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Number One’s Spring Flavours Menu is a Love Letter to Scottish Produce

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Number One’s Spring Flavours Menu is a Love Letter to Scottish Produce

Number One’s Spring Flavours Menu is a Love Letter to Scottish Produce
May 23
08:28 2024

Number One, the fine dining restaurant within Edinburgh’s iconic Balmoral Hotel, has launched its new spring menu.

Featuring a eight-course tasting extravaganza which showcases several of Scotland’s most-respected suppliers, the award-worthy dishes are complemented by a selection of wines from 16 countries around the world.

Intimate setting: Number One’s private dining room is just the right size for guests to feel special but not singled out; cosseted but not claustrophobic


Following the service of a triplet of exquisitely crafted hors d’œuvres, the attentive but admirably discreet waiting staff serve up dish after dish, introducing each with a friendly, familiar manner that never crosses the line into intrusive. To the benefit of diners, they know when they’re needed, and they know when they’re not.

First of the courses to arrive is the Shetland salmon, pictured above. Light and flavoursome, its delicate flakes are subtly enhanced with peanut and coriander, while the soy and sesame add a second dimension that requires a certain degree of restraint in order to fully appreciate its attributes.

Next up, a brace of tender asparagus tips added a further dash of colour and flavour before the risotto took charge in place of sweetbreads – our decision – and it didn’t disappoint.

From this point on it was as you would expect from this celebrated, trophy-rich Edinburgh establishment; surprising but sublime; inspiring and bold but always consistent.

Next, the individual hand-dived Orkney scallop took each of us a good 10 minutes to fully appreciate. Small but perfectly formed and presented, it would have been criminal to deny it the time it deserved. The Warwick Farm-sourced sirloin that followed, meanwhile, managed to be both tender and comparably long-lasting. These are all dishes to be savoured, despite the temptation otherwise, and it was reassuring to know there always seemed to be one more to come.

Fortunately, the decorative and generous artisan cheese board arrived at our table well before the end, when we still had space to fully appreciate it. Too often such a course can feel wasted when bellies are already full at the end of the meal.

The team works (L-R): Assistant Manager, Keith; Head Chef, Mat; and Restaurant Manager, Emma

The penultimate course showcased local honey, yoghurt and honeycomb, acting, in a way, as a creamy, fresh, well-timed alternative palette cleanser before the Tomlinson Farm rhubarb grand finale.

Tart but exquisitely sweet: Thomlinson’s Farm rhubarb completes the courses

If there was one aspect we would change on a future visit, it would be the bread. Expertly baked in house, of course, it was cut just a little too thickly for our liking and it meant we almost overstepped the Full mark before the meal had even begun. Not a serious issue, but perhaps one that could be remedied by asking guests how they prefer their slice to be sliced.

All in all, our taster experience at Number One lived up to admittedly sky-high expectations. The recipient of multiple industry awards, the restaurant has a reputation to both uphold and defend in an increasingly competitive marketplace. With its springtime menu, it more than manages to carve out its own individuality, helped in no small part by a team of amiable, perceptive, highly knowledgeable staff. It’s a must-visit before the menu changes in line with the next season.

Offering contemporary dining and world-class Scottish hospitality, the multi-award-winning Number One at the Balmoral is led in the kitchen by head chef Mathew Sherry, with front of house hosted by Emma Hemy. The emphasis on the use of the finest Scottish produce, sourced from a range of local suppliers, is championed by the kitchen brigade who evolve the menu on a seasonal basis. Accompanying wines hail from 16 countries and are introduced and expertly demystified by Assistant Manager, Keith McGregor. Visit the website or call 0131 557 6727 to book.

The Balmoral’s 8-course spring tasting menu. Individual biographies for each of the local suppliers are featured on the reverse

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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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