A review by Louise Stoddart
After finishing university last summer, I took a year to go travelling and immerse myself in different cultures and cuisines. I am now back in Edinburgh doing some freelance writing, indulging in the Edinburgh foodie scene. My food blog and travel blog are regularly updated and document all of my experiences. Enjoy!
The Food and Drink
The Magnum’s emphasis on local produce is accompanied with a use of seasonal ingredients, making the menu differ one week from the next. Of course, some of their signature dishes have been there since the start. Chris Graham and his team have carefully put together a varied menu of some Scottish pub classics alongside truly well executed dishes. Starters were around the £4-£9 mark- fairly priced for what was on offer. Although tempted by the creamy Cullen skink and grilled cheese bloomer, the smoked salmon was a no brainer. Enriched by a beautiful horseradish relish this was indulgent without being heavy and was a taster of what was to follow. The Buccleuch haggis spring rolls took on an Asian twist, a perfect example of their creative, innovative cooking.
For main I had the pan-fried sea bass with king prawns, roasted veg and an orange dressing which was ideal for a summers evening. The fish was delightfully fresh and the prawns were mammoth- the way they should be. Personally, I would have liked the sea bass skin crisped up more, and then my plate would have been clean. Opting for a pub classic, my friend’s pork and herb sausages were served alongside green beans wrapped in prosciutto. Drizzled with red onion gravy, the sausages were very satisfying and excellent quality.
Cheesecake can be a bit hit or miss. With a good, crunchy biscuit base it’s a must. In this respect, The Magnums ‘Cranachan Cheesecake with raspberry compote’ needed some more work. After the previous 2 courses I could probably have done without it.
Arguably now more of a restaurant than pub, there’s no forgetting that The Magnum used to be another watering hole in the city. With that in mind, they have a great wine list from £15-£60 a bottle as well as a few magnums dotted around the bar…
The Service and Atmosphere
The cosy pub-come-restaurant has a natural elegant charm. The sparkling fairy lights line the windows and the smart furnishing brightens up the rooms. The pub is sectioned into different rooms giving it a certain intimacy, as if you are eating amongst friends. The subtle playlist in the background makes it quite a casual affair, where you can feel comfortable popping in for a reliable, top quality meal in the week or for a weekend treat. Thanks to an experienced and attentive team, we didn’t have to wait long for our food either.
As an out of towner, I’m used to traipsing into town for most things. After working up an appetite on the commute, there’s nothing worse than having a disappointing meal. However, I’m happy to say that a trip to The Magnum was most definitely worth it. For years The Magnum has been known for being another watering hole in the city. Under new management by Chris Graham It has been transformed into a cosy, pub-come/restaurant, serving real no nonsense food. If you are one of their many loyal followers, popping in regularly for a pint then make sure to give their grub a go! Very reasonably priced and impressive attention to detail, it’s a great run for your money.
This review was made possible thanks to a complimentary meal from The Magnum.