Restaurant review: Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, Princes Street

The Galvin Brasserie De Luxe at The Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
The Galvin Brasserie De Luxe at The Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Walking through the vast hotel and two large sections of the brasserie before we reached the main heart, you could be forgiven for fearing a vacant atmosphere, but it is quite the opposite. 

The menu is printed daily to allow the incorporation of the freshest seasonal ingredients and whilst it has a very French flavour, the distinct effort to use local produce is evident. On the pricey side generally, there is also a very reasonable fixed price menu (two courses – £15.50/three courses – £18.50).

Unable to resist the fresh seafood, I started with a couple of Crenan oysters (£2.25 each). Despite having tried “the freshest” oysters in several venues, these were without doubt The Freshest. 

Intrigued by the lasagne of Berwick crab (£11.50) for her entree, my friend was far from disappointed. Perfectly light and unbelievably smooth, the crab was almost in mousse form separated by the thinnest layers of fresh pasta in a small tower. My steak tartare (£10.50) was equally impressive and exactly as it should be with a smooth texture and lovely complementary flavours.  

We stuck to a seafood theme with our main courses, choosing the whole brown crab (£13.50) and grilled langoustines (£19.50) The crab was helpfully half cracked to save my friend from splattering herself; my langoustines were covered in a scrumptious garlic butter. 

The dessert menu had a few eclectic numbers – one such item was “Oeuf de la niege with praline rose” (£6). This was a white mound with a light airy texture. Chocolate tart (£7) was equally easy to rave about. 

To drink we shared a bottle of white Cotes du Rhone (£28) from a pricey list.

It is a place worth its weight in the fresh seafood in which it specialises.

• Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria, Princes Street, 0131- 222 8988, www.galvinrestaurants.com