Lunch at Cucina, Hotel Missoni’s restaurant

Hotel Missoni’s bar has become a firm favourite of the Edinburgh Blog, since it opened in 2009. And a quick look at tripadvisor also shows overwhelming praise of the hotel itself. Cucina is Hotel Missoni’s restaurant, which attractively spreads across the first floor of the building’s George IV bridge location. The restaurant is large and spacious. It’s surely one of the most pleasant spots in Edinburgh to enjoy a meal. We visited Cucina for lunch where two courses are offered for £12, or three for £15. This is approximately half the price of a meal from Missoni’s evening menu, so it’s an affordable way to try Hotel Missoni’s cuisine.

Autumn salad at Missoni's Cucina restaurant, Edinburgh Grilled beef steak at Missoni's Cucina restaurant, Edinburgh

Cucina’s lunch menu emphasises fresh colourful ingredients, prepared simply and attractively. Nothing could be more colourful than my Autumn salad starter of red cabbage, chickpeas and carrots. Refreshing it certainly was. Over the table, to a backdrop of attractive Missoni pattern and print, was a thick parnsip soup expertly balanced with fiery wild mushrooms The starters were style with substance, a phrase which fits most of Missoni Hotel’s operations.

Prior to our starters we’d enjoyed a basket of Missoni’s fresh bread alongside a dash of olive oil, which the waiter seemed particularly proud of. Happily more bread was offered, which is much needed should you forego a side order. My steak and salad was the case in point - it desperately needed some potato wedges (£3.50). Apart from the lack of substance the steak was melt in the mouth delicious.

The service was unfaltering throughout, helped by an abundance of staff who genuinely pay attention to every table. A large piece of perfectly baked hake on a bed of tasty braised green lentils was the star of our whole meal. It deserved the £15 price tag alone.

Disappointing tiramisu at Edinburgh's Missoni hotel (Cucina restaurant) Bread and butter pudding at Cucina restaurant, Edinburgh's Missoni hotel

After the superb fish, expectations were high for our desserts. The first disappointment came when the supply of Missoni’s dessert of the day (lemon tart) ran out. The substituted bread and butter pudding was uninspiring, not helped by its lukewarm arrival. All of the dessert portion sizes were miserly; more suited to being served as part of an afternoon tea selection.

Missoni’s tiramisu was a spectacular failure. Tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts and I’ve tried it in various guises. This interpretation was certainly not a classic - a pathetically tiny amount of coffee soaked sponge, smothered in what appeared to be standard whipped cream. If the kitchen didn’t have any ‘proper tiramisu’ they should have just said so and not served this imposter. Surely the £6 tiramisu from the a la carte menu offers more. Desserts should never be the weakest link of any Italian restaurant. Especially this restaurant. These two dishes were an unsatisfactory end to an otherwise hugely enjoyable lunch.

To summarise our visit to Missoni’s Cucina restaurant:

A great venue for lunch, with refreshing starters, lovely mains but terribly disappointing desserts.

Hotel Missoni and its Cucina restaurant is located at 1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD.
Telephone: 0131 220 666

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