Whenever I find myself in Edinburgh with an hour or so to kill, I inevitably find myself in Harvey Nichols. I can waft around the racks of designer dresses and racks of sunglasses for hours, and after all that shopping, you need to somewhere to enjoy a bit of sustenance. Happily the Forth Floor houses the in-store Restaurant and Brasserie, so refuelling can be sone in Harvey Nichols signature glamour. Both also enjoy some of the best views in Edinburgh – something to think about if you’re visiting over the festival period, and want to enjoy some of the nightly fireworks!
When we popped in, it was a bit of a soggy Wednesday, but our window seats, and glasses of Harvey Nichols Prosecco (a favourite of mine) £6 brightened things up immediately! The Brasserie has recently introduced a brand new all day dining menu – a joint effort of all of Harvey Nichols chefs across the country. Working together, they have created a selection of signature HN dishes, so no matter if you’re in Edinburgh or in London, you’ll be able to enjoy the same delicious menu. We kicked things off with a bowl of Marinated Gordal Olives (£4) which were an absolute delight. Pleasingly salty with a warming paprika kick, they paired well with our Prosecco.
Picking starters took a while, simply because every option sounded so good. In the spirit of the new menu, we decided first to order the Moroccan-spiced fishcake, served with pickled cucumber and red pepper salsa (£8). What came were two crispy puffs, gently spiced with sizeable hunks of fish in them. The red pepper salsa lent a touch of sweetness to the dish which was a wonderfully fresh, summery start to the meal.
I opted for the Burrata, with grilled peach, raddichio, and honey dressing (£12), which sounded too good to miss. What arrived was a glistening pearl of cheese alongside sweet, charred peached and bitter endive – in short, it was divine.
Cutting into the cheese led to a delicious ooze of virgin cream, which paired beautifully with the sweet fruit and bitter leaves. It felt as if I was enjoying summer on a plate! It’s something I’m already planning on recreating at home, as it’s such a showstopper of a starter!
Throughout Harvey Nichols Brasseries, the quality of ingredients is of paramount importance. After all, you can taste quality! So, when looking at the menu, we could resist ordering the Scottish Borders Sirloin Steak (£28).
Served with a jug of peppercorn sauce (you can also choose a béarnaise or a garlic butter) as well as watercress and a generous portion of fries, it made for a hearty lunch.
The beef used by Harvey Nichols is sourced locally from Shaw’s Fine Meats based in Lauder,just 25 miles south of Edinburgh. It’s so lovely to be able to eat out and enjoy the very best produce which is available locally. Served up rare (with perfect charring, might I add), the steak melted in the mouth, and the fries were perfectly crisp.
I opted for the comfort-food classic chicken club sandwich with tarragon mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce, tomato, smoked streaky bacon, cheddar cheese (£15). I don’t think I’ve ordered one of these for about 10 years, but this was incredible!
Layers of creamy avocado, crisp lettuce and moist chicken felt wonderfully indulgent, and the touch of tarragon in the mayonnaise lifted the sandwich to a whole other level.
Served with a portion of hand cooked potato chips and a lightly dressed salad, it felt like the perfect lunch order!
Alongside our mains, we couldn’t resist choosing a couple of the side dishes. The Rocket and Parmesan salad (£4) was wonderfully crisp and flavourful.
I couldn’t resist trying the Roasted Chantenay carrots with caraway seeds (£4). Sweet and delicately flavoured thanks to the seeds, they made a perfect accompaniment to the meal.
After having a bit of a digestive ‘breather’, we couldn’t resist jumping into desserts. After some deliberation, we couldn’t resist trying the crispy coconut rice pudding, cardamom, apricot, mango sorbet (£6.5).
This was like no other rice pudding I’ve ever tried before – soft and comforting thanks to the coconut running through it, the pudding was which was perfectly balanced with a hint of cardamom. The bright and fruity sorbet offset the rice pudding perfectly, and the crunchy coconut exterior was a fun, unexpected touch.
I couldn’t resist the sound of the regional cheese selection, served with chutney and crackers (£10). A mix of an aged cheddar, brie and soft blue, it was a real celebration of all things savoury. I lingered over it, enjoying the last sips of prosecco alongside, and it was a gloriously indulgent way to enjoy an afternoon.
The cheeses all worked well together – and the generous portions were enjoyed with the mix of crackers (I was especially enamoured with the charcoal ones) and heaps of spiced chutney.
The new Brasserie Menu is available Sunday and Monday: 12pm – 5pm and Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm – 10pm.