Food Review: Magnum Restaurant, Edinburgh

Our highland food connoisseur Camilla Halstead's latest exercise sees her sampling the delights of Edinburgh's Magnum restaurant.

Jimmy Coultas

Date published: 11th Aug 2014

Set on the corner of Albany street and Dublin Street, along a cobbled lane, this picturesque bar with a green exterior, was already buzzing with customers enjoying drinks in the sun. We decided to eat inside to get a real feel for the place, and although it was quiet as most customers were soaking up the sun, it still felt cosy and comfortable.

The Magnum boasts a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, making this place feel more like a country pub then a city centre restaurant, with the its simple interior, local illustrations decorating the wall and fairy lights draping the windows (check it out below). 

The simple yet sophisticated menu, which exudes Scottish cuisine and locally sourced ingredients, consisted of five starters and five mains. We went for the Scottish Smoked Salmon and Pigeon and Black Pudding to start, and Venison and Rib Eye Steak for mains, with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a Peroni to wash it down. 

It didn’t take long for our starters to be served, both plates looked attractive and were generous portions. The delicate pieces of salmon piled on top of the beautifully light pancakes, were perfectly complemented by the tangy horseradish sauce.

The Pigeon and roast black pudding dish was well cooked, tender and full of flavour, this salad starter was perfectly sized with a good balance between the rich game, black pudding, butternut squash and red peppers with fresh salad leaves. Safe to say both plates were left clean. 

The mains shortly followed, both dishes were cooked perfectly to order, with the meat seared on the outside making nice and crisp, and tender on the inside.

The venison was rich and packed full in flavour with the quality of meat really showed. The dalphinoise potatoes were creamy and melted in your mouth, rich but not too overwhelming, all topped off with the rich red berry jus.

The chunky rib eye steak was beautifully tender, accompanied by a tasty gravy which helped to enhance the flavour of the beef and crispy wedges and salad on the side.

Although we didn’t have much room left for pudding, its hard for us to turn it down. We were pretty full from the main so opted for something light (we're suckers for anything quirky) so plumped for the Pimms Jelly and Cucumber Sorbet, which is probably the prettiest looking pudding we’ve had, it was light and a great twist of a deconstructed Pimms cocktail.

By comparison the Sticky Toffee Pudding was rich and gooey, covered by a salted caramel sauce and topped off by a cold scoop of ice cream, ideal for anyone with a real sweet tooth.

The Magnum is all about promoting rural Scottish food, and we love the way it feels a little tucked away despite its city centre location, which adds to the idea of something different from the standard city experience.

It obviously a clear favourite with locals, and has been for many years, with a fair share of regular customers, after work drinkers. The menu is well thought out, not too complex, cooked perfectly and beautifully presented, and the friendly and chatty staff topped off an excellent dining experience.