After Kate and Karen's recommendations on twitter, I decided to go ahead and book Gordon's birthday dinner at the Malmaison's Brasserie. Anyone who knows him (or follows this blog) will know that Gordon's a lover of steaks and burgers and, according to the girls, Malmaison does both pretty well! We went back to our room after a few cocktails in the bar to get changed and ready for our meal. I decided on this Primark dress with simple black heels and an ancient Warehouse necklace that's worked it's way back into my staple jewellery collection.
Primark colour block dress // Carvela heels // Warehouse necklace
The restaurant has a mix of modern industrial vibes and old school decor, with various animal portraits and antlers mounted above the fireplace, while the Scottish theme continues throughout. It's kind of posh but relaxed at the same time. We were seated in a cosy little curved booth with perfect people watching potential.
We kicked off with the starters; creamed brie with red wine poached pear and salted, candied pecans for me... Gordon thought I'd ordered some sort of raw fish for a minute! It was the perfect mixture of sweet and savoury, and light enough to leave plenty room for the next round.
Gordon chose the Mal chicken lollipops. The way the menu describes them is slightly confusing and made it sound like a large sharing platter or something, but it made much more sense when they arrived! Five different flavoured pieces of chicken served with sweet chilli and aioli dipping sauces. I'd definitely go for this next time! We washed them down with wine and champagne cocktails. Well you can't have a birthday without a few bubbles, can you?
The star of the show for me was the chicken tikka. Described on the menu as "chicken tikka, masala sauce, pilaf rice, chutney, raita & griddled Indian bread", I'd expected it to arrive like a typical curry with pieces of chicken covered in sauce. It arrived with a tiny pan of the masala sauce with a chicken tikka skewer and was even better than I'd imagined. The sauce could of done with a bit more spice but the chicken was gorgeous, with a hint of coriander and cooked to perfection! I didn't eat too much of the rice as I didn't want to fill up on it but dipped the naan bread in the sweet mango chutney to finish it off. I can almost taste it now.... oh wait, that's the tikka my sister just cooked in the microwave! ;)
As predicted, Gordon went for steak. There's a few options on the Josper Grill menu but they also had some different cuts on the specials menu that evening. He ended up with a huge, marbled sirloin steak with a side of fries and onion rings. The steaks are served with a salad and sauce but you have to order your sides separately so, not realizing how big the portions would be, he definitely over ordered. I had to force myself to help him out with the crispy fries! It's a hard life...
I had arranged a little surprise when the restaurant called to confirm our booking, and spent the entire evening panicking that Gordon would decide he was too full for dessert! Not once did he leave the table, so I didn't even get the chance to check that they had remembered to do it! Luckily for me sticky toffee pudding was on the menu and Gordon can never resist a good sticky toffee.
And they remembered! Much to Gordon's surprise, the pudding arrived on a Happy Birthday slate platter! Simple, but effective. He was chuffed but embarrassed in equal measures haha. I had chosen a creme brulee which was delicious but no match for the white chocolate and passionfruit version at Tom's.
After wolfing down our birthday puddings we relaxed in the Brasserie for a while and then made our way into town for a wee cocktail crawl. We visited some of our favourite bars in the city for a few drinks before retiring to our comfy king size in the junior suite.
A cosmopolitan at The Tippling House...
A long island iced tea in Ninety-Nine...
And a Pornstar martini at Dusk. Hopefully I'll get a chance to spend more time sampling their cocktail menu soon!
Happy birthday Gordon!
Have you ever eaten at a Malmaison restaurant? You can book online here if you fancy. I'll definitely be back soon - it was a total treat for the taste buds and I'd 100% recommend them to celebrate any special occasion!