Christmas Dinner at Whighams

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On Monday the Sunday Brunch Club Badminton Club went to Whighams for Christmas Dinner. We wanted somewhere relaxed and informal so Whighams seemed the perfect choice.

I so enjoy Whighams for drinks and it is walking distance from home, so over the years it’s become something of a regular haunt and meeting place.

The menu offered so much promise. Scallops, a favourite of mine, featured as a starter. The main courses offered were turkey with all the trimmings, pumpkin and champagne risotto, balsamic lamb casserole and panfried seabass fillet. So many delicious choices! By the time I read the sweets which included a chestnut cheesecake and a passionfruit Crème brûlée my mouth was watering. The menu was £25 for 3 courses or £30 including a glass of prosecco.

We started off over a few glasses of bubbly perusing the menu. For me there was only one starter: warm scallops served with frizzled chillies and spring onion. When the plates arrived my enthusiasm evaporated. To say I was disappointed is to rather understate the case. This is what we were presented with.

Dinner at Whighams - skimpy scallops
Scallops - Disappointing to say the least

I’ve had scallops in lots of restaurants and can say without hesitation that these are the worst. Two scallops cut in half. Tough, chewy and overcooked. Not a very good start. Oh Whighams, I so wanted to love you!

Now you might be thinking that at this price point we could hardly have expected Angels & Bagpipes scallops and I would agree with you. However, I do recall beautifully cooked scallops in good portion size at Iris as part of the 3 courses for £25 dinner menu. So it is doable. And if it isn’t, why include them on the menu?

Those who went for the salmon were pleased though and enjoyed their starters. The soup was also good, I’m told.

Salmon Starter at Whighams
A winning choice - Trio of Scottish Smoked Salmon, Cold Smoked, Hot Smoked and Gravadlax

The main courses were all good basic food. Nothing exceptional. Nothing dreadful.

Roast Turkey with all the Seasonal Trimmings
Roast Turkey with all the Seasonal Trimmings at Whighams
Balsamic Lamb Casserole with Rioja at Whighams
Balsamic Lamb Casserole with Rioja and Redcurrants served with vegetables and a warm Yorkshire Pudding at Whighams
Pumpkin and Champagne Risotto at Whighams
Pumpkin and Champagne Risotto with Rocket, Sweet Potato Crisp, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Parmesan at Whighams

Moving on to the sweet, I seem to have chosen badly again. The crème brulée was bad. Very bad. It was burned. The crisp sugar layer was rather too cement-like and the rich and creamy crème was thick and almost doughy. It was so bad I couldn’t eat it.

Mango/Passionfruit Crème Brûlée at Whighams
Burnt Mango & Passionfruit Crème brûlée at Whighams

The cheese and oatcakes was better-received. With the blue cheese receiving special praise. But really you can’t go wrong the Mellis cheeses.

Trio of Iain J Mellis’ Organic Scottish Cheeses with Oatcakes
Trio of Iain J Mellis’ Organic Scottish Cheeses with Oatcakes at Whighams

The christmas pudding received mixed reviews. While it was palatable, it was, apparently un-pudding like.

Christmas Pudding served with Brandy Butter
Christmas Pudding served with Brandy Butter at Whighams

The service was good. And the evening pleasant. The food let it down though.

Whighams is a great place to go for drinks. The staff are lovely and the atmosphere is usually buzzy.  For dining though, the jury’s out. It might have been a one-off bad day, perhaps the usual chef was away. It requires another visit methinks. However, after the trauma of the scallops and the disappointment of the brulée I think it’ll be a while before I return to eat…

13 Hope Street, Charlotte Square ,Edinburgh, EH2 4EL
0131 225 8674

The Sunday Brunch Club rating is an average of the rating given by the people who attended the dinner.

Whighams Wine Cellar on Urbanspoon

 I’d love to hear your comments in the box below, tell me your thoughts
What do you think of this review?
Have you eaten at Whighams?
What are your favourite Edinburgh restaurants?

3 thoughts on “Christmas Dinner at Whighams

    Ann said:
    15 December 2010 at 11.12 am

    sounds like it wasn’t up to ‘Atrium’s’ Christmas pud standards!

      Sunday Brunch Club responded:
      15 December 2010 at 11.26 am

      No it most certainly was not! Which reminds me still have that blog post to finish off

    […] brulée in shot glasses would normally get me feeling hot and bothered. But after my recent burnt brulée trauma, I’m off the  brulée! For your benefit, Miss GB dived in where others feared to tread. She […]

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