Monday, 5 December 2016


I used to love Edinburgh. I lived out my uni years near the city centre, frequented many a pub, restaurant, student dive, theatre & dodgy nightclub during my time there and it holds some very dear memories. In fact, for the first two years I lived in Glasgow, I was desperate to move back. Despite the fact that taxis, parking & a round of drinks can easily cost double in the east as they do in the west. I missed the amazing Christmas Markets, the fantastic public transport (despite having no underground) and the fact you were never more than an upwards glance to one of the grandest looking castles in Scotland.

I absolutely love seafood. Not only is it easy to cook and good for you, it's also tasty as hell and I am never happier than when ripping off the shells of giant langoustines in the pub or sipping from a glass of something fizzy while gorging on a plate of icy oysters drenched in Tobasco at some oyster bar. 

So when I got invited to review a seafood restaurant, at Christmas time, in Edinburgh. It didn't take long for me to say yes. Put it like that.

The icing of the cake was that by inviting along my very good pal Paula, I was able to spend a whole day catching up with one of my favourite people (we also scheduled in a visit to the EICC Foodies Festival as we figured that we may as well make a day of it). So fresh faced and empty bellied, we boarded the train at Glasgow Queen Street ready for what turned out to be one of the best meals I have eaten in ages.

We started with some crusty bread, sea salty butter, a bowl of delicious olives and what can only be described as probably the best table service I have witnessed in ages. In my typically suspicious fashion, I carefully watched the service every other diner in the room was receiving (cause no waiter wants some annoying food blogger with stations above herself going hard at him online), but every diner received the same level of high care, attention, help with the menu & basically just brilliant service. So massive thumbs up there.

Another massive thumbs up goes to those olives. While they didn't quite top the amazingness (it's my blog, I will make up words if I like), of the creamy Italian Nocilera olives I adore with all my heart, their Spanish counterparts were equally delicious. I believe they were Gordal and you can be damn sure I will be buying more soon. My bread was dunked in some premium Extra Virgin & thanks to Paula I can confirm that their signature paprika smoked butter was also fantastic.

Paula went for the smoked salmon to start which I obviously tasted cause it's my bloody review and it was a very, very good starter. None of your cheap supermarket salmon slapped on a plate with a slice of hovis and a token wedge of lemon. Nope, this was home cured, served with pink grapefruit & an avocado puree and what a combination. One that I will definitely be stealing this Christmas.

As I like to get my hands dirty (not literally, I'm no good with manual labour), I got stuck into some massive and delicious King Prawns, served shell on, seared on a hot grill and with a bowl of absolute heaven. The accompanying black garlic alioli was simply amazing and seriously tested the usually pretty good willpower of this dairy avoiding gal. I might have dipped my prawns in it a bit more than I originally intended to but if you tasted it yourself you would understand my conflict.

As a main we both went for the seabass, which they very kindly served with skinny fries for myself even though it was meant to come with creamy mash like Paula's. But after wildly explaining to the friendly waiter that I needed skinny fries in my life before the mundanity of Monday reappeared the following day, he kindly complied. I can tell he just got it.

Both our fillets were cooked perfectly, and the skin was that lovely, crispy way that I can never seem to get right myself. The seabass was served with a Salsa Vierge that complimented the other elements of the dish perfectly. Seasoned exactly right and perfectly balanced to taste, I am genuinely sorry if I sound super gushy here, but I can't help it - it was just genuinely one of the nicest meals I've eaten in ages.

All the above was washed down with a very pleasant bottle of house white and although I managed to avoid the temptation of dessert, I did have a cheeky bite (or two) of Paula's chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and can confirm it was completely on par with the rest of the meal. 

All in all this was just really good food. Served in a very relaxing environment. By staff who exhibited a very high standard of service. And I shall be returning again soon.

I was invited as a guest of Cadiz. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.

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