If I were asked to describe Mark Greenaway’s style, I’d use words such as creative, playful, fun and quirky. The Dining Club at his newest venture, Bistro Moderne is the setting for a monthly trip into a different era. Mark’s creativity is unleashed to re-imagine the food in his own inimitable fashion. It’s a truly unique experience as the dishes are created for one night only. Tonight we are in the year 2024.
Bistro moderne’s sleek grey exterior really gives you no idea of what’s inside. As you enter you instantly feel at home. To the right is the bar. Ahead and to the right the kitchen where you can see the chefs busy with preparation and seating to each side.
I do love finding out how dishes are created. We had what I think we’re the best seats in the restaurant on the counter overlooking the preparation area. Just in front are bottle of gas, plastic bags and stickers, cubes with holes punched out and lots and lots of egg shells.
Our first task was to choose a cocktail. A menu listing vaguely familiar names was presented. Did we want ours served Classic, Dry or Smoked? It was going to have to be smoked. Our smiley sommelier soon arrived with two bottles generously filled with smoke billowing inside. When poured out if the real Edinburgh Gin bottle the gin concoction had a light wood smoke smell and flavour – it did make me smile as each time I poured more smoke escaped. Mr EF’s non-alcoholic cocktail was equally as flavoursome.
Travel in time to 2024
Our first dish arrives and described by our waiter who was clearly relishing the occasion.
I have fond memories of filming Mark’s Quack Like a Duck dish he made for the Great British Menu. This was a new version We watched as our the plate was placed in a bag and filled with helium , tied and a label strategically placed.
Bottles of green sauce, and straws were delivered. The label on the bag instructed us to pierce it and inhale – a strange wonderful sensation as it seemed as if you were tasting the food rather than just breathing in. Served with a crunchy seeds and the bright green watercress sauce, the duck was quite possibly the best confit I have ever tasted.
Our second course was Mark’s take on egg and soldiers. Egg shells filled with what was described as a foam but had more of the texture of a smooth mousse. To the side bread filled with a delicious salmon mixture which Mark encouraged us to dip into the egg when he noticed we were being a bit hesitant and using our cutlery. To the side was smoked salmon. Savoury comfort food perfectly updated.
Our main dish was guinea fowl. I do so wish this was on the menu more often. This came without extra flourishes to let the dish shine – a fascinating take on chicken Caesar Salad. The salad was actually in the dots of sauce – impossibly fresh tasting lettuce. The moist bird topped with a crispy shard of toast with soft, soft cheese on top. Just one word,”mmmm”.
And so onto the dessert – we watched fascinated as all the elements were brought together into a true space age construction – “Banana cake and nutella”. Mark’s desserts are never ordinary, and this was no exception. A glorious mix of flavours and textures – a fabulous end to such a fun meal. This was Mr EF’s favourite.
The dessert from the first Dinner Club has found its way onto the standard Bistro Modern menu but there’s no guarantee you’ll find any of these dishes again. ” That’s the point” quips Mark.
How often do you have a unique meal when you go out to eat? Don’t hesitate. I suggest that as soon as you read this, you book your place for the next dining club at Bistro Moderne and be part of a most enjoyable experience. The Dinner Club is held on the last Wednesday of every month. Cost is £35 per person excluding drinks.
15 North West Circus Place
0131 225 4431
Email for bookings or general enquiries
Open 7 days a week:
Breakfast: 8 – 11am (Fri and Sat)
Breakfast: 9 – 12.00pm (Sun)
Lunch: 12 – 2.30pm
Dinner: 5.30 – 10pm
Sunday lunch and dinner: 12.00 – 9pm