For a Christmas meal on Monday I went as part of a large group to The Gallery restaurant. Their website says this restaurant is open 10am until 6pm, with the venue being available for private hire in the evenings. The restaurant is on the garden level of the Royal Scottish Academy Building and has a glorious view from the glass windows over Princes gardens, and at this time of year the Winter Wonderland ice rink, The Edinburgh Wheel and other Christmas attractions.
Our booking was for 3.30pm and after a standing welcome drink we sat on the upper tier, of this restaurants three tiered layout. The restaurant is very spacious and has a nice open layout, with comfy seating. The cost was Â£22.50 for three courses, or Â£17.50 for two. Their Christmas menu is available to view online, at the time of writing.
I started with the ‘Foie gras & chicken liver parfait, sun blushed tomato chutney & toasted onion bread’. The parfait was terrific and so was the onion bread. The chutney was done well, although the serving could have been more generous. For main I had ‘ Seared fillet of Turkey, bacon & chestnut risotto, chipolata, buttered spinach & jus’. This was delicious - superbly cooked and presented. However, the portion size was just too small. I realise this is the de facto for Christmas meals at restaurants, but surely creating a good impression would encourage repeat custom? Everyones complaint was the mains didn’t come with any accompanying vegetables. For desert I had ‘Trio of crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©es: Vanilla / Chocolate / Raspberry’. These were very good and served with nice shortbread biscuits (see photo below):-
The service was fairly efficient and we were never rushed: so could enjoy a leisurely Christmas meal. However, some persons ordered steaks and after asking whether they could specify how it should be cooked, the waitresses said they didn’t know. However they wrote the choices down and came out with various medium, rare and medium rare steaks; unfortunately they didn’t know which was which! So obviously not the most trained waiting staff you will ever come across ;-o
It’s hard to form an opinion of a restaurant from eating a Christmas meal there. The food was tasty enough to draw me back though and I’ll be interested to see what difference, if any, there will be in the portion sizes when eating from their normal menu.
Aftewards we went for drinks, including onto The Three Sisters down on Edinburgh’s Cowgate. This pub, part of the Festival Inns group, has a large capacity, and a separate upstairs area available for private hire that holds 400 persons. In the back area there was karaoke on, and a young crowd were struggling through their renditions of hits like ‘I love rock ‘n’ roll.