62 Elm Row, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH7 4AQ 01316 295784
I’m sure I’ve said it before; there are so many different cultures and corresponding restaurants in Edinburgh that I could just about complete my mission of ‘eating the world’ without scouring Skyscanner constantly for cheap flights. One country that has thus far lacked representation in Edinburgh is Germany, which is a shame because German is the only language apart from English that I can string together a sentence in.
Although I did have a debate with James about whether it’s okay to say “Ich bin Jemma” or if I should stick to the proper “Ich heisse”.
Bussing up Leith Walk last week, I noticed a new addition to this most colourful of streets. Frankfurter Eck, a dedicated German diner. I made a mental note of it and on Saturday afternoon James and I popped in for lunch.
There’s loads of great restaurants in Edinburgh. Some are big and fancy with famous chefs in the kitchen, and some are great little hole in the wall places that you want to keep them to yourselves.
And that’s why I’m two minds as to whether to write about XiangBala Hotpot.
It’s a place on Dalry Road, maybe a 5 minute walk from Haymarket Station, that I’ve walked past hundreds of times during my time in Edinburgh. If you look at the picture you can see that it just looks like your average Chinese takeaway. Probably not one you’d cross the road to visit, nevermind cross the city.
But after reading the review on Edinburgh Spotlight, I knew I was going to have to try this place at some point. Eventually James and I got up the courage and walked all the way from Leith to Dalry.
Home St Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH3 9JP 0131 229 6880
So Edinburgh Council’s evening classes have started up for their winter term, and of course James and myself have signed up for the best course of all; Advanced Wine Appreciation. Yep, fifteen weeks of drinking 7 bottles of wine on a Monday evening with fellow wine enthusiasts as we learn a bit more about wine rather than “mmm it’s tasty!”
I would highly recommend you all sign up for the beginners course, which starts in January.
The only problem is, the class starts at 7:00pm in Bruntsfield. We finish work in the city centre at 5:30 so there’s no time for dinner beforehand. That’s why you’ll usually see us wandering around town with a mad, hungry glint in our eye at half 9 looking for somewhere that’s still serving food.
After an abortive mission to find the new Vietnamese restaurant on Grove Street, we ended up in Number 1 Sushi Bar.
Great Junction Street probably wouldn’t be my first choice for a dinner destination, but there are some appealing factors. For example, that’s where Taste of Africa Lounge is. It’s also a very short walk from my flat and, on a cold rainy day, duvet distance is important. I put all prejudices about that particular part of Leith behind me, grabbed my camera and my James, and off we went.
I’m always on the search for somewhere different to fill my belly, and Taste of Africa‘s menu certainly promises (and delivers) a deviation from the norm.
Armed with a chilled bottle of white from the Tesco across the road, we wandered in a little nervous about what to expect.
There’s no shortage of nice places to dine down The Shore in Leith, but when you worked there for over a year and now live there it’s probably safe to say that you’ve tried them all a few times. Also, on a Friday night there’s the risk of bumping into ex work colleagues, which can put a dampener on a romantic night out.
After a bit of research we decided to wander down to Newhaven and see what was going on at The Peacock Inn. Newhaven is an up and coming foodie area of town, and since we live fairly nearby it seems silly that we only really go down that way to visit the supermarket.
When we first walked in we were confronted by an empty hallway. We were quite worried as there was no waitress there to show us to our table and it seemed very quiet for a Friday night. Then we walked into the restaurant… which was absolutely heaving busy!
Cafe St Honore is a restaurant I’ve been meaning to try for a while, if just to find out what all the hype is about. They have some glowing reviews on Urbanspoon, and it’s not unusual to see members of Edinburgh’s foodie community blethering about Cafe St Honore on Twitter (just search on the hashtag #TFGE).
Cafe St Honore is pretty pricey, so the situation has never quite been special enough for me to pop in. So imagine my delight when the lovely Lunch Quester B invited me along to join him and MJ on one of their famous Edinburgh Lunch Quests; special enough occassion? I think so.
When I arrived, there was already a lovely warm basket of sourdough bread on the table. The bread was soft and delicious with a crisp, chewy crust. Very nice, but hard to eat when you’re around new people and trying not to make a pig of yourself.
I started with the local game terrine, and for the main I thought about fish but inevitably plumped for the roast pork belly with mashed potato and apple sauce.
If I could describe my meal in two words it would be; meaty and rich. If I had to describe it in ten words, I’d probably just say “meaty rich meaty rich meaty meaty rich rich meaty rich.”
Put it this way; when James suggested veggie burgers for dinner, I was a happy bunny. Although we ended up ordering an Indian takeaway; que cera.
(Note: watching an Irishman lying on the floor hugging a pillow and crying because he’s eaten far too much lamb saag is something I suggest you all experience at least once in your lifetime).
For a full review of our meal at Cafe St Honore, complete with pictures, Lunch Quester B and MJ’s verdics, as well as an overall score, pop on over to Edinburgh Lunch Quest.
That’s right, Newington’s finest curry house and home to the chocolate naan bread (epic btw) has found itself at the center of controversy. Two ambulances had to rush to the restaurant last Saturday during their annual killer curry contest, costing the NHS thousands of pounds. Oops.
Sweating, vomitting, two people taken to hospital, and ten people deciding that perhaps eating the hottest curry in the world isn’t the brightest move after all; it all served to remind me of last summer when a group of colleagues and I visited Kismot to try the Killer for ourselves…
*WARNING! Grampa Simpson style reminiscing coming up after the cut*
Although I love travelling, I hate having to travel for work. Usually it involves getting up at the unholy time of before 8am and then rushing through airport security in business clothes. I end up spending the whole day feeling slightly out of it from lack of sleep as well as constantly having my mind on getting back to the airport in time.
So you can imagine my joy when my work told that I was being sent to Dublin to attend a conference. Actually, instead of being a Grumpy McLumpy I decided to look on the bright side and used it as an excuse to bring my lovely boyfriend some of his home comforts from the Emerald Isle, which can be quite hard to get here in Scotland. He wrote me a list and I spent the day explaining to everyone that no, I wasn’t staying overnight and that the little suitcase I was dragging around was empty and ready to be filled with Irish contraband.
I managed to nip into Tesco en route to the airport and got everything he was after. Although I did get some funny looks at the self service checkout when I started packing everything into my suitcase!
He was pretty happy with the haul!
What we have here is;
2 x multipacks of Taytos. These are basically the Irish national crisps (if such a thing exists). Legend has it that when Ryanair commuter flights to London first started, there were loads of popping noises as the plane took off; due to the amount of Tayto bags on board reacting to cabin pressure.
2 x packs of King Crisps. These are similar to Taytos, but a bit… posher, I suppose. They’re less greasy.
2 x boxes of Barry’s Tea. One premium (red box), one regular (green box). This tea has a cult following, and is definitely stronger and more satisfying than Tetleys. I noticed a box on display in Mellis’s cheesemongers on Victoria Street, so this could be a new source to keep my man satisfied in future.
2 x rolls of Clonakilty black pudding. This is a bit different to Scottish black pudding in that it’s oatier, like haggis. It’s produced just down the road from where my boy used to live so he was very pleased when I managed to nab some as he thought it might be difficult to find (although they sell it in the supermarket like it aint no thang).
This was about all I could fit in my Ryanair sized hand-luggage (I had to squeeze my hand bag in there too once I reached my gate) but I managed to get everything James asked for.
I’ve never lived anywhere aside from Edinburgh, but I can imagine that if I move to another country there will be a few things that I’ll miss. Particularly an Irn Bru and haggis roll after a heavy night on the Brewdog!
I love pizza, probably a little bit more than the next person. I’ve always maintained that La Favorita make the best pizza in town (particularly pear, gorgonzola and pancetta!) so it certainly piqued my interest when one of my Twitter buddies had this to say;
One of my friends had a cheese party a few years ago.Everyone brought a cheese and an accompaniment, and then there were votes for which cheese was best. Proper proportional representation, I’m told, with people secretly voting for their first, second and third choice cheese. I wasn’t invited as we weren’t friends at the time, but I thought it sounded like a a good idea.
And what better way to mark the end of British cheese week (which runs from 24th Sept to 2nd Oct this year) than having my very own British cheese fest?
My party was far less organised, however, as we forgot to pick up prizes and everyone was more focussed on listening to cheesy music to vote for their favourite. But we had a good laugh, a good gossip, and most importantly; some good cheese!