Diva does… Castle Terrace Restaurant

Edinburgh Diva
Edinburgh Diva

This is the first in my new series of Diva does… I’ll be hitting Edinburgh to review restaurants and happenings. This pleasure-fest will, as I’m sure you can image, be a difficult task. The things I do for you!

Yes I’ve morphed into Edinburgh Diva after a comment that Brian made about Fat to Fit (you have to scroll down for Brian’s comment).  Thanks Brian! And if you read this, email and introduce yourself.

Castle Terrace Restaurant is the new venture of the team behind award-winning Michelin star restaurant, The Kitchin.  CT opened just 4 months ago and I lunched there yesterday with old friend and foodie, MJ. 

Thanks Fiona, for recommending it.

We went along to see whether Castle Terrace would live up to the hype…

We took advantage of the super fabulous offer of £19.50 for 3 courses. And, in order to review fully, for your benefit you understand, we availed ourselves of the matched wines for a further £15. 

The decor suited my tastes being dark wood and low lighting, deep purple banquettes, dark wood chairs and tables. Simple and appealing, neither too fussy nor too stark.

So to the food…!
First we nibbled (pictured).
Then we devoured, as a platter of 5 delicious different types of bread was offered (not pictured). We were offered 2 pieces each. And the waiter then came back and offered more. How can they tell?!

Nibbly bits

Next our tastebuds were amused by a simply divine concoction of mushroom and artichoke, rich and creamy.

Amuse Bouche

Royale of girolles and Winter Chanterelle mushrooms, served with a Jerusalem artichoke velouté

  This set us up beautifully for a starter which was one of my favourite parts of a lunch with so many high points. The game pâté en croûte! Oh I’m getting excited just remembering it. I love game and this was made of venison, grouse, partride, wood pigeon and teal if I remember correctly.

Game pâté 'en croûte' served with fig

Game pâté 'en croûte' served with fig

Oh and the figs…

Our waiter was super and took us through each of the menu options in mouth-watering detail, informing us about cooking methods and where each of the ingredients came from. Apparently all the vegetables are from Arran.

MJ had the the skate wing to start. He enjoyed it, though I think he had to agree that the pâté trumped it.

Skate wing from Scrabster

Skate wing from Scrabster, gently poached and served with coriander, chilli, ginger and lemon confit

For main MJ ordered the lamb and it was just heavenly. He was very patient as I ate it for him, all in the name of research of course. MJ found one of ‘lambs’ a little too salty, though he did polish off the lot rather quickly…  The lamb was cooked 3 different ways roasted, braised and ‘shepherd’s pie’. Each beautifully presented with an attention to detail which delights. My picture really doesn’t do it justice.


Rump of Dornoch lamb, served with crispy braised shoulder and celeriac, 'shepherds pie', with cinnamon, orange confit and walnuts

I ordered the cheek of pork with ox tongue ravioli. It was super, though for my tastes the lamb’s the way to go.

Pork & Ox

Braised cheek of Ayrshire pork, served in an Autumn blanquette with crispy ox tongue ravioli and marjorm

For sweet MJ ordered the millefeuille of pears and I, the vanilla crème brulée. MJ was keen to see whether Castle T’s millefeuille would be better than his own. I don’t recall now whether he shared a verdict on that! In my own estimation Castle T’s version was flaky and rich/smooth in all the right places. Velvety is a word which springs to mind.

Millefeuille of British Conference pears served with cumin ice cream

Millefeuille of British Conference pears served with cumin ice cream

The crème brulée had the requisite crunchy top of caramelised sugar. This was perfectly done. Beneath though, I prefer a consistency Nigella once referred to as “inner thigh wibble”. Castle T’s while less set than I like was still delicous and the flavours had me mmming and aaaahing at every turn.

Crème brûlée

Vanilla crème brûlée

We undid our buttons and moved to the bar area to enjoy our coffees. Whereupon we were offered further indulgences in the form petit fours. Again, my pictures do not do them justice.

These are the best petit fours I’ve had a long while. Even rivalling Harvey Nix chocolate truffles. So we have spiced apple tart with cinnamon, berry macaroons and chocolate table. MJ claimed the tablet to be the best and I have to say I agree with him. I don’t usually like tablet but this just melts in the mouth… If you can eat one without mmming I commend you!

Coffee and petit fours

A perfect ending

Dominic Jack has done an incredible job with the food. We absolutely loved it. Yes some small matters of personal taste, we may have preferred some things slightly differently but we enjoyed immensly what was presented to us.

Head Sommelier Joel Bastian has also done a great job with the wines. If you love wine you simply must visit. I haven’t even touched on the wine here and I’m running out of space. Just go and see for yourself.

The service is excellent. As I mentioned our waiters were very informative about the menu (without being asked). With each new wine we were taken on a virtual trip to its country of origin, history and flavours. All this during a busy and buzzy Thursday lunchtime.

So does Castle Terrace Restaurant live up to the hype…?

Think when Harry met Sally here. Lunching at Castle Terrace was pure pleasure from the beautiful bread, to the Lanarkshire venison, from the Arran vegetables to the perfect petit fours and excellent service. Nothing was left to chance.

EDINBURGH DIVA RATING: 10/10 – I love it!
33/35 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EL
0131 229 1222

Castle Terrace Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Read more in the Diva does… series

I’d love to hear your comments in the box below, tell me your thoughts

Have you been to Castle Terrace or The Kitchin, what did you think?


22 responses to “Diva does… Castle Terrace Restaurant

  1. I shouldn’t have read this at the end of what feels like a long afternoon at work – am so hungry now!!!
    Now I need to find an excuse and someone to go with…

  2. I’m sure you’ll have people queuing up to go with you Amabel. And the excuse? Well lunchtimes every day of the week… Hopefully see you over the weekend at running, outdoor fitness or Malmaison.

  3. Wow Stephanie feeling quite hungry after reading this..sounds fabulous and other restaurants you review will take some doing to beat this! Not tried it myself however on the list now..

    Looking forward to Diva does next instalment…

    Ps you won’t convince me to do the Dook! Noticed a Charity bike ride in May next year Edinburgh to Iona ( 200 miles) for your next challenge

    • Hi Jim, yes try it and let me know what you think.
      Well I hope I don’t have to do the Dook either! I’ve said I’ll do it if 10 readers sign up and so far, noone so I’m safe.
      Interested in the bike ride, will you send me details. Would be a beautiful ride and would definitely give me a challenge and something to train for.

  4. You’ve got me thinking about food again. As if I need any encouragement.

    I reckon your blog should be called Diva Does Edinburgh! Snappy!

  5. great review and everything sounds delicious!! dominic was commis chef for my dad many years ago, he has done amazingly well since…

  6. That is an excellent, indepth review and fabulous pictures. On this basis, I definitely want to go myself.

  7. Wow, think you missed your vocation, Stephanie those photos had me drooling over my laptop! Cant wait to go and check out Castle Terrace Restaurant. Great and honest review!


  8. Pingback: Diva’s diaries… Champagne the best way to start the week | Edinburgh Diva

  9. Hi Ms Diva, myself and the lovely Mr Predictable are going to Castle Terrace for lunch next saturday, can’t wait now I’ve seen your pictures, looks amazing! Nom nom!

  10. Hi Hil!
    Oh how fabulous! hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    If you blog it, please leave a link to it in the comments here too.
    PS: I love your blog! Readers if you’re not reading it yet, go there now! http://mymonkfish.com/

  11. Hi Ms Diva, we managed to get ourselves a 6 course taster menu for lunch on saturday as Mr Hilster’s was at Dominic Jack’s wedding a few years ago 😉 and so a few freebies were thrown in! 6 courses with matching wines, we stumbled out a few hours later…. Dominic invited us to the chef’s table for some champers and to watch the action in the kitchen, it was amazing. The food was awesome, blog post to follow very soon. Will definitely be going back for more!

  12. Wow! That sounds AMAZING! Ah chef’s table, you lucky things!

    Look forward to your blog. Put a link in the comments here too.
    Castle Terrace is my current number 1 for European food. Love it.

  13. Pingback: Castle Terrace Does It Again | Sunday Brunch Club Blog

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