Number One, The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Visit: August 8, 2021
Award: 1 Michelin Star, 4 AA Rosettes
Number One at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, was opened in 1997 and was first awarded a Michelin star in 2003, retaining it each year since. The restaurant was named in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards as one of the Top 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the UK.
Recently appointed Head Chef Mathew Sherry has joined from Northcote. He replaces Mark Donald who was appointed head chef at the Glenturret Lalique restaurant, due to open at the Glenturret distillery in Perthshire later this summer.
When we visited, the starter was the Isle of Wight tomatoes, with basil, served on a disc of tomato jelly, with a 25-year aged balsamic. This was excellent, the tomatoes were very fresh and had intense flavour.
The next course was an Asian influenced Loch Duart salmon tartare, raw vegetables, salad, roasted peanuts, served with soy, chilli and lime sorbet. The salmon tartare was perfectly cut and worked very well with the Asian flavours. Crispy salmon skin poppadom were served to accompany the salmon.
Then, the next course was a perfectly cooked Orkney scallop, served with mango gel, coconut and a creamy, light curry sauce. This was very good.
Line-caught halibut was served with sea herbs, Royal Beluski caviar and a creamy sauce. The halibut was cooked perfectly, with the caviar and sea herbs providing a pleasant salty balance to the dish.
The beef sirloin sourced from the famous Gaindykehead Farm, situated between Glasgow and Stirling in Lanarkshire, was perfectly cooked, although there was some gristle left on the side of the meat. This was served with an excellent beef confit, watercress, and alliums.
A pre-dessert of elderflower, lemon, yoghurt and gooseberry was very refreshing and prepared us for the main dessert.
Blairgowrie strawberries were served in an excellent tart case, with a fabulous baked Alaska with a pistachio ice cream centre. This was a sensational dessert.
The 7-course tasting menu costs £110 per head and there is an optional cheese course for an extra £15 supplement.
This was an excellent, well-balanced menu. The standard of food is very high. The restaurant is very stylish, and the staff are very professional and knowledgeable. This is definitely one of the best restaurants in Scotland and I would recommend a visit.
There are two duck presses at No 1, one of which is on display. They are not in use at the moment, but hopefully that might change:
Head Chef Mathew Sherry joined Number One in 2021 from his previous roles as Head Chef of Michelin-starred Northcote, Lancashire and Sous Chef of Castle Terrace, Edinburgh.
The restaurant is located in the basement of the Balmoral Hotel
Inside the restaurant:
The wine room:
The restaurant was designed by Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Design, Olga Polizzi. On the rich red lacquered walls the art includes a large format triptych print of a Scottish oak tree by Adam Ellis and artwork from the Royal College of Art in London:
The wine selection:
There are two choices of matched wines, the Tasting Wines at £75 per head and the Prestige Wines at £115 per head.
To accompany the initial courses, we chose a bottle of Bernard Defaix, Les Hauts de Milly Chablis 2019. This white wine rates 4.1 / 5 on Vivino. The mineral and oak flavours worked very well with all of the initial courses. At Number One, it is sold at £65 per bottle while it is available in the shops for approximately £25 per bottle:
We chose red wine to accompany the beef course. The selection from the Tasting Wines was a very good Nemea Single Vineyard 2012 from Greece. The wine has plum, red fruit, oak, tobacco and vanilla notes, and matched the beef very well. This rates 3.9 / 5 on Vivino and is sold at £20 per glass at Number One: