Restaurant review: Cafe Cassis, Salisbury Hotel, Edinburgh

CLASSIC moules mariniere, traditional French onion soup, brochette mer and terre, creme brulee – the menu at the newly opened Cafe Cassis certainly has something of a French flavour to it.

But then that’s hardly surprising, as Denis Guillonneau, the joint owner and head chef, trained at Les Sorbets, one of the most prestigious cookery schools in France, before serving time in the kitchens at the Savoy Hotel in London.

He met his future wife, Alison, in the French Alps but for many years they were best known from their time at the acclaimed Daniel’s Bistro in Leith, where Denis was head chef and Alison the manager.

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Now the couple have struck out on their own, opening their own place in the Newington area. The family-friendly Cafe Cassis forms part of the Salisbury Hotel on Salisbury Road.

And while the menus – there are lunch, day and evening selections – feature a heavy French influence, there’s plenty of room for Scottish fare such as smoked salmon and haggis.

Dishes on the two-course market lunch menu for £7.95, could include such delights as seared mackerel fillets with a sweet red pepper and basil coulis garnished with couscous and rocket salad, whereas the evening menu can feature dishes such as duck confit with a plum and apple chutney served with sliced sauteed new potatoes and braised vegetables, for £13.85.

There is also a proper children’s menu (£6.75 for two courses) which includes chicken liver pate starters, homemade beef burgers and fish goujons for mains and chocolate mousse and crepes for dessert.

Cafe Cassis, Salisbury Hotel, Sailsbury Road, 0131-667 8991, open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 9.30pm