Edinburgh Larder Bistro
West End Edinburgh restaurant providing seasonal Scottish produce.
Two course lunch: £11.95
Reviewed by Euan Andrews
Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 10:42am
On a typically bleak January day, as the wind howls through Edinburgh’s West End, the basement grotto of the Edinburgh Larder Bistro makes a for a warming and inviting destination.
Branching out from its original deli and café premise on Blackfriars Street, this second Edinburgh Larder venture is sited on a former Howie’s location. In fact, the interior is barely changed from being one of Edinburgh’s most venerably reliable small restaurant chains. A warren of small rooms, smartly dressed with little fuss, patrolled by efficient if ever so slightly flustered waiting staff.
I say ever so slightly flustered, as the Edinburgh Larder Bistro is pleasingly busy this Wednesday lunchtime. The place is full of life and chatter, making for a most convivial atmosphere.
Seasonality is still very much an ever growing buzzword amongst Scotland’s restaurateurs, and the Edinburgh Larder, as the name might imply, prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients, the menu coming complete with list of suppliers.
Starters are standard but good winter fare such as terrines and warm salads, but on such a cold day it’s the cream of artichoke soup which seems most appealing. A smooth wholesome bowl with a drizzling of sour cream, I can almost feel the soup’s restorative powers doing me good.
For main, my dining companion chooses the pheasant with winter vegetables, apple and mustard. The pheasant is ever so slightly dry, but flavour wise can’t be faulted. I order the seared whiting with mussels and a leek and potato rosti. It’s the kind of dish which makes January bearable, a huge fillet of perfectly cooked white fish sat atop a mound of vegetables with scatterings of mussels. Sublime.
The dessert menu, complete with rice puddings and tempting cheese plates, looks tempting but we are already busting a gut. These two courses for £11.95 have been excellent value, both in terms of culinary expertise and sheer portion size ballast. A cracking lunchtime deal, whether it’s a quick business lunch or a slightly more lingering affair you’re after.