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Suzi Edwards

Edinburgh

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Fantastic pictures!  I've known Eddie for getting on for ten years now; firstly as the fish supplier to a restaurant where I was working, and then latterly when I moved to Marchmont and he became my local fishmonger.

I still vividly remember the time when I went in to find about a dozen Chinese guys animatedly haggling over a 12-foot basking shark lying on the tiled floor.

He's a really, REALLY nice guy and to all the Edinburgh (or visiting) eGulleteers I'd recommend going - if you can visit a few times you'll soon find yourself being offered the very nice stuff, usually at a bit of a discount.  I go no more than three or four times a year due to my being in England, but I still get

a) treated like a pasha

b) trade discount

c) to poke about in the back fridges and see what's good

I'm so happy to see the pics up here, thanks Adam. :)

Glad you llike the pictures CB. Eddie and his staff are incredibly nice people, even for a punter like me they make a hugh effort.

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Lots of suggestions. Do you like any particular food? What sort of price range? It is a local holiday on Monday 23rd May by the way.

The List Eating & Drinking Guide has just come out and will soon be live on their website http://www.list.co.uk/eating/eating.html

Restaurant of the Year Martin Wishart - one Michelin Star - book now and definitely go for the tasting menu. http://www.martin-wishart.co.uk/entrance.html

Fish restaurants: Crellers www.creelers.co.uk or Sweet Melindas - tiny neighbourhood restaurant just off the Meadows and next door to the best fishmongers in town. 0131 229 7953

Restaurant at the Bonham - French/Scottish www.thebonham.com

Forth Floor Restaurant - Harvey Nichols 524 8350 - scottish cuisine with great service. There is also a brasserie for lower priced meals and a wonderful food hall

Great cocktails: Rick's Bar http://www.ricksedinburgh.co.uk/restaurant.html

Saturday tea: Plaisir du chocolat, Canongate (Royal Mile) http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/citygui...pe=eat&vid=1641

I could go on and on ... Let me know if you need more info.

Danielle

I'll be going on Sunday May 22 to Edinburgh for a business trip, returning to the US on Sat May 28th. I'll have my evenings free to eat and drink.

Any suggestions????

Thanks in advance,

Sausy Girl


Danielle Ellis

Edinburgh Scotland

www.edinburghfoody.com

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or just go drinking at the foot of the castle on Grassmarket. Man, what a hoot! The surviving member of '2 fat ladies' had a cookbook shop there but I never saw her. I wonder how developed the waterfront is in terms of good resturants. I never go to check on high end seafood resturants as I was strictly the tourist/chaparone. I'd send em to bed, go out for a pint or 2 and see them walk in 5 minutes later. There are too many back staircases in that hotel and It's impossible to keep teenagers locked up at night with THAT kind of night life going on so I pretended not to see them. I am soooo jealous.

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Smaller shops might be closed on 23 May, but most of the bigger shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants etc will be open.

Unfortunately, the bookshop that highchef referred to is now a taxi place. Something to do with bankruptcy, I hear... (The Grassmarket, by the way, is stag/hen night hell at the weekends, so take some body armour if you're venturing down there!)

Can I also suggest The Atrium? Great food, unstuffy ambience. I also like Blue (upstairs from the Atrium) for a drink or two, and maybe a quick bite of lunch.

Ricks is pretty good for cocktails, but not for food. Be warned--I was there on Saturday night and there was so much sharking going on I thought I was in a remake of Jaws. Meat market! The bar at Harvey Nicks is also good for cocktails, and then you go get a table in the restaurant with a view over the city.

Pop into the Dome on George Street for a drink in splendid surroundings. Oloroso on George Street--okay bar, pretty rubbish (and absurdly expensive) restaurant. Inside, the bar has wonderful views over the city, but the tiniest windows to see them through. If it's a nice day, go out on the terrace, although service can suffer if it's busy. Better to try Centotre (service still somewhat erratic, according to the missis, but now with new downstairs bar addition so not as packed) or the Valvona and Crolla VinCaffe on Multrees Walk (close to Louis Vuitton, Armani, Calvin Klein etc).

For an intimate (ie tiny) place, try Cafe Marlayne on Thistle Street. They've also opened a second expanded place at the old Le Sept site just off the Royal Mile.

As dellis453 says, loads of places to go! Have fun!

Cheers

Spanky

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I'll be visiting Edinburgh late in July and will be staying over for a Saturday and Sunday night. It's a girlie break (not hen party!), so I'm not looking for anything intimate or romantic, nor do I think I'll get a consensus on going to a Michelin restaurant. So what I'm looking for are recommendations for good mid priced restaurants.

And I've got a few specific questions too:

1. Is Marque Central still around? How would you rate it?

2. I see Centotre is the only Italian restaurant that is mentioned. Is it the best there is, or is it quite good in its own right?

3. Is La Garrigue still around and how would you rate it now?

4. Are Kalpna and Nargile still around, and any updates on these too?

And last, but not least, if you were to pick just 2 restaurants for dinner, what would they be?

Comments in relation to any of these questions would be very welcome, so thanks in advance.


Corinna Hardgrave aka "Corinna Dunne"

CorinaHardgrave Twitter

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>I'll be visiting Edinburgh late in July

Late July is a good time to visit (post G8, pre Festival) but Sunday’s are quiet nights in Edinburgh certainly as far as restaurants are concerned.

To atempt to answer your questions:

1. Marque Central yes, last time I looked, was still there. The menu always reads well and they usually have good deals early in the evening, it’s a nice solid choice for what may still be called ‘modern British’ (which is like ‘modern Scottish’ but with less “haggis in fillo with a raspberry coulis”). It’s not open Sundays and tends to get full if there is a play on at the Lyceum theatre (with which it, bizarrely, shares toilets).

2. Centotre is a bit of a barn acoustically but the owners (one half of the Contini family) work the room brilliantly, they are often open on Sunday but with a slightly reduced menu. The food is fairly solid, and the Italian language tapes in the toilets very educational. VinCaffe (next to Harvey Nics on Multree Walk – Edinburgh new upmarket shopping boulevard, which unfortunately always reminds me of Marvel Superhero Island at Universal Studios, but I digress, again) is owned by the other half of the Continis (V&C) is very pleasant but gets busy and you always come out spending more than you expected to (probably due to the good value wine list versus the slightly less good value main courses). Either would work well for a non-romantic non-hen party venue, VinCaffe closes early on Sunday (5.30pm I think).

3. La Garrigue’s authenticity occasional works against in (discovering that cassoulet in the Languedoc should taste the way is a bit of a disappointment) but the Chef / Owner is always about to talk to and the specials occasionally delight. Again, not open Sundays.

4. Kalpna (and it’s even more friendly neighbour AnnPurna across the road) is still there, Kalpna now has an all you can eat lunch, and would be the first choice for dosa’s, AnnPurna is first choice for patra and sintra bhaji. If you need meat in your curry Namaste and Kushis are within walking distance. All perfectly pleasant not the greatest city for ‘Indian’ food (with the possible exception of a mom and pop Punjabi take-away on the Dalry road). Nargile is great especially for a crowd who can be easily won over to the joys of set meals and Turkish wine, again not open Sunday.

Other suggestions, Harvey Nics restaurant rather than café is worth the upgrade because you get great views (Firth of Forth and Jenners mostly) and the chef is actually very good, certainly the sweetbread and langoustine salad I had last month was one of the best sub £10 starters I’ve had in a long time. The front of house staff aren’t that sharp (had to go and get my own wine from the ice bucket on the other side of the room on one occasion without anybody working out that wasn’t the normal way things are done), despite that (or maybe because of that) it’s the most ‘London’ restaurant in Edinburgh.

Haven’t done Café Marlene’s new venture, but I agree about the old one being pretty good, Petit Paris would be my choice on the Grassmarket, unless you want pizza in which case it’s Mammas; Coyaba, on Buccleuch Place is the number one destination for Curried Goat in Edinburgh, Szechwan house (I see a different thread I need to post on here) for great Chinese and for that late night treat Kebab Mahal – you know it makes sence.

Have fun.

Geoff

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Restaurant at the Bonham - French/Scottish www.thebonham.com

Briefly, for the record, had a very negative experience here (last autumn). The 'Bonham' carpaccio was the most horrifically salty thing I've ever attempted to eat - capers and parmesan and liberal big salt crystals... nothing to counterpoint and quite inedible. Very indifferent main, dessert and wine recommendation, timid over-formal service.


Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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I lived in Edinburgh for a few years, and my favourite has to be "Fishers on the Shore", in Leith, which serves the most delicious seafood. Once I ate Queenies with Champagne Hollandaise, and I honestly think it wa sthe best dish I ever ate in my life. Absolutely deliscious.

Ther's also a sudanese restaurant called the "Nile Valley Cafe", (although it's a restaurant and not a Cafe). It's near the University area, near Kalpna, that a few people mentioned. Lunch is great, they have the most amazing wraps. Try the aubergines, or the spicy chicken and baba ghanoush. Ummm... But dinner is excelent too. It's quite inexpensive for the quality of food, which 8is exceptional. But don't expect particularly good service, or atmosphere. The magic there is totally in the food.

The best inian is just across from Kalpna, on Nicholson Square. It's called "Kebab Mahal", and it looks like greasy a kebab joint. In fact, it serves the most traditional indian cooking in Edinburgh, absolutelt delicious.

The last place I'd recomend is called "La Bagatelle". It's a small french restaurant, on Brougham Street. The food is lovely, the Chef is great, and they have a fantastic wine list. has anyone been to any of these?

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I will be in Edinburgh this coming week. It will be my first visit. I would appreciate any suggestions for dining on a university budget.

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What sort of cooking do you want to sample? There are options within many styles of eating to fit the more modest budget.


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Preferably seafood. Or great dessert. Thanks a lot.

Any suggestions for finding affordable cashmere would also be appreciated.

What sort of cooking do you want to sample?  There are options within many styles of eating to fit the more modest budget.


Edited by persiancook (log)

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last time i was there i had a great lunch at valvona and crolla (their new place) i think dinner there would be equally good, and not too pricey

check out www.valvonacrolla.co.uk but don't linger in the deli too long or you'll soend all your money before you know it!

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I've still not quite made up my mind about V&C's Vin Caffe. Overall, it's pretty good (the wines and desserts especially), but each time there's always something slightly disappointing about it. Trying to think of examples... The first time I went, they had venison stew in a tomato sauce with potatoes. The sauce was wonderfully vibrantly tomato-y, but the venison was really dry. It would have been great if they used beef, but I think they were going for a Italian-Scottish combination. I think I may be being a little harsh as on other occasions I think I've just suffered from selection envy, where my fellow diners have picked something better than my choice!

But, hey, I keep going back (been there four or five times now) so I guess I must like it really.

They usually have a couple of seafood options as well as the decent desserts, so that should cover all bases, persiancook.


Edited by PS (log)

PS

Edinburgh

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I walked out of he new branch on sunday. I went in to but a sandwich to take out and after being ignored for a few minutes I went and asked a staff member if this was possible. She looked vague and uninterested, and when I inquired price said "The prices are on the door". Very poorly trained and if V&C had any competition for this store they would struggle.

The staff at the original store are very pleasant and helpful and when we pointed out he the oil they were using to cook the breakfast items in was rancid they thanked us.

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Preferably seafood. Or great dessert. Thanks a lot.

Any suggestions for finding affordable cashmere would also be appreciated.

Can't help with the Cashmere but seafood shouldn't be a problem.

Sweet Melindas next to Eddie's Seafood market on Roseneath Street (do they still have a pay what you feel it's worth Tuesday?) has been covered in previous posts but is usually very good. The fish, and especially the seafood at La Partenope on the Dalry Road near Haymarket station is excellent (and despite the recent extension usually full so you will need to book). Leith has loads I can never remember which one is best (the one round the corner from the old Pierre Victoire, probably, but getting the phone number based on that information may be a problem), Fishers has a branch in town and is central-ish (Thistle Street), but I’ve never been totally convinced, and it’s not particularly cheap. The Mussel Inn on Rose Street does what it says on the label (and scallops if you don’t like mussels), and there is a new steak and mussel joint next door to where the Cook's bookshop used to be on the corner of Grassmarket and Victoria Street (more a bend than a corner). On the desert front, not sure but Plaisir du Chocolat on the Mile do great cakes and are about to open something (not sure what) in the food hall of Harvey Nichols (whos restaurant did a very nice assiette of strawberries including a fabulous one with basil when I was in earlier in the week).

Off topic somewhat, well totally really, I noticed in the Herald (Glasgow variety) that David Ramsden he of the deep voice and cowboy boots from Rogue and (Fitz) Henry’s is now involved with Monster Mash one of those sausage, mash and gravy, Formica tables and ketchup bottles shaped like tomatoes ironic retro places presently on Forest Row but ‘rolling out’ in Glasgow and Rose Street, Edinburgh. I also noticed a teaser advert in Scotland on Sunday for a new Tony Singh venture that gave the impression of being either pan Asian or at least Indian sub-continent in cooking style, I recall one of the chefs at Oloroso winning Tommy Miah’s International Indian chef of the year at one point so there may be a link? But if anybody know any details about eitheplease start a thread.

Cheers,

Geoff.

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I was in Edinburgh at the weekend, but sorry Persian Cook, I didn't go for seafood or great dessert, so will just do a topline update for the thread:

I had booked the restaurant at Harvey Nichols (for the view) but discovered that there is only a 3 course menu, so switched to the bistro, as we wanted something light. They had a 2 course light lunch for about £17. This place is definitely not about the food (goats cheese tart = a piece of chevre on top of a round of puff pastry, confit = crisped skin but dried to death, stringy meat), and I really don't think the space is that great either. But the Harvey Nicks own brand champagne is good (a girlie weekend) and the service was very pleasant too.

La Garrigue was the venue for dinner on Saturday night, which we really enjoyed. This is very authentic, honest, French food and the chef clearly cares deeply about what he cooks. It's rustic rather than sophisticated. I particularly liked the soupe de poisson, although would have preferred a more fiery rouille (accepting that his version may be typical of the Languedoc region and my preference is Mediterranean). His confit was nothing short of perfection (a beautifully crisped skin with wonderfully succulent and tender meat underneath); and his cassoulet, robustly earthy and satisfying. We also had a saddle of rabbit which was served stuffed, rolled and sliced in a light broth with some vegetables. It was extremely good, although I did find that the vinegar and dill came through a little bit too stridently. The service was competent and friendly, indeed, the people who run this place are exceptionally nice. If you are going, ask for one of the tables by the window, or on the LHS as you enter, as the tables on the right are somewhat under the shadow of the enclosed lift shaft.

Thai Me Up (the local food critics had promised), is an offputting name but a good restaurant. I wouldn't agree. The name says it all. I had booked here in the absence of anything else being open on a Sunday night (although Centotre will be opening on Sunday from August). It is a lovely room (no Thai pastiche) in a Georgian building, and our first impressions were very good. As there were 4 of us, we went for the set menu for a minimum of 3 people (at £24 per person). I have no idea why a minimum number of people was required, as there was nothing exceptional or of a real 'cook to order' nature. This, I accept, was a lazy choice to save us trawling though the menu, but as it was the more expensive of the set menu options, I expected it to be reasonably good.

Unfortunately, apart from the hot and sour soup (not exactly rocket science), nothing stood out. For our starters, we forraged through the excessive padding of lettuce leaves for unexciting morsels; and for the mains, the overuse of peanut butter was all too obvious and only served to reinforce the absence of the light floral, herby, fragrance I associate with Thai food. Not a light touch in evidence. Added to this, I realised half way though my meal - as I uncomfortably struggled with a fork and no knife - that there were no chopsticks on the table, and I had to ask twice to get some. It may sound silly, but I think that Eastern food is infinitely better eaten with chopsticks, and frankly, their absence is worrying. Unfortunately they did little to lighten the half hearted food and when a plate of lukewarm, congealed noodles were served, we simply had to return the dish, wishing that we could return the lot without ruining the congenial atmosphere of our eveining. So, a big thumbs down to this place for its small servings of lack lustre, lazy food.


Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)

Corinna Hardgrave aka "Corinna Dunne"

CorinaHardgrave Twitter

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Added to this, I realised half way though my meal - as I uncomfortably struggled with a fork and no knife -  that there were no chopsticks on the table, and I had to ask twice to get some.  It may sound silly, but I think that Eastern food is infinitely better eaten with chopsticks, and frankly, their absence is worrying.  Unfortunately they did little to lighten the half hearted food and when a plate of lukewarm, congealed noodles were served, we simply had to return the dish, wishing that we could return the lot without ruining the congenial atmosphere of our eveining.  So, a big thumbs down to this place for its small servings of lack lustre, lazy food.

As far as I know the Thai have never traditionally chopsticks, either hands or conventionaly cutlery being normal, but the food I agree is pretty dull and very expensive for what it is.

La Garrigue food was OK, but it failed the "Don't mop the damn floors with bleach before I have finished my meal" test.

HN has delivered one of the nastiest dishes I have eaten (my partners meal was very good though).

Sweet Melindas I like for the fish that isn't all seabass, but not sure it fits the University budget. I think my last meal there was ~ £90 with booze (but maybe I drink too much).

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Added to this, I realised half way though my meal - as I uncomfortably struggled with a fork and no knife -  that there were no chopsticks on the table, and I had to ask twice to get some.  It may sound silly, but I think that Eastern food is infinitely better eaten with chopsticks, and frankly, their absence is worrying.  Unfortunately they did little to lighten the half hearted food and when a plate of lukewarm, congealed noodles were served, we simply had to return the dish, wishing that we could return the lot without ruining the congenial atmosphere of our eveining.  So, a big thumbs down to this place for its small servings of lack lustre, lazy food.

As far as I know the Thai have never traditionally chopsticks, either hands or conventionaly cutlery being normal, but the food I agree is pretty dull and very expensive for what it is.

Chopsticks are used in Thailand, but only for eating noodles.

Otherwise, it is usually a spoon, or one's hand.

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... the only thing was, there was a table of Thai people (seemed like family) using chopsticks, so I'll blame them for leading me astray! Now that I think of it, I had actually been using my hands until the mains arrived and it was at this point that I picked up the offending knife and fork. Thanks for the info, very interesting.

Edited to add:

Adam, how was the Thai restaurant that you went to?


Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)

Corinna Hardgrave aka "Corinna Dunne"

CorinaHardgrave Twitter

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... the only thing was, there was a table of Thai people (seemed like family) using chopsticks, so I'll blame them for leading me astray!  Now that I think of it, I had actually been using my hands until the mains arrived and it was at this point that I picked up the offending knife and fork.  Thanks for the info, very interesting.

Edited to add:

Adam, how was the Thai restaurant that you went to?

The restaurant was "Muang Thai" (Hanover street). I have been here several times now, and while some dishes have been disapointing, I have had by far the best Thai dishes in Edinburgh here as well. No the most exiciting decor either, I'm not really bothered by this. A disapointing dish was the mussels as they were frozen New Zealand greenlips -no excuse for this in Scotland, good dishes were the lap/larb and the prik dishes. Some really heat in these. I also like the fact that the curries are (as far as I am able to judge) correctly made. The red curry is rich with coconut milk, the jungle curry is coconut milkless, rather then having a choice of some halfway bastard versions like many of the other places in Edinburgh.

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Corinna,

You must have had a bad night at Thai Me up. We've been many times and even on Saturday night in the heart of the festival the food was superb. Why should you be using chops sticks? It's not a Chinese place.

The many many critics are not wrong on this place. It has consistently been in the List Hit List.

You are entitled to your opinion, but others reading this should definitely not be put off.


Danielle Ellis

Edinburgh Scotland

www.edinburghfoody.com

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