The Magnum, 1 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3PY, T: 0131 557 4366, W: http://www.themagnum.webeden.co.uk/
RATINGS: Food 4.6; Ambience 4; Service 4.7; Drink selection 3.5; Toilets 3; Website 2.5; Total: 22.3/30
I’VE passed The Magnum many times as it is on a well-used route to dodge the traffic congestion on Edinburgh’s busy Queen Street, yet I’ve never ventured in until recently. Frankly, I believed it was basically an up-market bar serving food, but my perception was well wide of the mark. This establishment is so much more than that. Basically, I’ve been missing out. Why? Because the atmospheric bar/restaurant, with a wonderful frontage in Edinburgh’s stylish New Town, produces some wonderful food with a tartan touch. Chris and I checked in on a sunny, Sunday night, and it was busy with tourists from around the globe. The light dining room has a relaxing atmosphere and the service – our waitress was Sarah – was slick and smooth. What’s more, Sarah and the chef did everything to accommodate my diet concerns. We pondered our starter selection. Chris plumped for homemade lentil and tomato soup. He loved it. I was tempted by the Scottish smoked salmon with warm dill pancakes, dressed lambs leaf, crisp parsnip and horseradish cream, but the pan fried breast of pigeon with frisse lettuce, radicchio, toasted pine nuts and plump sultanas proved too much of a draw. It does come with quails egg salad but I opted out of that. It lived up to expectations. Main course was more difficult. Scottish rib eye steak with hand cut chips, grilled baby tomatoes and redcurrant jus plus rocket salad proved too tempting for Chris. My perfectly-cooked venison steak accompanied by broccoli (al dente), thyme and garlic infused chestnut mushrooms and redcurrant just proved a perfect choice with the flavours blending perfectly. The Magum continued to surprise in the sweets. Chris could not resist the sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. I was intrigued by the Pimms jelly with poached strawberries, basil and cucumber sorbet and the eclectic mix of flavours worked perfectly, apart from the basil. So, plaudits to The Magnum and, when you are in town, then drop in, I’ll be surprised if you are disappointed.