REVIEW: La Petite Mort

La Petite Mort, 32 Valleyfield Street, Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9L, 0131 229 3693

I know this great little place in Edinburgh. Tucked along an unremarkable side-street near Bruntsfield Links, a few steps from the hustle and bustle of Tollcross, in a perfectly convenient location if you’re catching a show at the King’s. This cosy little bistro is decorated with mismatched chairs, with low lighting and low laughter. Welcome to La Petite Mort.

La Petite Mort

The menu is small but perfectly formed. There are three starters, five mains, and three desserts to choose  from. Everything sounded absolutely delicious so it took a lot of humming and hawwing before we eventually settled on what we wanted to order. The staff really know their stuff and our waitress was happy to make recommendations and talk us through her favourite dishes on the menu.

This goes double for the drinks. As well as a nicely curated wine list, La Petite Mort also offers a nice range of cocktails. We didn’t partake but I did steal a few jealous glances at the group of hipsters chilling out at another table sipping their expertly mixed whisky sours.

We stuck to wine, and after some serious deliberation chose the white pinot grigio (£18.95) to accompany our meal. It was a lovely bottle, light and crisp and bursting with fruity flavours. Perfect for a summer’s evening. As we waited for our starters to arrive we sipped our wine and nibbled at some freshly baked tarragon and cumin bread. It had a lovely peppery kick, and got me excited for what was coming next.

Freshly baked tarragon and cumin bread.
Freshly baked tarragon and cumin bread.

I started with the black pudding and goats cheese bon bons on fennel seeded confit courgette ribbons (£5.95). I’m a sucker for a good haggis ball, and this was a unique yet similar take on an old classic. The batter was nice and crisp, the rich black pudding and creamy goats cheese complemented each other delightfully, while the tangy sauce and fresh courgette cut straight through the richness.

Black pudding and goats cheese bon bons
Black pudding and goats cheese bon bons

James began with the pan seared scallops on home smoked halloumi with sauce vierge (£7.95). Sounds weird, eh? This was the definite winner of the night and, although it’s the most expensive starter on the menu, it’s definitely worth the extra pennies. Who knew scallops and cheese would make such great bedfellows? The saltiness of the halloumi was the perfect foil to the creamy scallops (which were cooked to perfection, btw).

Scallops with home-smoked halloumi: definitely the star of the show
Scallops with home-smoked halloumi: definitely the star of the show

All of the mains sounded fantastic. Usually I go for the lamb (rump in this case), but tonight I threw a curve ball and chose the trio of pork: roasted loin, braised cheek and a pulled pork sausage roll (£13.95). This was a lovely little plate, with plenty of different flavours and things going on. If you’ve got dinner-time ADHD and always find yourself nicking nibbles from your pal’s plates this dish will keep your fork faithful. The pork cheek sat on some buttery spinach while the loin perched precariously on some creamy fondant potatoes. The poor loin was upstaged by the pulled pork and the pork cheek, but it was still very tasty (especially when smeared with red wine jus).

The Trio of Pork! L-R: pulled pork sausage roll, braised cheek, and pork loin with fondant potatoes
The Trio of Pork! L-R: pulled pork sausage roll, braised cheek, and pork loin with fondant potatoes

James had the pan fried fillet of seabass on celeriac and apple puree with buttered spinach and honey tempura aubergine (£12.95). The skin was crisp, the fish was tender, and the aubergine was divine. I did catch him throwing a few jealous glances at my pork cheek, though.

Sea bass with tempura aubergines
Sea bass with tempura aubergines

We really should have said no to dessert, but when you’ve had a meal as good as this one it’s hard to stop! James went for the earl grey dark chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream while I went for the marvellous white russian set cheesecake with black russian jelly (both £4.95). Both desserts were yummy, and we unashamedly stole bites from each others plates. We both agreed that the cheesecake was the best of the two, with the cubes of cola and coffee jelly adding a lovely after-dinner boost.

Earl Grey fondant cake on the left, White Russian cheesecake on the right
Earl Grey fondant cake on the left, White Russian cheesecake on the right

For me La Petite Mort is the perfect little date night spot. It’s cosy and atmospheric, the staff are friendly and welcoming, and the prices are totally reasonable. It’s a fantastic addition to the Tollcross area and somewhere I will certainly be returning to.

I was invited by La Petite Mort to sample their spring menu. I was under no obligation to write a positive review, but I have anyway because the food was super tasty and the space was super lovely. All opinions are my own, apart from where I’ve included James’s thoughts.

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