Vegetarians and vegans, look away now... I am a full-blown steak fan girl. There, I said it - it's official. To me, a fillet steak with bearnaise sauce - and a cheeky glass of Malbec red - is the ultimate meal. In fact, when people say "what would be your last meal?" I'd say that. So, when No11 Brasserie invited Gillian along to review them, I happily sauntered along ready to load up on yummy food. I didn't expect that I, too, would feel the need to write a review, but it really was pretty damn good.
I'll start this by saying, on first look at their website and menu, Gillian and I didn't have huge expectations for our visit. The design of the menu is a little bit pub grub, less fine cuisine, but it really is quite misleading. When we first walked in, I was struck by how relaxing and luxurious the dining room felt; set within a Georgian townhouse with dark walls illustrated with a few of history's greats and a sparkling chandelier on the ceiling. Immediately, the soothing sound of jazz and the scent of delicious food wafting through made me feel at home and in anticipation for the night ahead.
After a difficult while deciding what to have ("venison steak or fillet steak?!"), I opted for the red pepper pakora to start, followed by the classic fillet steak with bearnaise sauce. We decided to share chips and garlic greens - it's so easy to dine with Gillian as we have pretty much the same taste! - alongside our mains too. After polishing off a glass of Malbec, I went for a glass of rosé to go with my sticky toffee pudding for dessert. And, oh my...
The red pepper pakora with a coriander yoghurt dip was as lovely as any good pakora I've ever had... definitely the perfect portion to keep me going before my steak arrived. Gillian picked my second choice on the starters list: the chilli and coriander fish cakes. They were apparently a winner, so thumbs up all round for the starters!
And now came the pièce de résistance for the evening: the fillet steak with bearnaise sauce. I was actually salivating when this arrived... unfortunately, as any blogger would, we took about a bazillion photos before we even tucked into our steaks, so it made me salivate even more! Hurry up, can we eat yet? The medium-rare steak was melt in your mouth delicious, with every inch of my plate wiped clean. I actually lost count of the number of times I said to Gillian "um, I think I'm in heaven...", much to her eye-rolling at me for my standard over the top feelings. The garlic greens, too, were the perfect accompaniment. I think I'm gonna have to cook all of my veggies in garlic now...
For dessert, I settled on the sticky toffee pudding, as did Gillian. It was a tough shout, given the cranachan on that menu too, but the idea of sticky toffee pudding sounded like the most indulgent choice! I've not a clue how I got through that dish without melting into my chair and having a nap, but it was the perfect ending to an overall lovely experience dining at No11 Brasserie. I recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxed fine dining experience with no rushing you out of the door when you're finished, as with some Edinburgh restaurants. At £28 for our steaks without sides, it's not the most cost-effective, but it's definitely somewhere to consider for a little celebratory evening out with your other half or a catch-up with a friend you haven't seen in ages.
Are you a steak fan like me? Or are you more of a veggie dish fan?