The Magnum – Loaded with Flavour

One benefit of blogging has been the discovery of so many new places to eat, we now rarely eat in the same place more than once (excluding home) and are on a mission to find the best Edinburgh has to offer.

My knowledge of The Magnum was fairly limited, I knew roughly where it was and was certain I could locate it without referring to my phone (I was wrong, I have a terrible sense of direction). I didn’t really know what kind of food they served up and described it to my dining companion as pub grub, a wild shot in the dark which turned out to be far off the target. My error in judgement resulted in a nice surprise for EdinBloggette, she was filled with glee when she saw the menu and realised this was no ordinary pub grub.

Within moments of holding the menu my eyes were drawn to cheesecake, a cranachan cheesecake no less, the best of both worlds. My dining partner felt things were moving too quickly, we had to take a step back and focus on the bread that had just joined us and decide on starters and mains before ordering cheesecake.

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Bread and butter, it’s a classic and I’m a huge fan of both. The Magnum’s crusty fresh bread was a tasty start to our meal, we had to show great restraint when being offered more, after all, I had to leave room for cheesecake.

After much deliberation we had decided on our meal, EdinBloggette was going to start with Smoked Salmon and I was intrigued by the Goats Cheese Mousse.

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The Salmon was sliced to perfection and sublimely smoked, it was the perfect balance, in no way overpowering and consistently melting in the mouth. EdinBloggette was in heaven, I visited briefly and could see exactly why she was enjoying it so much. The parsnip crisps offered up a little crunch and the horseradish cream provided a subtle warmth to ensure every mouthful was a whole new adventure.

What you can’t see in the photo is that the salmon is sitting on top of what I described as pancakes, however EdinBloggette insisted that they were blinis. We’re still undecided who was right (it did say pancakes on the menu though),  but what does it matter – a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, a pancake by any other name would still be a treat.

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Now, I have a confession to make, I’m not mad on beetroot, so why would I order a dish boasting three different types? You have to get out of your comfort zone every now and again, also there was goats cheese in the mix so this was bound to end well.

The goats cheese was scattered around the garden on my plate, it was a visual feast and one that I was incredibly excited about. The texture of the goats cheese was heavenly, I’ve always wanted to eat a cloud of cheese and was finally getting around to doing it. When accompanied with the balsamic drizzle it became even more exciting, it was such a simple dish but one that impressed on a number of levels, it was light and refreshing and the beetroot went down a treat too.

I’m a beetroot beginner and I assumed it was always purple, but soon learned it could also be orange and white. Different levels of sweetness between the beetroot ensured plenty of variety on the plate, my favourite of the three turned out to be the classic purple variety, something I had avoided throughout my childhood.

Starters were a success and we were eagerly anticipating our main courses, EdinBloggette had opted for Venison whilst I ordered steak.

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The Venison was served alongside a square of dauphinoise potatoes, broccoli, garlic infused mushrooms and – as if she wasn’t sweet enough – a redcurrant jus, with a few berries scattered around for artistic and tasty purposes. Venison isn’t my bag, but EdinBloggette was over the moon with it, announcing that it was superbly cooked, terrifically tender and full of flavour. I tried a little, but for me the flavour was too strong – I’m just not quite at that level yet. Fun fact, I only really ‘got into’ meat when I was 18, so haven’t had enough practise to be good at eating venison just yet. 

EdinBloggette was certain she made the right choice and I’m sure I saw a look of relief when I didn’t want to try more of the venison, too good to share! The dauphinoise potatoes were a great accompaniment, tightly packed and perfectly cooked, especially good with a little of the juice from the venison.

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I had requested a medium steak, it arrived a touch under medium and was all the better for it. Five years ago you would never have heard me say this, 10 years ago I wouldn’t even be ordering steak. A big thank you to EdinBloggette for paving the way, I somehow think the blog would have been a less interesting read if focussed on my diet of crisp sandwiches and bangers and mash. 

Hungry for steak? Check out our guide to Edinburgh’s Best Steak Restaurants

The hand-cut chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the perfect sidekick to the steak and begging to soak up some of the juices on the plate. The tomatoes bursted with flavour and were a lovely contrast to the slightly charred steak, absolutely delicious!

We were truly stuffed at this stage, but I felt committed to cheesecake already, we could even share if necessary…

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Would you look at that? A thing of beauty. I’ve had to scroll down a little as I type to avoid drooling over the keyboard. The cranachan cheesecake was so light and fluffy, indulgently creamy and the oats gave it an unusual (but interesting) texture – every mouthful resulted in one extremely satisfied cheesecake addict.

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What’s this you ask? I know you thought we were going to share the cheesecake, well that didn’t happen. You see EdinBloggette wanted to try the sticky toffee pudding, it’s one of her all time favourite desserts and this one obtained her seal of approval.

True to its name, it was very sticky, it was still a light dessert but also very large. The combination of hot pudding and cold ice cream was a real treat, but it did turn out to be a bridge too far. The smaller half of EdinBlogger was now at full capacity so the larger half* had to step in to and finish every last bite (what a delight).

* The idea of one half being bigger than the other makes no sense, but let’s just roll with it, we’d eaten an awful lot and mathematics was no longer appropriate.

The Magnum prepared six dishes which were loaded with flavour, the service was spot on and food exceeded both of our expectations. I was glad to be wrong about The Magnum by thinking it served pub grub, this is clearly a restaurant with a passion for food.

We are proud to award The Magnum with our prestigious EdinBraw award:


We were invited down to try the food at The Magnum but covered the cost of our drinks, all views remain our own and we were not asked to write a positive review. Rest assured we’ll be visiting The Magnum over and over again! 

The Magnum Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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