The Lantern Room – dining at the Courtyard Marriott hotel
We had passed here many times before but this time we were in town for a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse, which is only just a few doors along…
Outside, there’s a sizeable partially-covered and heated terrace looking onto the start of Leith Walk. There are two doors to the restaurant from outside, plus a door for the hotel reception, but through the entrance we take, it’s not clear where to go – it’s a restaurant with the feel of the bar. We walk to the bar and are then taken to our table.
With a name like ‘The Lantern Room’ you might expect a room filled with glowing lanterns, and there are, sort of, but the lantern room that is being referred to here is actually the room found at the top of a lighthouse, as evidenced by their logo and menu imagery. In saying that, the lighting inside was atmospheric and cosy.
We were served cucumber-infused tap water almost as soon as we sat down. We also ordered two cocktails, the cocktail of the day, which was described as some sort of sherbet cocktail (£8) made using vodka, Passoã passion fruit liqueur and something else that we didn’t quite catch.
We also had the Orange and Vanilla brûlée cocktail (£8) – comprising Courvoisier VS***, Orange muscat and Flora sweet wine, vanilla syrup and cream all shaken together. It tastes a bit like chef’s perks when you’re making a cake and stop to taste a bit of the mix! Creamy and decadent, it’s listed as an after dinner drink on the menu but there’s no shame in ordering one before your dinner as well.
With our food we then shared a bottle of Pontebello Hungarian Pinot Grigio (£20). A surprisingly pleasant, light, fresh white for the price. With aromas of honeydew melon, lime and grapefruit, it also has a slight petrol aroma (but in a nice way!). The taste is light and clean, with a good balance of sweetness and acidity. Crisp apple is followed by pink grapefruit, lime acidity and a honeyed peachy aftertaste.
Baked Camembert (£5.50). Nothing too fancy here, just soft gooey President Camembert cheese with a sweet onion chutney and two slices of lighty-toasted bread.
Salmon and crab chowder (£6.95)
An impressive portion, nice and creamy with chunks of (hot smoked) salmon, white crab meat and smoked haddock too. The bread was ok but not the best, with spreadable creamy butter.
Seared tuna on a salad of mouli, chilli, coriander, mint and lime dressing (£15.50)
A massive door stop of nicely cooked tuna steak on a mountain of grated mooli. I appreciated the size of the tuna but mooli doesn’t really taste of much. The lime was prominent but the chilli wasn’t fiery and the coriander and mint was as subdued too. It looks and tasted a bit bland so a few more herbs and colour would’ve helped.
A Red onion, tomato and basil salad (£3) side salad was also ordered which was fresh and crisp with strong red onions.
Confit of pork belly, chorizo pomme purée and caramelised apple (£15.95)
Chunky and moist pork belly with crisp and chewy fat. We couldn’t taste any apple, just a sweet and sticky sauce, and although listed as as having a chorizo potato purée it was heavily pulverised so looked and tasted more like mash with smoked paprika through it.
Chocolate fondant, vanilla ice cream (£5.50) – Warm and gooey chocolate with ice cream is always a winner for me!
Apple tarte tatin, whisky ice cream(£5.50)
A sweet apple Fromage frais might be have been a better accompaniment instead of the ice cream. A suitable gooey and sweet dessert.
Did the Lantern Room shine? Well, it mostly brightened our day – it was a competent meal with a few minor flaws so if you’re staying at the hotel it’s worth eating in on at least one of the nights. Service was polite and quick – we had a show to visit nearby and our 3-course meal was served in 2 hours so we got there in plenty of time. We were also full by the end of our meal and enjoyed a fair amount of alcohol. The total cost of the meal would have been £93.90, which included a full bottle of wine and cocktails, but we noted that they do a 2 courses and bottle of wine for 2 deal for only £35.
Toilets are downstairs, down a very brightly lit stairwell, and clean and tidy. Music: mixed funk and downtempo pop music. Being located just off Picardy Place in the heart of Edinburgh means that The Lantern Room is also very handy for public transport.
+ Cucumber-infused water brought to table without prompting
+ Good cocktails
+ Excellent wine for the price
+ Good service
+ Toilets clean and functional
+ Central location – train station and bus stops nearby
– Entry a bit confusing. Perhaps close the other door and just have one entrance?
– Tuna needs more colour and flavour
– Average bread
Disclaimer: we received a complimentary meal and drinks. Fred sez we are honest in all that we write.