EVEN with it’s gargantuan collection of top-quality restaurants, it’s a rare thing indeed to be able to sample a menu ripped straight from the screen.
Fans of the Great British Menu, however, will no doubt be flocking to try the gastronomic delights conjured up by Mark Greenaway in his attempt to make it through to the final. And his Comic Relief menu – which features the kind of invention and playfulness you might expect from Heston Blumenthal – is something that will delight Capital foodies.
The fact this is no ordinary meal is immediate from the off, with the first course served inside a huge Red Nose Day cookbook. The rich Mosaic of Rabbit Terrine is a beautifully laid-out dish adorned with little delights for the taste buds including ginger snaps, carrot meringues, hazelnuts and even a tiny ginger pudding.
The Pan Seared Halibut Fillet, served in a razor clam chowder with a seaweed tuille, came in a dish that was adorned with bubble wrap, and while the food was again delightful – a string but not overpowering flavour, crisp skin and a light creamy sauce – there was some frustration to find most of the wrap had already been popped!
The highlight however was Mark’s own take on boil-in-the-bag duck featuring a bag filled with helium which diners are invited to inhale, before quacking like a duck. Quirky, and extremely entertaining, it was backed up by a dish that was packed with flavours and a rich sauce. The duck leg croquets and watermelon slice were outstanding accompaniments, while the duck itself was pink and tender.
Desert was a “knot” chocolate tart – with chocolate moulded into a seemingly impossible knot and accompanied with frozen cookies, slated caramel and custard jelly, and while a little heavy for my taste was declared the finest desert ever by my companion.
A superb meal, the cost of £55 per head – or £88 with paired wines – is well worth it. And with 10 per cent of the cost going to Comic Relief you needn’t feel too guilty at indulging.
• Mark Greenaway Restaurant, 69 North Castle Street, 0131 226 1155