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Bright outlook at Sun Inn
Scott MccullochNov 6 2009 Award-winning restaurant does not compromise on quality and taste

Describing a restaurant as a ‘hidden gem’ is a bit of a cliché although it is probably still the best way to describe The Sun Inn at Eskbank.

Hidden? Well, to those living outside of Midlothian, it’s safe to say it is ‘tucked away’ even though it sits just six miles from Edinburgh city centre.

Father-and-son team, Ian and Craig Minto are already 10-year veterans of the restaurant trade, having run establishments in Spain and Leeds before deciding to move to Scotland two years ago to take over The Sun Inn. In less than 18 months, and somewhere north of a millon pounds later, they have transformed what was a very tired pub on the outskirts of Newtongrange to a restaurant and bar with five boutique rooms.

The restaurant has already won an AA Rosette, with the accommodation also recently winning four stars from the AA.

Ian Minto, is a self-taught chef with a passion for quality, and fresh produce, which he presents with a minimum of fuss.

To start off, we opted for a Wester Ross King scallops with black pudding and Parma ham and baked figs with Dunsyre blue cheese and ham. Both dishes were outstanding, though the scallops really stood out – well cooked and accompanied with possibly the best black pudding ever to grace a table in the central belt.

The baked figs had to wait while we eagerly wolfed down the scallops, though the portions given for each starter had us wondering what size of vessel would be needed to transport the mains.

I went for a traditional Sunday lunch of roast leg of lamb with homemade Yorkshire pudding, dripping roast potatoes and real gravy. My partner opted for the fillet of beefWellington with champ potatoes and shallots and port jus. Two very large heaped plates duly arrived, with both entrées so good we decided it is only fair to swap half way.

The generous portion of lamb was fantastic, and along with a giant Yorkshire pudding, and some of the richest and best gravy ever tasted, it made for the perfect Sunday lunch. However, the beef Wellington raised things even higher with a fillet so tender it was easily cut with a table knife.

It was an hour of reading the papers after the huge mains, before we gingerly moved on to the desserts menu, opting to share a Tiramisu cheesecake with roasted coffee bean crème anglaise. This was a superb end to the meal though again, it was a weighty portion which we struggled with even though we were sharing.

At around £50 all in for three courses for two, The Sun Inn is by no means a budget eatery. However, for the quality of food, The Sun Inn does offer good value and tops it off with excellent service.

The Sun Inn Esbank, near Dalkeith EH22 4TR (0131) 663 2456 www.thesuninneskbank.co.uk

Full review – http://www.business7.co.uk/business-news/scottish-business-news/2009/11/06/bright-outlook-at-sun-inn-106408-21801391/