A couple of months ago when I was through in Edinburgh for a full day, I was invited to check out The Magnum situated on Albany Street. I had never heard of this Bar & Restaurant before but I’m always up for trying somewhere new. From their website, they state they “combine Scotlands best local ingredients with traditional flavours. We serve classic Scottish dishes alongside fresh seasonal game and seafood”. Since Ross and I had a jam-packed day, we decided to have lunch instead of the original dinner invitation.
We walked in and on first impressions, The Magnum is beautifully decorated, very contemporary and laid back. The restaurant was rather empty and we clocked less than a handful of tables at the height of Sunday lunch service. We had a choice of table and decided to sit next to the window so we could people watch. Beautiful fairy lights cascaded down the window but what wasn’t so pleasant was the little family of rather noticeably dead wasps which were laying all over the window sill along with a layer of dust. Cringe.
Choosing to clean away the wasps ourselves, our drink order was then taken and paper menus handed out. We were informed that we couldn’t order A la Carte and that we could only order from the Bar Menu or from the Set Lunch Menu. A little disheartening but this was my own fault for not checking what their weekend lunch service is like.
Looking at the menu’s, I was rather perplexed why a Sunday Roast was not on offer. The mains offered within the Set Lunch Menu were not appealing therefore we decided to just order off the Bar Menu and request if we could order a Starter from the Set Lunch Menu. Thankfully, our request was granted.
After a short wait, our starters arrived. I decided to try the Buccleuch Haggis Spring Roll with Hickory Relish and Rocket. I loved this starter. A beautifully crispy Spring Roll shell surrounding a wonderfully spiced Haggis which was cooked perfectly. Sometimes with Spring Rolls, they are drowning in oil but I’m glad to say that there was no grease in sight. The Haggis Spring Roll was complimented with a Hickory Relish and a Mixed Leaf Salad (instead of Rocket as advertised). I didn’t get a huge Hickory Barbecue taste from the Relish but worked very well alongside the Haggis. I’d definitely order this again.
Ross opted for Homemade Soup of the Day which was Roast Tomato and Basil if I recall. It isn’t something he would normally order but with limited choices, it was the best of a bad bunch for him. The soup was a lovely vibrant red colour and smelt wonderful. It tasted as good as it looked, ignoring the rather strange balsamic glaze squiggle. You could taste the basil throughout the soup but it didn’t overpower it. Thumbs up.
It took a while for our plates to be cleared and for our mains to arrive but we didn’t reach the fidgety stage, yet. I ordered Tempura Battered Haddock and Handcut Chips with a Sweet Lemon and Gherkin Aioli. Two beautifully cooked chunks of Haddock were on my plate in a light crispy Tempura Batter. The fish was soft, flaky and fresh. Paired with the Sweet Lemon and Gherkin Aioli, it was a winner. The Handcut Chips could have done with some more seasoning, but when dipping into the Aioli, you didn’t mind. This was by far one of the best Fish and Chips I’ve had in a Restaurant.
Annoyingly for me, Ross ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich in a Rich BBQ Sauce on a Glazed Brioche Bun with Baby Gem Lettuce, Apple and Fennel Coleslaw and Beer Pickled Onion Rings. I detest Pulled Pork. I think it is one food item that needs to end. STAT. Ross however, loves it. The Pulled Pork was tender and smothered in the Rich BBQ Sauce. I tasted a little of the sauce and it was delicious. We both weren’t huge fans of the Apple and Fennel Coleslaw and the Onion Rings were too sweet which was a little off putting.
Once again, service was slow at taking our plates away. The restaurant wasn’t busy at all which, if was, I could understand why service would have been that slow. It seems our waitress was more interested in chatting to one of their female friends that entered the bar just after we finished our starters. I really don’t think we needed to hear about our waitresses love life or how drunk she had been lately. Sadly, we couldn’t get away from it as they were far from quiet. It was rather off putting. The bill couldn’t come quick enough so we could leave and have dessert elsewhere.
It was a rather sad end to a mostly enjoyable lunch. The food for the most part was very good and I’d definitely return again for the Haggis and Tempura Haddock, if different staff were on duty. It’s just a pity that the staff let the kitchen and Restaurant down.
Disclaimer: I was invited by The Magnum Edinburgh as a guest in return for a review. Whilst my meal was complimentary, we paid for drinks and left a tip. I was under no obligation to write a positive review and my comments reflect my true experience that afternoon.
- Food - 8/108/10
- Service - 3/103/10
- Value - 8/108/10