Blythe’s Verdict

In the fullness of time we’ll need to start a more structured programme of revisits for two reasons: some of our reviews will become out of date; and we will start to run out of places, especially within navigable distance during working lunchtimes.

Asparagus tart

Asparagus tart

For now we’ll pick off a few on an ad hoc basis. In the case of The Magnum our decision to go was based on an invitation from their PR people, Crimson Edge. The obliging folks at the venue picked up the food and drinks tab, which was very generous of them.

With revisits I’m going to try to ensure that there’s a fresh perspective offered that brings a potentially different slant to that in the original review. In the case of this evening this manifested itself in the shape of guest quester Eleanor, who was joining for the first time. I’ll turn over the majority of the review to her, in a moment.

What I will say is that I enjoyed this visit to The Magnum more than the last one. I’d previously caught them at the height of a serious fad for using microherbs with everything which unbalanced their dishes. The duck wellington I sampled on this occasion was an outstanding dish that will live long in the memory.



Their wine list was impressively good with an excellent selection of wines by the glass.

So overall, thanks to The Magnum and Crimson Edge. As the busy room of diners on our midweek visit could attest it’s a smart place serving dishes to a high standard.

Eleanor’s Verdict

I have enjoyed reading Blythe’s reviews for a good while now so it was with great pleasure that I accepted his invitation to dinner at The Magnum. I’d passed it on Albany Street many a time but had never eaten there before.



Diving in out of the cold that evening, I found Blythe in the busy bar area enjoying a pre-dinner drink and I joined him for a glass of rioja. We were shown to our table, one of the few still available, and perused the menu with a good five options for starters, mains and desserts. After some discussion, Blythe and I settled on the asparagus tart tatin and the beetroot gravadlax to start and the duck wellington and ribeye steak for main. We allowed the wine choices to be made for us.

Our starters arrived quickly and we both admired the lovely presentation. The beetroot gravadlax was delicately flavoured and went extremely well with the horseradish crème. However the pumpernickel bread was quite strong and tended to dominate. Fortunately, we had a delicious basket of fresh bread to hand so employing that I soon demolished my plate, which was well complemented by the selected chardonnay.

Duck wellington

Duck wellington

I was very much looking forward to my steak – I am quite a fan of a good ribeye – and I wasn’t disappointed. It can be difficult to find a British restaurant that doesn’t err on the side of caution and cook a steak for just that little bit longer. This was lovely and juicy and worked well with the French cabernet sauvignon.

With very little room left at all, we took a moment to enjoy our wines and catch up. A good strong espresso finished off the meal and we were ready to head out into the wintry Edinburgh evening. As Blythe rightly points out, the wines selected by The Magnum throughout the evening were a definite highlight of this most enjoyable midweek visit.

Eleanor scores the The Magnum
3.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20

Today’s questers were: Eleanor, Blythe

We ate: asparagus tart tatin, beetroot cured salmon, ribeye steak, duck wellington

We drank: white wine, red wine, Stewart’s ale, espresso

We wore: geometric patterned dress; algebraic striped suit

Total bill: food and drinks paid for by The Magnum

Square Meal

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Written by BKR