Restaurant review: Purslane

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STOCKBRIDGE has a new boutique restaurant on St Stephen Street.

Head chef and owner Paul Gunning’s new enterprise has quite a contingent of existing businesses in the area to contend with, but with a wealth of experience he has created an interesting menu with hints of his French and Scottish training.

We went, perhaps foolishly, at the beginning of December, when sensible people are saving up for the festive season of excess, and were greeted with an empty restaurant. Luckily the waitress was both unobtrusive and helpful, ensuring we avoided the uncomfortable feeling of all too attentive service.

From the concise menu, which changes weekly, we shared the pulled pork starter. The meat crumbled under a fork and the braised cabbage and apple sauce accompaniments were perfectly suited.

I followed the pork theme and had roast pork belly with celeriac mash as a main and my friend was a little more adventurous with the monkfish and coconut dhal. The pork was a perfect version of a classic dish and did exactly what it said on the tin. The fish was delicate and the different coconut flavours worked brilliantly. Be warned: ask for more bread to keep you going if you are hungry. The portions are definitely on the typical “fine dining” side.

For dessert, I chose the chocolate torte at the waitress’ recommendation, and my still slightly hungry partner had the cheeseboard with a reasonable variety of cheeses, oatcakes and grapes. The torte is any chocolate lovers’ dream. Creamy, not too sweet and dangerously more-ish. Two courses £21.95, three £25.95.

Hannah Milton

Purslane, 33a St Stephen Street, www.purslanerestaurant.co.uk, 0131-226 3500