REVIEW :: The Dogs

110 Hanover Street,  Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 1DR
0131 220 1208

The Dogs pride themselves on selling great quality comfort food and have definitely made a name for themselves in Edinburgh in the past few years.

If you’re at all active on the Edinburgh dining scene, it’s unlikely that you haven’t come across The Dogs in some shape or form. They have three restaurants (fishy Seadogs, Italian-American Amore Dogs, and British grub The Dogs) and one pub (Underdogs) and this year were awarded a Bib Gourmande by Michelin.

I was invited to Amore Dogs for a friends birthday last year, but had to pull out. So quite surprisingly, Sunday was my first experience of The Dogs.

The first thing that struck me about The Dogs was the decor. To me it looked as if the restaurant was a pop up and simply squatting on the first floor of a tenement. It was very cold in the restaurant, and the bare board floors gave the impression of  “can’t be bothered” more than “chic fashion statement”. The size of the restaurant also surprised me.  I was expecting it to be much larger, but there were really only a few tables. I kind of wondered if I was in the right place.

We were given the lunch menu, which had a wealth of British classics such as Welsh Rarebit and Stovies. There were no sections; you just had to guess where the starters ended and the mains began, which was fairly obvious anyway.

The waitress brought some tap water and took our order. We asked for two portions of artisan bread to start, and after much deliberation he went for fish & chips and I for the sausage and mash.

Bread in a basket

The bread arrived in a red plastic bowl. From the appearances, I wasn’t expecting much but it was absolutely delicious. The crust was crisp and almost chewy, with pillow-like dough nestled underneath. James said he preferred the bread at Kyloe, but I’m inclined to disagree with him on that one.

Fish & Chips

After polishing off our bread, our mains arrived. The portions were rather unassuming, but very well put together and the perfect size for a lunchtime. I tried a little of James’s fish but found nothing too noteworthy about it; it was quite similar to the fish I’d tried in Tigerlily a few days previously. A nice thick chunk of white fish with a crisp unsoggy batter. The chips were pretty nice, though.

Sausage and Mash

The sausage and mash was delightful. I don’t usually like sausages, but these were meaty and herby and went perfectly with the well judged mash (perhaps a little too dry for my tastes, but when mixed with the gravy and the sausages it was delicious). The onion gravy was everything that I love about French Onion Soup; soft onions melting away leaving behind a bold beefy aftertaste. Mmmmmm.

The bill arrived and brought with it a pleasant surprise. Our lunch only came to £15 for the two of us; which I thought was very reasonable given The Dog’s status as ‘the place to be’.

All in all I thought it was a lovely lunch, although I reckon they’ve missed a trick. Serving great British food but not offering a roast with all the trimmings on a Sunday must be a cardinal sin.

I’m looking forward to trying their other offerings now.

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