Rhubarb at Prestonfield - Edinburgh Restaurant Review

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The other weekend, Blair and I treated ourselves to a fancy pants Sunday lunch at Rhubarb at Prestonfield.  I'd heard of the place before but for some reason had its location completely wrong in my head - I thought it was out near the airport but it's actually just a few minutes from Holyrood in the east end of the city.  We arrived by car and pulling into the driveway you immediately feel like you're out in the country, not just a short walk from the city centre.  There were even Highland cows in a field outside!

After a slight bit of confusion as to where the restaurant was (there's no signage outside, but you just go straight into the main house and it's through the back) and being slightly terrified by the rather large peacock blocking the entrance, we soon found ourselves inside the rather grand dining room.  With its rich, dark decor it felt like we were dining in a fancy stately home - we felt a tad underdressed!  We had a table right next to the window so we had a good view outside (I enjoyed watching squirrels running up and down the trees) and also a good seat for one of our favourite activities, people watching.

We had booked the star deal via Bookatable* which is £35 per person for 3 courses including a glass of champagne on arrival.  We switched our champagne for soft drinks though as neither of us like champagne and we were being boring.  The set menu ended up being slightly different to what we'd seen on the Bookatable website but actually it worked out for the best as Blair (the more fussy of the two of us) preferred the options on the Sunday lunch menu we were given to choose from.

We both opted for the spiced lentil soup with sourdough croutons to start which was delicious.  I was slightly apprehensive at first as I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy foods, but luckily this was more of a mild curry flavour than hot & spicy.

We copied each other with the mains too and both went for the roast beef.  The portion sizes here were huge - it was a proper Sunday roast, and just what I needed.  The roast potatoes were spot on - crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside - I've been making Slimming World friendly roasties with fry-light for so long that I'd forgotten how great they can taste when you actually use oil, haha!  The beef was cooked medium (we weren't asked how we liked it, although I would've gone for medium anyway) and was really nice, apart from a few fatty bits that I had to leave.  I don't think I've ever gone out for steak or roast beef though and not had to cut fatty bits off, maybe one day I'll find a place that serves the perfect cut!

Aaaaand finally the jewel in the crown - the sticky toffee pudding dessert.  Ooooh my days this was amaaaaaaazing.  It came with a butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream and it was probably the best sticky toffee pudding I've ever eaten.  My only complaint was that it was so hot that I nearly burnt my tongue, but that's mainly because it was so good I couldn't leave it to cool.

As if we hadn't eaten enough, Blair was presented with a plate of petit fours with his tea (I opted for another diet coke - living life on the edge) which it would have been rude not to share.  After a couple of bits of fudge, a macaron and a madeleine I honestly felt like I might be sick.  So. much. sugar.  I spent most of the car journey home deep breathing to stop feeling nauseous.  Surely the sign of a good meal though....eating so much of it you might actually vomit.

The service at Rhubarb at Prestonfield was very polite without being too stuffy, and attentive without being annoying.  We were offered bread twice which sounds like an odd thing to pick up on, but it's one thing I've noticed that fancy restaurants are generally quite stingy with.  You can go to a bog standard Italian restaurant and they'll give you a basket of bread and happily top it up if you ask, but go to a michelin star and you select a slice/roll from a tray and never see them again.  Come on lads, we all know how cheap bread is!

Anyway, all in all I'd say it was a really good value meal - for a fancy restaurant they certainly don't scrimp on their portion sizes, even on their offer menu, and it's definitely worth £35 per person.

Written by Lynne Sadler

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