Restaurant Mark Greenaway at Hawke & Hunter offers progressive British food that's already proved a hit with the critics. Kerstin Kühn went to visit
It's rare that a critic scores a restaurant a perfect 10 and even rarer when the restaurant in question is only a few weeks old. But Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh's most recent arrival at the Hawke & Hunter, managed just that earlier this month when the Sunday Herald‘s Joanna Blythman referred to his food as a knock-out.
Greenaway says this and other positive reviews have certainly helped business at the restaurant, which opened in February. "We're already seeing a change in customers," he says.
The restaurant is a joint project between the Hawke & Hunter's director Barrie Brown and Greenaway - who have been friends since childhood. The latter's CV lists head chef positions at a number of two and three-AA-rosette level restaurants including Glasgow's One Devonshire Gardens and Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders.
Coinciding with Greenaway's arrival at the Hawke & Hunter, the restaurant underwent a light refurbishment. The main restaurant now seats 26 and there are two dining rooms - the 10-seat Hawke, and Hunter seating 20.
Customers can choose from the daily market menu consisting of three courses for £20; the à la carte menu or the eight-course tour menu - £65.50 or £90.50 with wine. Greenaway describes his cooking style as "progressive British". "We're all about British ingredients, mainly from Scotland, and we use very traditional cooking methods alongside more modern techniques," he explains.
A case in point is his starter of prawn cocktail (£9), in which he uses Isle of Skye langoustines, which he poaches and serves with a bloody Mary-flavoured sorbet, a tower of avocado, apple crisp and Mary Rose sauce.
His starter of confit leg of Gressingham duck (£7) also reinterprets traditional flavours. "The duck is confit for 12 hours and served with hot orange jelly and beetroot carpaccio," Greenaway says. "These are great flavours that have always gone well together; I'm just giving them my own twist."
Among the main courses is the best-selling skate wing sous-vide (£16), which sees the fish cooked in a water bath at 64e_SDgrC for 20 minutes and served with beetroot crisps, olive mash, crispy squid and brown butter jus. Meanwhile the half roast chicken (£16) is portioned into different cuts, with the breast roasted on the crown and the leg and wing confit and then roasted. The meat is accompanied by mini pomme fondants, confit garlic, onion rings, toast purée and girolle mushrooms.
Desserts (all £6.50) continue in a similar vein but push the boat out a little further. "My theory is that by the time diners have arrived at desserts, they've grown in confidence to trust you," says Greenaway. His best-selling dessert and a constant on his menu is Manjari chocolate fondant with vanilla tuile, white chocolate mousse, orange caviar and tonka bean ice-cream.
Meanwhile rhubarb and custard jam jar comprises a bottom layer of vanilla parfait topped with ascending layers of hot rhubarb jelly, rhubarb compote, rice pudding, rhubarb mousse and rhubarb ripple ice-cream, which sits in the lid.
Restaurant Mark Greenaway may be still the new kid on the block but it's already made its mark on the Scottish capital's dining scene.
Sample dishes from the menu
Loch Fyne crab cannelloni, smoked cauliflower custard, lemon pearls, herb butter, baby coriander, beetroot mayo £7 Pumpkin soup quail tortellini, mushrooms, confit pumpkin, toasted seeds £7 Hand dived Orkney sea scallops, pomme fondant, tomato jelly, baby herbs, parsley mayonnaise £11
Pan roasted scottish halibut fillet, herb crust, confit turnip, butter poached oyster, star anise air £24 A tasting of Dornoch lamb, spinach purée, wilted greens, sprout leaves, rosemary mash, thyme jus £21 Roasted and poached fillet of borders beef, bone marrow beignets, shallot purée, braised beef shin gnocchi, red wine jus £28
Bramley apple plated six ways, pie, jelly, crisps, sorbet, mousse, soup, toffee sauce £6.50 Broken lemon tart yuzu parfait, frozen shortbread, pistachio purée, compact watermelon, coconut jelly £6.50 Mark's Eton Mess, fresh fruit, pearls, paint, leather, frozen espuma, ripple ice-cream £6.50
Mark Greenaway at Hawke & Hunter 12 Picardy Place, Edinburgh EH1 3JT
0131 557 0952
http://www.hawkeandhunter.co.uk/restaurant" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">www.hawkeandhunter.co.uk/restaurant