Situated in the basement of the fabulous Balmoral Hotel, Number One is a restaurant with a huge reputation within the Scottish dining scene.
Under the guidance of executive chef Jeff Bland, the restaurant has held one Michelin Star for nearly fifteen years. The head chef within the kitchen is the talented Brian Grigor. The dishes served in the restaurant present an innovative blend of Scottish and French flavours.
Despite being on our radar for a long time, for some reason we hadn't managed to visit Number One. A voucher we received at Christmas finally gave us the push we needed to book a table
Despite trying to book on a Sunday, we could only manage to get a table at 6.30pm. On arrival at the Restaurant we were instantly surprised by the decor. We loved the luxurious finish of the recently refurbished dining room, and the fact the tables had been well placed throughout the room. The charming waitress talked us through the menus for the evening and we both opted for the tasting menu costing £85.
Here is what we ate:
|Gin & tonic|
These were an impressive start to our meal. Each small bite was beautifully crafted and packed a strong punch of flavour.
|Selection of Breads|
Within the dining room a variety of bread was served on a trolley, where it was nice to try different types. Our favourite was the onion brioche with the bacon butter.
Before our tasting menu begun we were served a beautifully presented amuse bouche. The standout component was the stunning Scottish lobster which had been cooked superbly.
|Balmoral Smoked Salmon|
The cooking of the salmon was fantastic, giving the fish a perfect texture and an intense smokey flavour. We enjoyed the sharp lemon butter which we felt balanced the flavours on the plate well. The caviar placed on the delightful quail egg added some luxury to a stunning dish.
|Our View From The Table|
This beautiful course looked almost like a dessert. The beetroot was distinctively fresh, and had been prepared with great skill. The granola added just the right amount of sweetness to the dish, with the mustard ice cream cutting through this and not being too overpowering. This was a very balanced dish which showed true skill from the kitchen.
The wild Turbot had been cooked to a high standard. We loved the celeriac puree, which had an intense flavour, and a silky smooth texture. The red wine sauce, was rich and flavoursome, a great sauce to match with the Turbot.
This was easily the best dish of the whole evening. The Hogget had been cooked with care. The meat was perfectly pink and was packed full of flavour. The peas were also amongst the best we have ever tried as they were incredibly fresh. We loved the mint yogurt which complimented the Hogget.
A beautiful selection of cheese to enjoy before going onto the sweet courses. We tried five different cheese, with our favourite being the Lanark Blue.
This was a creative pre dessert which we both enjoyed. The small cone was filled with vanilla ice cream and beautiful, sharp, sweet raspberries.
We found this souffle of a good standard, but not quite outstanding. The souffle was light, airy and had a pleasant texture, however we found the banana ice cream slightly too sweet.
|White Chocolate Bombe|
While the souffle was good, this dessert was fantastic. The white chocolate 'Bombe' was light, sweet, and tasted fantastic. Adding coconut to the dish was an inspired choice, as we felt it elevated the dish to greater heights. The sharp fruit was balanced well by the white chocolate and coconut, thus creating not only a great looking dessert, but one that tasted fantastic as well.
|Petit Four Trolley|
Going to a restaurant with preconceived thoughts can be dangerous. For some reason we felt Number One was going to be similar to most hotel restaurants. A stuffy, soulless dining room, where old fashioned cooking is what we expected. To our delight we were completely wrong. The beautiful dining room was packed full of character, and had a vibrant atmosphere throughout our meal. The food was exciting and left us highly impressed. Despite his age, head chef Brian Grigor is clearly a hugely talented chef with a very bright future ahead of him.
Service throughout our meal was also of a very good standard. Despite having received stiff service in the past at hotel restaurants, this certainly wasn't the case here.
We put our hands up and admit we got it wrong with this one. Number One Restaurant is clearly a restaurant operating at the highest level. We overlooked this restaurant for a long time, but please don't make the same mistake as us. We are now huge fans of this restaurant and rank it amongst the best in the capital.