Enjoy a spot of summer on a plate at Harvey Nichols

When the end of another working day arrives and you step outside into the warm glow of sunshine – you must make the most of it.

When the weather in our bonnie capital city does in fact reflect the season, you’ll see people flocking to the cafes, restaurants and bars offering a little spot to soak up some rays along with your pinot.

Last week, a friend and I got the chance to venture to Harvey Nichols’ Forth Floor restaurant to try their new summer market menu (5 courses and a glass of prosecco for £40 per person). If you’re looking for something a little bit lighter, customers can also choose to have two sun-worthy dishes and a refreshing cocktail for just £19 or three courses and a cocktail for £23 in the Forth Floor Brasserie.

Gazpacho for the gals

In a beautiful setting, bathed in glorious sunshine, we were both welcomed with our chilled glass of fizz and seated in a lovely table by the window. Our waiter was very friendly and chatty, offering to help with any questions we might have about the menu. We began our epicurean adventure with the tomato gazpacho, sourdough and egg. The gazpacho was wonderfully refreshing, while still having a delicious savoury flavour and whetting our appetites just enough. Despite its popularity, I haven’t been able to get fully on board with the sourdough trend. I find it too hard and a bit cumbersome to nibble on, especially when served as an amuse- bouche, although my friend did enjoy it. The egg was actually grated on the bread which was a different twist but it wasn’t something I felt added a huge amount to the little dish overall.


A starter as pretty as it was tasty

Our starters came in the form of chicken liver parfait, gooseberry compote, soused summer vegetables with toasted brioche and the gin cured Argyll sea trout, ruby grapefruit, lime puree, mint and pink peppercorn meringue. The combination of the parfait was exactly how I wanted it to be – rich, creamy and perfectly seasoned . The medley of fruity compote and summer vegetables made a lovely accompaniment and the vibrant purple and yellow cauliflower brought a wonderful summery vibe to the dish.

The trout dish was another stunning display of colour and flavour with the fish itself a beautiful deep orange and offering a succulent fresh taste. The lime puree and grapefruit brought a lovely sweet and sour balance to the saltiness of the trout while the pink peppercorn meringues added another texture to the dish, scoring points for innovation.


The parfait was a work of art

When my friend and I spotted dauphinoise potato as a side to one of the mains, it was enough to persuade us to order the roasted loin of pork, braised spiced cheek, babaganoush and spring cabbage that went with it. Intrigued by the sound of the Kirkcaldy buffalo fillet  (£12 supplement) we just had it give it a try. Served with sweet potato chips, sautéed garlic mushrooms, roast cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn and chimichurri sauce – it was a heavy hitter. The chips were chunky, perfectly cooked and had just the right amount of seasoning, earning themselves the title of ‘best sweet potato chips I’ve ever tasted in my life’.  The fillet itself was cooked medium rare as recommended by the chef, which is actually how I prefer to have my steak. The flavour was very similar to beef but more intense. It did take a lot of work to both cut and chew each mouthful which took away from the dish’s overall success. The chimichurri sauce was delicious and gave me an added kick of garlic, always welcome in my book.

Kirkcaldy buffalo fillet and all the usual suspects

The pork dish was the winning main. Each element tasted amazing and provided a rich and extremely satisfying feeling for the taste buds and tummies. All of the pork was succulent, with the babaganoush further bolstering the dish’s juices. The  portion of dauphinoise was small but perfectly formed and flavoured.

Porky perfection

We were given a strawberry sorbet with white chocolate as our palate cleanser which was enjoyable but felt more like a dessert because of the chocolate. We opted for the lemon tart with raspberry, mint and meringue and the cheese selection. Again, we were wowed by the overall presentation as the lemon tart arrived looking as pretty as a picture. The cheeses came from all over the UK, Ireland and France and were served with grapes and oatcakes. The blue cheese was a particular favourite of mine with just the right tangy punch.

A lemon tart to finish

As we dined, we had a spectacular view of Edinburgh looking on to St Andrews Square and down George Street, while also being able to enjoy a view of the forth in the other direction. The restaurant carried a vibe of relaxed glamour, with more a few couples sitting on the summery balcony to enjoy a midweek drink.

Let’s hope the sun makes a regular appearance this season but even if it doesn’t – the summer dining menu at Harvey Nichols is a definite scorcher.

Harvey Nichols

30 – 34 St Andrews Square



0131 524 8350