Review: Dinner at The Magnum

The Magnum Edinburgh

Oh I do love a mid week, dining out treat. While I usually have the time and energy to become a mad scientist of the cooking world at the weekend, I always lack in inspiration and motivation on weeknights after work.

‘Would you like to review The Magnum?’ asks a lovely email invitation in my inbox. Aye, I sure would – Thursday night mate date for two please!

The Magnum sits on a New Town corner where Dublin Street embraces Albany Street. Enveloped in historic architecture, the restaurant’s location is highly sought after, yet blissfully tucked away from busy Broughton Street and the nearby fanfare of rat racers on York Place.

The inside boasts a separate bar and restaurant area with a simple yet elegant interior and subtle sparkly embellishments; it was the pretty chandelier and fairy lights cascading the dining room windows which caught my eye.

We were promptly seated by a friendly waitress with a cute facial piercing; I was pleased to see it wasn’t too pretentious an establishment to allow staff a little self expression.

The menu is modern Scottish, priding itself on locally sourced ingredients. Myself and my fellow haggis enthusiast immediately agreed to be equally unoriginal and order the same starter – haggis spring roll. Definitely a good choice. The haggis got on famously with the crispy pastry and sweet BBQ hickory relish. We were both very satisfied with the dish and our tactful avoidance of food envy.

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Sometimes you just need red meat. Yes I know that there is a far healthier pan-fried-fish-with-funky-vegetable ensemble on the menu but I. WANT. STEAK. And that’s what I ordered. Unapologetic carnivorous indulgence.

While I will happily order a rare steak from one of my favourite steak restaurants, I hesitantly ordered a medium-rare. My rib eye arrived with a host of attractive accompaniments and a wash of redcurrant jus. The first slice of my knife revealed a disappointing lack of pink. Would it pass the taste test?

Thankfully, the meat was still tender and flavoursome, albeit overcooked to medium. The chips were absolutely spot on, and there were no complaints about the salad. Given the size and cut of this particular steak however, I would say that £22.50 is overpriced for this dish.

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My friend ordered the rack of lamb and was pleased with her main and how it was cooked.

It certainly looks fantastic doesn’t it?

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With just enough belly capacity to accommodate a small density of food, we ordered the cranachan cheesecake to share. I love cheesecake and love cranachan so was interested to experience them join forces.

Paired with the crumbly biscuit base and sticky raspberry compote, the chewy oats embedded into the cream cheese mixture were a welcome texture to an otherwise smooth layer. I would consider this dessert to be a unique selling point for the restaurant.

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The Verdict

My overall experience at The Magnum was a pleasant one. The setting was relaxed, the staff were attentive and the food was good. I really appreciate the restaurant’s effort to create unique adaptations of well-known Scottish dishes. The steak didn’t compete with similarly (or better) priced steaks at other Edinburgh restaurants, but was still enjoyable.

On totalling up the average cost for a three course meal on the dinner menu with wine, I would say that it is slightly overpriced. While the restaurant’s location and quality of ingredients certainly merit a higher-end pricing strategy, there are a number of fantastic establishments throughout Edinburgh with more competitive prices and great food. That said, The Magnum do offer a set menu between 12-2.30pm and 5.30-6.45pm which seems like good value, and therefore something I would recommend.

Thank you to The Magnum for hosting me.

As always, all of my opinions are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.