Following the closure of his eponymous restaurant in the New Town, celebrated chef Mark Greenaway has moved into the ground-floor atrium of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, taking over the space which previously housed the Galvin brothers’ Brasserie de Luxe. Though the name might imply dainty sharing plates, Grazing offers hearty dishes in relaxed surroundings.
While there are dishes designed to share – cote de boeuf, roast monkfish or a hefty but refined shepherd’s pie – it’s also possible to go down the starter-main-dessert route with a selection of larger dishes or Scottish aged beef from the grill.
We started with the fluffiest gnocchi pillows, tossed in a silky Parmesan-enriched sauce and spinach, and a sunshine yellow-yolked fried duck egg with warm confit leg meat and salty duck ham.
Mains are unashamedly gutsy. A square of pork belly, slowly rendered over 11 hours, with glass-like crisp crackling and a toffee apple sauce that tasted of bonfire night, sat on a comforting mound of buttery mash and tender cabbage. Pulled beef cheek was melt-in-the-mouth tender and gorgeously rich, served with a robust red wine liquor and a pillow of smoked mash with a smattering of peppery watercress. A side of Kentucky fried cauliflower was a star in its own right, crisp and golden and confidently spiced.
Sticky toffee pudding soufflé is Greenaway’s signature dessert, and ours was spectacular, enormous yet light as a feather and sigh-inducingly sweet, well worth the 15-minute wait (which also allowed time for a bit of much-needed belt-loosening).
Unfussy yet demonstrating exemplary skill, Mark’s food is all about pleasure. Encouraging not so much grazing as gorging, this is comfort food at its most spectacular. It’s what long lunches were made for.