Unlike Caroline, I’d always been a little wary of The Stockbridge Restaurant. To me, dark walls, heavy curtains and white table clothes were more old fashioned than inviting. But what better reason to try a place than to prove yourself wrong?
Although aspects such as presentation were fairly traditional, I wouldn’t say it was to The Stockbridge Restaurant’s detriment. Standards were high across the board, with the service and quality of ingredients notably excellent.
We began with an amuse bouche of mozzarella, tomato, balsamic and serrano ham. The ingredients were so finely diced we felt like giants eating them, but everything was well balanced, welcoming and certainly whet our appetites.
I started with a favourite: scallops. They were soft and juicy, plump and warm, topped with more salty serrano ham. Wonderful. There was possibly too much of the accompanying apple salsa, but it was a pleasant contrasting tang.
Dining chum R chose the spiced pigeon breast with fig tart tatin. A beautiful piece of juicy pink meat arrived, but the standout element of the dish was the deep-flavoured port wine sauce. It was heavy in umami and irresistible.
Next, I enjoyed sea bass with crispy squid, chorizo and roast veg. The tiny squid rings were an absolute treat; a crunchy punctuating pop of fishiness. The accompanying heritage potatoes were heavily salted but soft and fluffy inside. A combination of sweet beetroot and spicy chorizo were ideal to mix and match with the sea bass, itself a gentle centerpiece with a perfect crisp skin.
R opted for the grilled halibut with fried quail egg (yolk delightfully runny) and thin, streaky pancetta. The dish looked fun, if a little reminiscent of a fancy cooked breakfast – with the exception of the halibut, of course. A very impressive slab of moist, flavourful fish, it was joined by a mustard sauce with zing; surprising to see with fish but an effective complement.
My dessert of banana tart tatin with butterscotch sauce wasn’t the prettiest, but its pastry was flaky and the sauce with the banana was a hit. However, I still coveted R’s creamy rice pudding. With heavenly cinnamon ice cream and tart stewed apple, it was a simple and satisfying dessert, well presented.
For me, The Stockbridge Restaurant is not at the cutting edge of Edinburgh’s dining scene. But I would certainly recommend it as a reliable, high quality neighbourhood restaurant, perfect for visiting parents and fine dining fans. We were one of only four tables on a Tuesday night, but the end of the week was already fully booked. Proving the enduring popularity of good service and well executed, tasty food, it’s one to keep in mind.
54 St. Stephen Street
Edinburgh, EH3 5AL