New Edinburgh restaurant The Mulroy brings touch of country-house class
The menu, by chef Damien Rolain, favours locally-sourced, seasonal dishes
Not far from Spean Bridge, the Battle of Mulroy between the MacDonalds and the Mackintoshes took place in 1688. With fresh tête-à-tête daffodils on the tables blooming harmoniously with muted yellow walls, an Edinburgh restaurant bearing the name of the clan feud is a much more peaceful affair. Indeed, the genuine courtesy and charmingly impeccable manners of front-of-house Patron Clemens Hoss-d’Estenfeld MacDonald dismisses any possible sense of hostility. The Scottish name is his wife’s, a descendant of the winning side, who has designed the interior for The Mulroy, creating a country house ambience with white linen, lots of silver candles, wooden display units and a long oak pew along one wall.
Despite the hints of eccentricity, the place has traditional, high quality values and in that context the food is classy, interesting and fresh. The philosophy behind chef Damien Rolain’s approach is to source as locally as possible and stay strictly seasonal. Infamous for his horse tartare while at L’escargot Bleu, the chef’s credentials go even further back to Abstract and Atrium, local kitchens where contemporary Scottish food with a French slant was nurtured. In The Mulroy, Rolain has found new expression for his classic, French-style fine-dining. East coast Port Seton provides baby langoustine for a salad with green apple, while the west’s Loch Creran supplies the oyster tartare to go with it. Scallops from the waters of Gigha are exquisite in texture, their natural sweetness blending with delicate orange caramel and confit cep jus. A velvety smooth cauliflower puree accompanies.
Truffle oil and nuts are favourites of the kitchen. The former makes an appearance in an amuse-bouche of creamed leek and potato soup, then again in the vinaigrette served with smoked and roasted pigeon breast. Its finishing touch of hazelnuts is but one example of Rolain’s attention to detail in the stunning presentation of his dishes.
Fish is prominent throughout, though mains include their meaty element, with neck fillet of Borders lamb served no-choice rare alongside a giant meatball of braised shoulder minced with cabbage in a startling combination of flavours. Fruit inspires the desserts, with sharp gooseberry sorbet and dark chocolate pave making the most of an underused but classic pairing.
11a–13a William Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NG
0131 225 6061
Tue–Sat noon–2.30pm, 5.30pm–10pm. Closed Sun/Mon.
Ave. price two course meal: £13.50 (set lunch & pre-theatre) / £34.50 (set dinner)
+ Quirky but intriguing selection of the patron’s personally chosen wines
- Tricky stairs down to basement level