A NEW restaurant from the Roux family is a rare treat and one to be celebrated. That’s why the newly opened Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is causing such a stir. It is a collaboration between father-and-son Michel and Alain Roux and the first be helmed by Alain from the start. He is Signature Chef at Brasserie Prince which has replaced Hadrian’s Brasserie and The Balmoral Bar. He comes star-spangled from the Waterside Inn, where he took over from his father and retained three Michelin stars (the only restaurant in the world outside France to have upheld this accolade for more than thirty years).
His Brasserie Prince menu showcases Scottish seafood and other local ingredients, but the dishes all have a French bistro base. Inspiration comes from the menu of the brasserie opened long ago in ’70s in London, and from his paternal grandmother. Daily specials will include Boudin noir aux deux pommes, a rich dish of black pudding with caramelised apple and potato purée and Côtelettes d’agneu, lamb cutlets with couscous, sorrel and mint sauce. The restaurant has a busy city-vibe and a modern feel but that is unlikely to faze the notoriously unflappable Roux duo.
Michel Roux says there are a number of reasons why he and his son chose this hotel to debut a new restaurant when many hoteliers must have courted them. “The number one reason it seems was family synergy; Rocco Forte and Roux, complement each other. “Their family business is very much in line with the Roux family business, and they have some of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the world. When you go to the Balmoral, well, it’s quite stunning”. Michel Roux told the Robb Report recently. The inspiration behind the collaboration between the Roux and Forte families came from Lydia Forte, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Bar & Restaurant Development Manager. ”Michel and Alain Roux were my first choice when I thought of a new brasserie at The Balmoral,” says Lydia. “Michel was one of the first to revolutionise the UK dining scene at about the same time that my grandfather was making his strides in hospitality. Michel and Alain run a family business like us and as such we have the same ethos. The experience of our guests is so personal to us because our names are on the door.''
Alain Roux apparently loves Scotland and ''wanted a bit of a challenge''. He also wanted to open something in the north. A passion for Edinburgh is also shared by Michel Roux. “I’ve been to Edinburgh many times before, and I love it” he says.
Now with a separate entrance on Princes Street, the restaurant space has undergone a complete redesign led by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS), the internationally acclaimed interior architecture and design studio. Martin Brudnizki has worked closely with Olga Polizzi on this new venture.
The Roux brothers, Michel and Albert were founders of Le Gavroche in London and Waterside Inn in Berkshire. Albert's son is Michel Jnr current chef-patron of Le Gavroche, and Michel's son, Alain, was the inheritor of Waterside Inn and now Signatrue chef of the new Brassierie Prince.