Once again, I was joined by regular guest quester Kim, on a wild and blustery day. The smart dining room, formerly the hub of the famous newspaper, is a signature Edinburgh setting and very nicely appointed.We opted for the set Xmas menu, which offered the expected balance of dishes. Kim opened with the butternut squash veloute then followed with the turkey ballotine. I started with the salmon ballotine (December is ballotine season, after all) then followed with the hake.
Starters promptly arrived. Kim’s soup bowl had blue murder cheese and walnuts at its base onto which the waiter poured the smooth veloute. My ballotine was neatly presented but rather bland in contrast to the sharply bitter citrus vinaigrette which completely overpowered the dish. It was a very unbalanced opener.
My main course was similarly lacking in harmony with the thyme gnocchi completely dominant to the exclusion of everything else of the plate. I’d had the turkey dish (or one very similar to it) the previous here and it had not pleased me much.My cheese course was solidly good with clava brie and more blue murder, served with crisp fruit toast and chunky chutney. Kim commented that her bitter chocolate torte was indeed incredibly bitter.
So overall, it was very disappointing to see the North Bridge Brasserie continuing to make all the same mistakes I’d fed back on two years ago. Dishes looked neat and tidy but reflected a serious lack of balance and an over-fondness for unrestrained bitterness. I have filed it under “not for me” and will not be visiting again.
Today’s questers were: Kim, Blythe
We ate: butternut squash veloute, salmon ballotine, turkey ballotine, hake, cheese, bitter chocolate tart
We drank: water, espresso
We wore: green; yellow
Total bill: £55
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1YT