Sensational surf & turf at the Holyrood Hotel

On what turned out to be the hottest July day on record, my friend and I were very much looking forward to the prospect of tucking into a dinner made by someone else’s fair hands.

We made our way down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to the Holyrood Hotel to find out if their new Surf & Turf restaurant lived up to our high expectations.

To help me cope in the heat, fizz felt right. I opted for a glass of prosecco while my friend chose a passionfruit mojito. Despite being two of only a handful of people in the restaurant, we waited an age for our drinks to arrive, and in fact our starter came first. When I queried this, the waitress said they were on their way but did remember that ‘they couldn’t do a passionfruit mojito’. It was hugely frustrating to only be told this after already waiting around 15 minutes. My friend chose to make life easier for them and requested a prosecco for herself.

We had selected the small surf & turf charcuterie platter (£12) which consisted of smoked wild boar, Arbroath smokie pate, smoked sliced beef, smoked Scottish mussels and home pickled cucumber. This was also served with a few chunky slices of warm brown bread. The MVP of this platter was definitely the pate; there was a beautiful citrus flavour that complimented the powerful smokie perfectly. While my friend decided the wild boar was too strong a flavour for her, I rather enjoyed it.


The surf & turf charcuterie platter

When our mains arrived, there was a definite case of involuntary mouth-watering as our eyes took in the juicy looking fillet steaks and perfectly positioned seafood. I plumped for the 350g 32-day aged fillet (£45) along with Scottish scallops (£10) which were served with roasted bone marrow and vine tomatoes. I also had the option of a salt rub and chose the Himalayan salt & olive. My chosen extras came in the form of creamy mashed potato and peppercorn sauce.

My friend took her pick from the signature dishes section of the menu and opted for the 32-day aged fillet, garlic mushroom, lobster tail and pont neuf potato (£64).

I was disappointed when I realised mine and my friend’s peppercorn sauce hadn’t actually arrived and did have to remind the waitress of our order. As I waited, I decided to try my scallops and a small piece of the steak sauce free, both elements were perfectly cooked and succulent. The mashed potato is something I am going to have dreams about for years to come. It was heavenly. I’m happy never knowing just how much butter was involved, ignorance is blissful mash. When the peppercorn sauce did arrive it only added to success of the main. The flavour was spot on and it far surpassed the typical steakhouse versions I’ve tasted before.


The fillet with lobster tail

The lobster tail on my friend’s plate was glorious in both colour and taste, while the garlic mushrooms proved that a classic addition to a steak can still offer show-stopping flavour.

Every bite of our main courses was amazing. Even when I found myself becoming full, I wanted to carry on devouring the dish to avoid any future regrets.

Having managed to discover a small space on the pudding shelf, we chose the chocolate mousse and the tonka bean (an ingredient I’ve seen more on menus recently) cheesecake for our desserts. The mousse was divine and the mini chunks of tablet created a medley of textures that were lovely on the palate. The deconstructed cheesecake was sadly rather underwhelming and the subtlety of the flavour meant I never got the sweet kick I was looking for. The sharpness of the accompanying sorbet was however, a lovely addition and was the dish’s saving grace.


Chocolate heaven

Our surf and turf extravaganza did not disappoint the taste buds, however it appears the general delivery and knowledge of the menu is something to be improved upon.

Once that’s been mastered, this is a restaurant people will travel across land and sea to get to.

Surf & Turf Holyrood

81 Holyrood Rd



0344 879 9028

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