I never wrote up my trip to Martin Wishart’s Michelin starred restaurant in Leith - but my praise would have been unanimous and memories of a long night working through the restaurant’s tasting menu remains my favourite dining experience in Edinburgh. Martin Wishart isn’t actually the chef at The Honours - but this city centre project is his brasserie and he has trusted Paul Tamburrini as his head chef. There’s a familiar face running the front of house in Steven Spear - one of the main reasons our night at Restaurant Martin Wishart was so special, all of those years ago. The Honours opened last Summer and if anyone can make a success of this location (predecessor Tony’s Table closed before we had chance to visit) it is surely Wishart.
The service at The Honours is polished and highly professional - exactly what I would have expected, but pleasing nonetheless. What more authentic way to start than with a dish of Martin Wishart produced smoked salmon (Â£9.50) - served simply with finely diced red onions, capers and lemon. Great quality. My pork and duck rillettes (Â£7.95) were beautifully shredded and just the right softness.
With limited fish on the menu due to weather hit supply lines, we shared the Chateaubriand for our main (Â£65 for two). This was the smokiest and most succulent steak I have eaten in a long time - it put the flavourless Porterhouse I ate in one of America’s famous steakhouses to shame. The ample bowl of chips were chunky and crispy, but there was probably too many of the over salted onion rings, especially considering the heavy batter. The green salad was delightful, although a lone figure in the battle against the huge dose of indulgent unhealthiness this dish represents. All of the steaks making their way to diners plates looked superb and if there is a better tasting steak in Edinburgh my digestive system has not been challenged by it.
Ice cream sundaes are a novel addition to The Honours menu - we elected to share the black forest gateau version for dessert (Â£7.75). The homemade ice cream was delicious, but there was little of it. The chocolate sauce was poured over the sundae, but it was lukewarm and its addition helped turn the sundae into a milkshake. Give me a Coupe Denmark anyday over this.
We ended the evening with a drink in the adjacent bar: where cyan cushions look stunning against dark walls. This is a terrific city centre bar, which would be a good bar even without the restaurant - the Kir Royale (Â£11.50) was good and I enjoyed my bottle of CusqueÃ±a (Â£4.50). In summary, The Honours is a class act, which is deservedly very popular. A few tweaks e.g. improving the onion rings and ice-cream sundaes, would make it even better - but it is already very good.
The Honours is located at 58a North Castle Street,Edinburgh, EH2 3LU
Telephone: 0131 220 2513