I’m a big fan of discount vouchers, if only for the fact that you end up spending less money. It’s also great for trying out new restaurants that you’re not sure about, especially when they’re expensive. It is because of the voucher I got from itison that we ended up with a great deal on sirloin steaks with duck fat chips, a glass of red or white wine, petit fours and coffee or tea at Monteiths on the Royal Mile for about half the original price.
Located near the Scottish Storytelling Centre in a close (small alleyways that run off from the main street, especially from the Royal Mile) easily identified by their sandwich board sign, but also the multitude of fairy lights decorating the trellis archway. Monteiths is passionate about their food and supporting local business by purchasing ingredients from local suppliers.
The historic elements of Edinburgh is maintained in the boutique cocktail bar and restaurant itself, decorated with a Scottish hunting house theme with elegant tartan upholstery, dark wood furniture, leather bound books and antlers hanging from walls and displayed on the floor to ceiling bookshelf towards the back of the restaurant.
The voucher we booked our reservation with entitled us to two sirloin steaks with either a Bearnaise or peppercorn sauce, duck fat chips with sea salt and a glass of house red or white wine with petit fours and a hot coffee or tea after the meal. The food alone would have already cost us £30 each with a glass of house wine averaging around £5 each, not counting the petit fours and coffee – this would come to a total of about £80, but we only paid £34 for our meal with our itison voucher.
Having said that, some of the other dishes on the menu were quite enticing. We had thought about whether we wanted to order a starter, but decided that the steak might be quite filling, so got a smoked mushroom with smoked garlic side instead to enjoy with our meal.
Sirloin steak with Bearnaise sauce, duck fat chips with sea salt and our smoked mushroom and smoked garlic side with a glass of red wine
As you probably realised from my previous post about the Buffalo Grill, to get perfectly cooked medium rare steak is difficult. It relies on the chef’s skill with grilling steak and knowing how to work the stove and how long to cook the slab of meat on the right heat. Without this, you could end up with a well cooked steak which I don’t enjoy as much. My compliments to the chef though who made amazing melt in your mouth steak and I enjoyed every morsel.
At first glance, I was dubious about the small stack of chips we were served – it seemed like we were given about 6 chips with our steak. I wasn’t about to complain though when we got the side along with our meal as part of the voucher deal. I can assure you that looks are deceiving, the duck fat chips are really thick cut and once you start, you realise how long it takes you to get through them!
The smoked mushrooms were amazing! I’ve tried Arbroath smokies (a speciality of a fish processor, Iain Spink, where fish is smoked using traditional methods from the fishing village of Auchmithie in Arbroath) before and can appreciate the smoky taste of cooked fish, but smoked salmon doesn’t really have a strong flavour and I was curious to know how smoked mushrooms work. We were served a small cup of button mushrooms that look like they’ve been quickly cooked, but with one bite you can really taste the smoky flavour which is interesting…in a good way!
After dinner, we were served petit fours with a drink before we moved on to dessert. I was hesitant about ordering tea (which I would have normally done when asked if I wanted a hot drink) at night as I have trouble sleeping from the caffeine and ordered a hot chocolate instead while the OH enjoyed a cup of espresso.
Hot chocolate, espresso and petit fours
We had a quick look at the dessert menu as well as we felt adventurous and wanted to finish off a good meal with a sweet. It was a bit difficult to decide which dessert to order, although the OH seemed to have made his mind up quickly. After another glance through the list, it was the mention of praline ice cream that sealed the deal for me.
The OH’s cooked pears with vanilla ice cream
My chocolate fudge cake with praline ice cream
One of the great things about eating ice cream from different restaurants is at some point you start to differentiate between hand crafted and store bought ice cream. We noticed that the flavour in the ice cream from David Bann’s was fresh and full and the ice cream at Monteiths is no exception. The chocolate fudge cake was warm on the outside with a hot gooey centre – my favourite kind of dessert.
We left the restaurant full and happy and at some point I’d like to visit again to try some of their other dishes. It was clear from our visit that the cocktail bar and restaurant is passionate about what they serve and making sure that every dish that is served on the table is what the customer asked for. You can also see their passion for food with their sharing of recipes for food dishes and drinks they offer at the restaurant and bar which you can try from the comforts of your own home!
Monteiths can be found at 61 High Street, EH1 1SR and is open for dinner from 5:00-11:00pm daily and lunch on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) only between 12:00-5:00pm. To make a reservation, call 0131 557 0330 or send an enquiry by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.