One thing I love about Edinburgh is the abundance of good independent restaurants. Despite having lived here for the best part of a decade now, there are still plenty of places I’m yet to visit. The Magnum was one of these places – well, up until a couple of weeks ago that is. I was kindly invited along for a complimentary meal to see what The Magnum is all about.
Situated on the corner of Albany Street and just a minute’s walk from York Place, The Magnum describe themselves as a “hidden gem” in the New Town, and I think they’re spot on. This isn’t an area I’d automatically think of when looking for bars or restaurants, but it’s worth venturing down the quiet Georgian streets for good food, good wine and good company. As well as a cosy bar area which is ideal for enjoying some post-work drinks, there’s also a separate dining area where you can tuck into a delicious three course meal surrounded by twinkling fairy lights. The menu on the website gives you an idea of what to expect, but dishes change daily according to what’s fresh and in season.
When we visited, Laura and I both started off with scallops and black pudding, which was accompanied by confit tomatoes, gremolata and horseradish crisps. This was a lovely light, fresh tasting starter which was the perfect dish to whet our appetite, and up next was duck for me and steak for Laura. The rib eye steak is a regular on The Magnum’s menu, and I was assured that it was every bit as delicious as it looked. I opted for the seared duck breast which was served with wild mushrooms, roasted shallots, broad beans and smoked bacon lardons. I don’t think that mushrooms and bacon are my favourite accompaniment for duck, but the meat was perfectly cooked so no complaints in that department! Somehow, after all that, we still had a bit of room left for dessert so I ordered the Cranachan cheesecake which used shortbread instead of a traditional cheesecake base and was topped with some rich raspberry compote. Delish! Laura went for the trio of chocolate, which included a sorbet, creme brulee and brownie.
The whole meal at The Magnum felt very relaxed and we spent a good couple of hours sipping our wine, choosing our food and catching up on the day’s gossip. It was nice to be separate from the bar area, but you could still hear the hustle and bustle faintly in the background which gave the restaurant a lovely mellow atmosphere. The service was great too, the perfect mix between being attentive and leaving you alone to enjoy your meal. The food is great quality but the prices aren’t extortionate so it would be perfect for a special catch-up with friends, a fancy date night, or if you just wanted to treat yourself.
Have you been to The Magnum before?