Tag Archives: slaw

Edinburgh food guide

16 May

Last week, I asked you nice people for suggestions for food related places in Edinburgh. I got some great suggestions in terms of places to eat-out in and some interesting shops.

I went over with my better-half to visit some of her nearest and dearest and they brought us to two places I want to talk to you about.

The first was Holyrood 9A. This is a great spot for a few reasons. As you walk in there is an impressive array of interesting beers on draught at a very attractive bar. Crucially  it had one of my favourites Blue Moon. Secondly the menu was interesting, with an array of quirky options. My (adventurous) Cheese burger was served with nice skinny fries and a side of slaw, and presented attractively. Also it was nice to be served a burger that you could actually eat with your hands rather than the towering skyscrapers most places serve. Approving noises were made all around. Others got the steak-sandwich, and the Shroom Italienne, with Piri Piri fries. Service was very friendly and prompt. Also worth noting- this place is child friendly- crucial as we had a little person in tow.

The other place we frequented was The Scottish Cafe. It is located in the National gallery in the Princess Street Gardens. It is an open and airy dining room and was  humming on the Sunday afternoon we visited.  It sources a huge amount of its produce from Scottish producers and the menu reads nicely.

I opted for the cheese sandwich with chips (god I ate mundane options this trip). In truth it was a posh cheese sandwich, with Isle of Mull Cheddar, nice red onion relish, and a barley and beetroot mix. The barley and beetroot mix was different, my only gripe was the cheddar was grated and made the sandwich a little dry. My better half had the rabbit terrine with some bread (more on this in a minute) and she enjoyed the dish. We finished with a rhubarb tart and a portion of set cream. The tart was tasty and different from the typical, it was almondy and moist and I ate every morsel. The better half  and her sister shared a portion of set cream. I managed to sneak a taste or two- and it was one of the most delicious deserts I have tasted in a long time. The consistency was perfect and it had a rich vanilla taste- studded with an abundance of vanilla flecks.

While the food here was good- I am sorry to say the service was not at all in the same league. The side of bread mentioned earlier- ordered with our food, didn’t arrive. After reminding a waitress it still didn’t arrive- and on the third asking finally arrived at the table-  quite some time after the dish it was due to accompany. I asked for a refill of water and it never arrived. There were a lot of staff walking around- but they seemed ambivalent, certainly towards our table.

 

I would like to thank everyone who tweeted, facebooked and left suggestions for this trip- I really appreciate it.  Also I would like to thank the other half’s family for the weekend and for bringing us to these places. I’m looking forward to the next trip already.

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BEAR Dublin Review

22 Feb

Bear is the latest addition to the Jo’Burger family. It resides on South William Street, in what used to be Crackbird’s second incarnation. It has opened with considerable fanfare owing to the loyal Jo’Burger/Crackbird/Skinflint crowd and a well-known backer in the form of Irish rugby star Jamie Heaslip. With all this (understandable) hype, would a newly opened Bear be a worthy member of the Jo-family?

On entering the restaurant, I was greeted by the smell of fresh-paint and I immediately had pangs of worry. I think it is only fair to let restaurants settle in before passing judgement as a punter, so I was immediately concerned that I had visited too soon. I was wrong.

After the rest of our party arrived, we were seated by Mr. Jo’Burger himself. All of us had been in the restaurant when it was Crackbird 2, and it looked very different. ” It’s posher than Crackbird isn’t it?” He joked.  It retains roughly the same lay-out, the kitchen now visible at the back, with a bar along one wall. Exposed lightbulbs provide a cosy glow, and diners are seated at long-tables.

After sitting down we got straight down to the menu (available here). There is a fantastic array of meats, to satisfy even the hungriest carnivore. There are meats for single portions and then cuts to share. Myself and my better half split a bavette , as did three of our less hungry companions, with one opting for chicken. The steak was well-cooked and very flavoursome. The image on the left- is roughly half the meat you get, and thus is incredible value for €29.95.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a nice selection of sides in BEAR- the million dollar fries (above left) were the first to catch our eyes. They are slices of dauphinoise potatoes, deep-fried. I worried they would be greasy, but I was very wrong, they came out lightly crisped, with a luxurious center. Some other sides that were well received were the horseradish slaw, a very refreshing side, and the candied swede with sage was impeccable.  On the table there is a barbecue sauce (which I could swear had a hint of cardamom in it) and ketchup, but if you are feeling slightly more adventurous, the 3 sauces for a fiver is a tasty addition to the meal.

The wine-list  is solid and the Bulgarian Sauvignon (€18) was a very pleasant accompaniment to the meal. They do their own soft drinks (served in jam-jars) as well as some beers.

As I write this, I must remark that upon our visit- BEAR was in its 5th day of operation, yet the meal was flawless. In a time when restaurants are going under with remarkable pace, to say Joe Macken is bucking the trend would be an understatement. In the last year he has opened three restaurants in Dublin. They are restaurants that are not afraid of doing a few dishes well, and this bravery has been rewarded. The Dublin culinary scene would be poorer without them.

Service throughout was brilliant. Attentive without being overbearing. The 6 of us thoroughly enjoyed our meal, were incredibly well fed and have been in communication today remarking on our satisfaction. You will not get better value in Dublin.

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