Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, 19 North Bride, Edinburgh EH1 1SD t:0131 472 3000
RATING: Food 4, Ambience 4, Service 3, Drinks 3.5, Toilets 5, Website 4.5
Marco Pierre White left school in Leeds without any qualifications, decided to train as a chef and worked in the kitchen at a hotel in Harrogate. He was still a teenager when he went to London with less than £8 in his pocket, a box of books and a bag of clothes.
There he begin his classical training as a commis under Albert and Michel Roux at Le Gavroche working his way up the catering ladder, including having TV chefs Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, and Matt Tebbutt in his team.
Since then he has progressed onto the international stage and the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton decided to use his profile and talent to re-brand their culinary offering in their recently-refurbished, first-floor restaurant in the four-star, 211-bed hotel which stretches over ten floors.
The time was right therefore to give it a once-over, particularly when we had a voucher for three-courses for £19.95. For the record, it should have been £40 and the mouth-watering deal included a glass of Prosecco.
The surroundings in the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill were pleasant and it offers “gourmet British cuisine from the world-famous chef”. Alongside succulent steaks, White’s most well-known signature dishes – cooking British cuisine using French techniques – are on the menu including French onion soup, beetroot and goat cheese salad and fried haddock served with triple-cooked chips.
However, we wondered who picked the music. It did not suit our taste and the staff? Sadly, management have invested heavily in furnishings and fittings but not in training as the staff did not match the slick surroundings. They were keen and friendly but time stood still.
Our meal? Well, one of our party complemented the smoked salmon and the pate was rich in taste but poor in the quantity of toast which accompanied it and it was rather soft.
However, we were uplifted by the main course. My chicken was beautifully cooked and presented and the rib eye steaks were succulent. They were accompanied by sweet cherry tomatoes and a green salad with a pleasant dressing. Oh, how could I forget the sensational, triple-cooked chips.
We did, however, have room for sweet. A superb cheese board plus cheesecake and chocolate brownie came up to expectations. All in all, thank you Marco for a pleasant culinary experience. A welcome bonus, there is wi-fi but beware the hotel does not have on-site parking. You either fight for a place – and that can be difficult in central Edinburgh – or go to nearby Waverley Car Park.