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“Even after eight visits, the chef, the staff and the place have never disapponted.”

Castle Terrace Restaurant
Ranked #17 of 2,597 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Scottish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Old Town
Description: Just opened last week and we had a fabulous meal there
Reviewed March 11, 2011

Having lunch for probably the eighth time over as many months in the same restaurant I have to ask myself "Why?". After all, until I retired I spent much of my professional life looking for and collating the evidence for what we doctors do. So, why another journey of 50 miles and one more lunch at Castle Terrace? What is the evidence for this? The simple answer is the consistency of the superb food and the excellent service.
This week my partner (who has twice reviewed Castle Terrace) and I hosted two members of the family. It was plain to see that it was a busy lunch that included at least one large party of men in suits. The place was full, a reflection perhaps of word of mouth recommendation for this young restaurant. Philippe, the ever-present manager, was as cool, welcoming and efficient as ever. But, then, so are the rest of his front of house team.
Our guests opted for the 3 course lunch that is a quality bargain: a chilled oyster soup and the restaurant's own perfect version of a Scottish family favourite, cock-a-leekie soup, were their starters after the small amuse-bouche, a silky smooth veloute of something green (my fault, I forget such details....) with diminutive croutons and soft cheese. Chef sent us a complimentary extra starter of game pate en croute cooked to perfect fineness and firmness. We two ate from the a la carte menu, in part because it offered two real favourites (rabbit and Scottish langoustine). We started with a signature dish of cheese-sauced spelt risotto with langoustine tails that were sweet and just firm enough. The spelt grains made a very welcome and nutty-flavoured change to rice. We followed with a wonderful array of rabbit: a brochette of its liver, the main white meat wrapped in a wafer-thin slice of ham and a large spring roll-like melange of the browner meat. Succulent and delicious. Our guests were treated to wonderful lamb. The four desserts were all different and I need say no more than other reviewers have about the generous and delicious pistachio souffle. Chef Jack's mother's recipe for the Pavlova meringue is perhaps a tad too firm for my liking, but that is the only item in eight meals I have hesitated over.
As Philippe knows, we do not take to the petit fours - but we ate them just the same with the coffee that is as good as we could get in Melbourne, our previous home for over a decade.
And unlike Melbourne restaurants, many of which we were eating in these past few months on a return Downunder, the bill was not extortionate (and I do not refer to the current £/Aussie$ exchange rate). The food for two 'set' (£20 pp) and two a la carte lunches came to £133 for food.
Even with a full restaurant we never felt any slowing down or gaps or even nervous rush by the staff. It was as relaxed as 'usual' and we even had an empty table next to us. Besides, business men eat up and go!
Usually we opt for the excellent set lunch and let Joel, the informative and informed sommelier, choose the glasses of wine for the courses (£17.50 for three different glasses) and we have never been let down, but this week we asked him instead to choose a bottle of red and one of white wine but to recommend them from the cheaper parts of their list! He recommended a couple of each for our choice and they were not just a new experience but very pleasant. For three glasses of dessert wine it was again left to Joel: he chose three that were different - and from the lower to middle part of the price spectrum.
So the answer to my own question is that we go back because the staff are excellent, efficient, friendly and not patronising or aloof - and they cope; the food is consistently excellent; it is a nice relaxing place; and it is not worryingly expensive. We really like it.
We hope that the new broom at the Michelin Guide in UK will recognise that the "the rising star" in Edinburgh is a real star, or two even! We do.

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3  Thank Kirkcaldylad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,115 - 2,119 of 2,288 reviews

Reviewed February 28, 2011

Well located restaurant at the base of the Castle and within easy walking distance of most hotels.

Interior decor is understated and elegant, providing very comfortable surroundings.

The food is very rich with some "different" flavour elements added to keep your taste buds on their toes e.g. minute rosemary jelly cubes with meringue & rubarb.

The wine list is excellent, with selections for all tastes / bank balances.

The staff were incredible: very attentive without getting in the way and they provided the "special touch to the meal".

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Thank tartandevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2011

A truly memorable evening, due to attentive, friendly and very professional staff and amazing food and an innovative menu. Each course surprised and delighted us with imaginative combinations of ingrediients, tastes and textures. The staff really worked as a team. Congratulations to the captain. We shall be back .

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Thank jacquelinewatt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2011

Two days later and I'm still thinking about this delicious dining experience- delicious both in food and overall enjoyment.

We went to the Castle Terrace for my birthday rather last minute and they were very accommodating, fitting us in on what was clearly a busy Friday night service. The website claims that it has been tipped for a Michelin star and so expectations were high and it didn't disappoint.

I chose the pate en croute followed by the lamb- both of which were a fusion of delightful flavours. The lamb had a touch of the Asian about it but was finely brought together with aubergine puree. For desert I had the pistachio souflee- as a pistachio addict, I was in heaven with this light, perfectly formed (and HUGE!) souflee- yum! My boyfriend had the Japanese inspired Haddock, followed by the chef recommended Hare and chocolate desert.

The highlight for me was the passionate Sommelier who was able to recommend various wine with such an enthusiasm- we settled on a Pinot Verdot which was exceptional!

Overall, the staff were knowledgeable, friendly and attentive- it was a pleasure dining out with staff who clearly cared about their jobs.

If I was to make any small criticism it was that our table was close to where the staff would feed in orders and sometimes it felt that there were 5 people watching over us!

I can't wait to go again and sample the spring menu!

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Thank Byzantine09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2011

Having read great reviews on this restaurant we were not disappointed .. more in awe of the truely amazing experience. Upon arrival we (group of 4) were invited to join the chef at the chef's table downstairs in his kitchen. Watching the chefs prepare the meals in a calm and organised manner whilst sipping champagne was a moment I will never forget! We were then led upstairs to our table and had the best meal of my life. We all chose the chef's menu and had 8 outstanding dishes along with the chef's selection of wines to go with every course. The wine waiter was truly educated on the wines he presented, the waitress who served us cheese knew her stuff too. The food was out of this world. Each dish simply got better and better ... We were totally blown away. This restaurant, in our opinion is worthy of its michellin stars that it is hoping to get soon ... This really was a very special treat for us and would thoroughly recommend to everyone.

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Thank ASEMERY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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