waiting staff in black and white. The menu has to have a “Plat du jour” and include many French classics.
We’ve already decided on the Bastille Day menu, but have to have a look at what else is on offer. If there’s one small criticism of the menu, it’s that you need a pretty good knowledge of the classical dishes without having to refer to the waiting staff for a description. But, somehow, all the better for making you feel that you are transported away from an unusually sunny Edinburgh. We’re pleased to see a prix fixe (set menu) served until 7 pm £19.50 for 3 courses and of course the Plat du Jour – My stand out dish Bouillabaisse Marseillaise appears on Fridays.
The fish is beautifully cooked and sits on a glorious, rich intense soup. It’s the sort of soup that you feel you could eat again and again it’s so good. You have to visit the Brasserie to taste this if nothing else! Any dish having to live up to this course had to be special. We were served poulet rôti (roast chicken), peas à la française. This proved to be the perfect summer dish. The chicken was beautifully moist and served on a mixture lettuce, peas and onions – the classic petit pois à la française. If you’ve not tried this combination before, trust me it really works! Portions are generous, but of course we had to have dessert.
The strawberry savarin lived up to its film star looks. It was moist, airy and fruit, just as a savarin should be.
I’ve not mentioned the wines that were chosen to accompany our meal. I really enjoy trying wines chosen by a sommelier to match the menu. I find you always find something new. We discovered Picpoul de Pinet Domaine Felines Jourdan 2012 with the Bouillabaisse, Merlot, Moulin Gimie 2012 with the chicken – this was Merlot with guts, gorgeous and Coteaux du Layon, Chaume, Domaine des Forges 2009 with the Savarin.
Enjoy the Brasserie on your visit, I certainly did. A perfect place for a pre-theatre or pre-Festival show dinner you’ll be very well looked after.
Foodies Festival August 2013
Don’t miss the Brasserie team at this year’s Foodies Festival on 10 and 11 August. There will be a range of dishes from the Brasserie menu to taste.
The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel,
Edinburgh, EH1 2AB.
Galvin’s Brasserie de Luxe on Twitter