I had arranged to meet a friend from St Andrews at Edinburgh’s George Hotel, where we would decide our lunch destination. We plumped for the Tempus Bar and Restaurant at the hotel and were delighted with the food, the service and the ambience.
As we are ladies who lunch lightly, both of us decided, after reading the very comprehensive menus to go for ‘Small Dishes’. Even here it was very hard to choose from plum tomato soup with rosemary and garlic croutons through to Camembert box baked cheese with crusty bread and cranberry sauce. The menu ranges from the Small dishes, through Large dishes, green dishes, sandwiches and Tempus minis right on to what the chef has called ‘Oh go on .. dishes’ including white chocolate crÃ¨me brulee, homemade sticky date and toffee pudding, through lemon tart, clotted cream and ice cream. Yes, I could fill the whole magazine with descriptions of these wonderful options.
In retrospect I wish I had been hungrier but I decided on Eggs Benedict, which is a great favourite of mine. It was a good choice and truly the best I have ever tasted. If you’ve tried to make a perfect poached egg at home readers will know how difficult this is and indeed is often set as an examination dish for cookery students. I had a glass of sparkling white Prosecco. Carol went for the Tempus pate served with brioche, tomato and apple chutney, which, she said, tasted as good as it looked. This is important, to me, one of the signs of quality and value in a restaurant is the presentation, crockery, glassware and cutlery. Tempus scored very highly on all these. We finished our modest lunches with excellent coffee and lingered talking catch up! My food cost only Â£3.95 (small portion) and my friend’s pate Â£5.95.
Every point of the day is covered, including afternoon tea with scones, strawberry preserve and clotted cream for a very modest Â£3.95. The dinner and weekend menus are equally comprehensive with two courses on Sundays of roast of the day with either a starter or dessert costing Â£16.95 or three courses for Â£20.95.
The ambience feels cosmopolitan, there is background music but it doesn’t drown out conversation and the staff are very helpful under the guidance of charming manager, Stephen Begg.
I found out from the chef the all-time favourite which is never off the menu. It is the homemade sticky date and toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. He even gave me the recipe which I am allowed to share.Â That, too, looked well worth a return visit. Most certainly the Tempus lounge, where we ate, and the Tempus restaurant used in the evening is very high now on my list of good eating places!
The telephone number is 0131 240 7190 and the website www.tempus-edinburgh.co.uk