Dining in a department store? Leave your preconceptions at the door, because shops are going above and beyond these days. While Manchester’s San Carlo gives Selfridge’s shoppers a taste of Italy, London's got Breakfast at Tiffany’s in Harrods. Edinburgh has many glamorous dining destinations to offer, but do any carry more style cache than Harvey Nichols' Forth Floor Restaurant?
Located atop the glimmering Harvey Nichols department store on St Andrew Square, this slick, glass-fronted restaurant boasts arguably the best views of the city; stretching across to the Forth River and the three bridges beyond, as well as Edinburgh Castle on the other side. Almost every seat here promises a glimpse of the view and faced with such a panorama, it’s hard not to be amazed.
The new winter market menu (£35 for 3 courses) is a brasserie-style spread featuring a series of sophisticated yet comforting dishes. It’s well-balanced, with options to suit a variety of tastes, and most of the dishes could be adjusted for my coeliac guest too.
Rich, coarse duck terrine contrasted beautifully against lively pops of citrus flavour in the way of candied orange, zingy carrot and cardamom marmalade. The dish was completed with pickled cucumber, crunchy gingerbread and a smear of spiced yoghurt. Venison carpaccio was equally impressive; with slices of ruby-red meat piled with piccalilli, golden raisins and a rich truffle mayonnaise. But the star of the show was undoubtedly the quail scotch egg, with its bronzed breadcrumbs and a wonderfully oozy yolk.
Main courses also had the ideal balance of portion size, hearty flavour and sophisticated presentation. Swordfish was chopped into bite-sized pieces and sat atop a layer of velvety cauliflower risotto, completed with sprigs of romanesco and a tumble of calamari rings. Sous-vide Scottish pork fillet came with a juicy slab of slow-roasted pork belly and was served with a flavourful sweet potato and cumin puree, alongside pickled red cabbage and roasted baby parsnips on the side. It’s exactly what you’d want to eat on a freezing winter night.
Ending on a sweet note, desserts didn’t disappoint either. A sumptuous passionfruit cheesecake arrived with a silky cheesecake whip, white chocolate chip cookie, and heap of crunchy crumb. The deconstructed millionaire’s shortbread was quite possibly the largest dessert either of us had ever encountered; a huge brick of a salted caramel chocolate brownie was topped with a quenelle of chocolatey ice-cream, shortbread and a mountain of fluffy whipped cream. Utterly delicious, utterly enormous.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Our experience of the Forth Floor Restaurant was one which was even better than expected. The seasonal menu might sound cosy, but it elevates winter-warmer dishes to chic heights; with refined dishes packed with flavour, in elegant yet comfortable surroundings. Whether it’s date night or just a treat, get a little dressed up and bag yourself a window table - this food deserves it.
Harvey Nichols' Forth Floor Restaurant is located at 30 - 34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2AD. For more more gorgeous places to eat, check out our guide to the best restaurants in Edinburgh.