MEMORIES came flooding back when I popped into one of the Capital’s newest eateries for Sunday lunch.
The recently opened Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini is nestled in the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, just across the road from the old Evening News office in the shadow of Salisbury Crags.
Arriving at the restaurant’s dedicated entrance on Holyrood Road, the first thing of note is the stylish new decor and friendly welcome.
Maitre d’ Peter swiftly showed us to our table from where we looked out over the rich deep browns and silver greys that make Bistro Deluxe chic yet relaxed; stylish in an understated manner.
On the walls, framed photographs in keeping with the surroundings ensure cutlery has never looked more artistic.
Involved in the decorating of the restaurant, it seems chef Tamburrini has a fine eye for interior design as well as food presentation. It was an observation by Tamburrini while launching the new restaurant that tempted me to go along.
He declared, “Working at this level you become obsessed with perfection - you’ve got to be a chemist on flavours and an artist on presentation.”
That ethos is to the fore from the off. On discovering the other half had never tasted an oyster, Peter ensured two materialised ahead of our starters.
Delicate and served with shaved Gin & Tonic flavoured ice, we couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Bistro Deluxe.
Tamburrini’s ‘signature blend of exquisite French cuisine and the finest Scottish ingredients’ is again evident as the starters arrive - duck terrine, for him, Orkney seas scallop, for me.
Beautifully presented, both were fresh and light and matched with an appropriate wine by Peter, who in a previous life was a sommelier.
To compliment the duck, a Mantleerhof from Kamptal, Austria. For the scallop, a Uraguayan Albarino from Bodega Garzon.
My main of Ghia halibut with coconut, chorizo, cockle and mussel broth, served in a deep bowl, was accompanied by a glass of French Burgandy, while across the table, it was a Nebbiolo from South Africa that came with the slow cooked French farmed rabbit leg.
Judging by the size of the leg, the rabbit was no bunny.
Desserts next, a bowl of Tonka bean ice-cream with a glass of Chateau du Levant Sauternes from Bordeaux, and Key Lime Pie with a glass of Royal Tokaju Late Harverst from Hungary,
All wines we’d never have chosen ourselves.
Throughout the meal, Konstantine (who makes a wicked Old Fashioned) and Ieva looked after us, with service second to none, including an invitation to view the restaurant’s wonderfully eclectic collection of vintage silver trays that decorate one wall.
Cosy, intimate, and with food that is simply divine, Bistro Deluxe is really worth making the trip down Holyrood Road for... a trip you should make now, before the secret gets out.