Review: Galvin Brasserie De Luxe,

Chris and Jeff Galvin are two heavy weights in the London dining scene. With Galvin at Windows, and Galvin la Chapelle, both having Michelin stars. Along with their more relaxed eateries in Café a Vin, Demoiselle and Bistrot de Luxe. So when in the autumn of 2012, the Galvin brothers announced they were coming to Edinburgh to open two restaurants’, there was abuzz of excitement around these openings. We have watched the project unfold closely since, where both have exceeded expectations.

The Grand Caledonian

The location of the two restaurants was chosen to be the grand Caledonian (a Waldorf Astoria hotel) nestled at the joining of Lothian Road and the start of Princess Street, an ideal location within the buzz of the city and with stunning views over to the castle. “The Pompadour” is the main fine dining restaurant situated upstairs with the parisian-style  “Brasserie de Luxe” brasserie  situated on the ground floor.

The opening of the adjacent restaurants have lived up to the hype with both receiving rave reviews with the Pompadour earning three AA rosettes and a place on the Michelin guide. The brasserie  has followed this trend, also gaining one AA rosette and a bib gourmand which is awarded for restaurants serving “good food at moderate prices”.

A look into the kitchen from the street

Finally we got round to visiting one of the restaurant’s, the Pompadour was fully booked but they were able to book us in at the brasserie, we were more than happy with this and looked forward to a Parisian themed dining experience. The entrance is just around the corner from the main entrance of the hotel, upon arrival the atmosphere of the restaurant could as well had been in France itself, with the authenticity wholly convincing. The Brasserie is a spacious room, with covers surrounding a seafood bar in the center.

We were welcomed with some crusty white baguettes slices and the menus for the night.  We opted for the prix fixe menu at £16.50 for two courses concluding with a Passion fruit Soufflé (can never resist) from the a la carte (£7.50), and a three course for £19.50. Apologies in advance for the lighting of the photographs, the restaurant was quite dark.

Ham Hock Roulade, Vegetables a la Grecque 

The ham hock roulade was seasoned perfectly and was a good way to start the meal, the vegetables sounded better than they were, as it was just a basic side salad.

Puy Lentil velouté with speck

Thoroughly enjoyed the velouté, lovely and rich, seasoned perfectly and a strong lentil taste.

Fillet of Coley, purple sprouting broccoli,
Anchovy, Almonds

This was the standout dish of the evening, the Coley was soft, and flaked apart to perfection. The accompanying anchovy and flavors of sprouting broccoli were the perfect match. 

Confit Pork Belly, Pearl Barley Risotto, Kale

The pork was soft with a crispy skin, with one of the most flavorsome risottos we have ever tried it was rich and moreish (could of ate another).

Plats de Fromage, Oatcakes and chutney

Was a delightful light finish to the meal, none of the cheese stood out as a favorite but all were good, the chutney was pungent and rich.

Passion fruit soufflé with Coconut ice cream

A different take on the ordinary soufflé, the zingy flavors were powerful, where the juxtaposition of the smoothness of the light ice cream cut through the sharp taste. A match made in heaven, truly outstanding.

Cooking of  a high standard in a laidback setting is what you will get at Brasserie de luxe; every dish was cooked to perfection and we struggled to find fault with the food. The presentation of the dishes was simple, without being monotonous.

The service was good in most parts but we had a few small niggles such as not having a side plate for our bread and being served our mains without having a fork but these were only small criticisms, overall it was a solid performance from the servers. On arrival the restaurant was basically empty but it wasn't long in filling up and it was good to see people relaxed and looking like they were enjoying themselves.

Overall at roughly £25 per head this was a well accomplished meal with the food being the star of the show, we will defiantly be back to try the fine dining at “The Pompadour”. The Bib Gourmand the restaurant received is more than deserved as it is definitely serving “good food at moderate prices”.


Food 7/10
Service 6/10
Decor 7/10
Toilets 7/10
Value for money 7/10

Overall 34/50-Really good experience, we would highly recommend a visit as the experience is very enjoyable.