Mumbai Masala - Konkana

Konkana

5th March 2019 6pm

www.konkana.co.uk

Food – 8.5/10

We ate:
• Poppadoms and chutneys
• Chilli squid
• Ajwaini prawns
• Mumbai masala
• Machhere Jhol
• 2 x garlic naans
• Lemon rice

Konkana is a seafood specialty Indian restaurant and is a sister restaurant to Kalpna. Their starters were beautifully presented. My chilli squid was full of massive pieces of squid, which were lightly coated in a chilli batter. This sat on a delightful sauce and came with a delicious salad that is worth eating. Usually side salads on these plates are limp and not worth attempting but this was zingy and fresh. Don’t overlook it. On the other side of the table, my dining companion was raving about the prawns. They were juicy and worked well with yet another excellent sauce. The poppadoms were nice and crispy. The chutneys tasted good, although the mango chutney was quite gloopy and difficult to manoeuvre.

Chilli squid - Konkana

Chilli squid – Konkana

Ajwaini Prawns - Konkana

Ajwaini Prawns – Konkana

Chutneys - Konkana

Chutneys – Konkana

The curries were of a high standard. I’d never had a fish curry before but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. My Mumbai masala contained a lovely bit of pollock placed in a masala sauce. My friend was tucking into the Machhere Jhol, which is a Bengali fish curry. She really enjoyed the curry, even though her palate usually prefers something a bit hotter. We discussed the challenges of not overpowering fish with too much spice and we appreciated the skill needed to get the balance right. The cod in the curry was of good quality. The accompanying garlic naans were spot on and the lemon rice was a nice addition without being too lemony. There is always a risk of tasting like washing up liquid and luckily the chef did not fall into this trap.

Mumbai Masala - Konkana

Mumbai Masala – Konkana

Machhere Jhol - Konkana

Machhere Jhol – Konkana

Garlic naan - Konkana

Garlic naan – Konkana

Lemon Rice - Konkana

Lemon Rice – Konkana

Service – 9.5/10

Very polite service. Nothing was too much trouble but we weren’t constantly pestered either. The poppadoms did come out after we were part way through our starters, which we thought was a little odd but wasn’t problematic.

Atmosphere – 8/10

A thoroughly modern restaurant with comfy seating and a relaxed atmosphere.

Konkana

Konkana

Value – 8/10

Whilst this meal was complimentary, the quality of the food generally means the price is worth it. It’s not the cheapest of curries but the class of the seafood was top notch. The full value of this meal would have been around £55.

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Definitely.

Thank you to Hotel PR for organising. Whilst this meal was complimentary, view expressed are my own.

Quattro stagioni pizza - Mia

Mia (Dalry Road Branch)

28th February 2019 5.30pm

http://mia-restaurant.co.uk/

Food – 8/10

We ate:
• Calamari
• Salsiccia e borlotti
• Bianca pizza
• Quattro stagioni pizza

My calamari was pretty good. It was quite thick but not chewy. The coating was light and the garlic mayo was spot on. Across from the, the salsicca e borlotti wasn’t quite as expected. Described on the menu as ‘pan fried Italian sausages served on a bed of borlotti beans and toasted bread’, in reality this was more like a broth. However, my friend absolutely loved it. She said the flavour was excellent, even if it wasn’t what she thought she’d be eating.

Calamari - Mia

Calamari – Mia

Salsiccia e borlotti - Mia

Salsiccia e borlotti – Mia

The pizzas were both a decent size (to the point that neither of us could finish them). My quattro stagioni pizza came with toppings of artichokes, mushrooms, pepperoni and Parma ham. They were not either equally spread over the top of the pizza or places in quarters. They were kind of dumped in the middle. It wasn’t a big deal though as it tasted really good. I’d never had artichoke on a pizza but really enjoyed it. My friend enjoyed her bianca pizza. This was a ‘white’ pizza with mozzarella, mushrooms and truffle oil. Simple but effective.

Quattro stagioni pizza - Mia

Quattro stagioni pizza – Mia

Bianca pizza - Mia

Bianca pizza – Mia

Service – 7.5/10

Service was a little slow to start with. However, it did pick up as we went through our dinner.

Atmosphere – 8/10

This was a bustling restaurant, even at the early time we had booked. Plenty of people were also popping in to make bookings too. We also loved our album cover menus, which was a bit of fun.

Mia

Mia

Value – 8/10

We had a voucher deal, which made this particularly good value but even at full price, this wasn’t too bad.

Cost for the voucher was £22 for two courses for two with a glass of wine or beer each. Full cost likely to be nearer £48.

Overall – 31.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

La Casa

La Casa

12th February 2019 5.30pm

la-casa-restaurant.co.uk

Food – 8/10
We ate:
• Bruschetta
• Pulpo
• Gambas pil pil
• Croquettas de Serrano
• Calamari (x2)
• Halloumi (x2)
• Loukanika (x2)
• Churros
• Cake
• 1 large glass of wine

The menu here had lots of choice and it took us a fair bit of deliberation before deciding what to have. La Casa offers a mix Mediterranean dishes, with Spanish and Greek being most prevalent. As usual with tapas, the plates came out when ready, although we were a little surprised that the bruschetta was the last thing to arrive.

Pulpo - La Casa

Pulpo – La Casa

The best dish for me was the pulpo, which was an octopus and potato dish. This was just amazing and the plate of food I keep thinking about a few weeks later. The tentacles could put some people off, visually, but I thought they looked beautiful. The texture was great and worked really well with the potatoes, which were soft and golden.

Halloumi - La Casa

Halloumi – La Casa

My two dining companions both had the halloumi and raved about how good it was. Three large slices of the cheese had been griddled and served with a salad. This was a very generous portion and gave them both a satisfying cheese hit.

Calamari - La Casa

Calamari – La Casa

Gambas pil pil - La Casa

Gambas pil pil – La Casa

The rest of the seafood – the calamari and the gambas pil pil – were both really good. The quality was high and were cooked well. The calamari came with a small side salad and a lovely dish of aioli, which was delicious.

Croquettas de Serrano - La Casa

Croquettas de Serrano – La Casa

Loukanika - La Casa

Loukanika – La Casa

The croquettas also got the thumbs up. These were also served with aioli. The loukanika was interesting. The Greek pork sausage lacked a little texture but still had good flavour. The accompanying leeks and peppers made the stew feel quite homely.

Bruschetta - La Casa

Bruschetta – La Casa

The bruschetta, as mentioned earlier, arrived last. The bread was brown which was a surprise. It was a little underwhelming and could have done with some onion and more basil in it. Perfectly edible though.

Churros - La Casa

Churros – La Casa

Cake - La Casa

Cake – La Casa

I was way too stuffed for dessert (partly because I’d had one more dish than the other two). My friends decided to order churros and the cake special. The churros looked a touch anemic and felt a little greasy. The chocolate dip was good though. The cake was quite sodden with honey, but it still all disappeared in a flurry.

Service – 8/10
The service was friendly and helpful. We were not rushed out, even though the restaurant was getting full.

Atmosphere- 8/10
We had a relatively early booking but this place got bustling fairly quickly. There was a friendly vibe here which made it great for relaxed dining. Some of the tables were packed a little closely together but it wasn’t too bad.

Value – 8/10
Some plates are better value than others but overall it was pretty reasonable for all the food we ate.

Cost £83.

Overall – 32/40

Would I eat here again? Definitely. I want that octopus again and there are other things I’d like to try.

Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

26th January 2019 5.30pm

www.burgersandbeersgrillhouse.co.uk

Food – 7/10

What we ate:
Uncle Sam burger
Mac Attack burger
8 wings with buffalo sauce
Two portions of fries
Three cocktails
Two diet cokes
One sparkling water

The burgers were of a decent size, although there was a stark difference between the Uncle Sam and the Mac Attack, with the latter being humongous and actually difficult to eat as a burger. My Uncle Sam burger held together ok and had a reasonable patty to bun ratio. The mac attack was a little over-facing. The fries were hit and miss, with some undercooked. The wings with buffalo sauce were not too bad. Having the choice on the size of the portion was a nice touch.

Uncle Sam - Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Uncle Sam – Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Mac Attack - Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Mac Attack – Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Chicken wings - Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Chicken wings – Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

The cocktails were average, with the frozen ones being closer to a mild slush and flowing over the top of the glass. We had to use some kitchen roll to mop up the overflow. The French martini seemed to have an unusual taste too.

Frozen strawberry daiquiri - Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Frozen strawberry daiquiri – Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

French martini - Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

French martini – Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Service – 8/10
Service was friendly, although their electronic payment systems were down which significantly slowed down leaving. Admittedly that wasn’t probably their fault.

Atmosphere – 8/10
Based on the Royal Mile, this place unsurprisingly attracts a large amount of tourists. It gives the place a bustling atmosphere but suited the style of eatery.

Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Burgers and Beers Grillhouse

Value – 7/10
Seemed a little steep for what we got but we were on the Royal Mile, so is almost to be expected. Compared to other burger venues in Edinburgh, it isn’t that competitive.

Cost £75

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Yes, but it probably wouldn’t be the first choice for a burger.

Stocks

Stocks

23rd January 2019 5.45pm

www.stocksedinburgh.co.uk

Food – 7.5/10

We ate:

  • Scotch egg
  • Mushroom soup
  • Chicken
  • Risotto

The scotch egg was good. This was a little unconventional, being made with haggis and turkey but that didn’t stop it from being just as tasty. I thought originally it was an overcooked egg but clearly had just sat at the pass a little too long so had cooked a small sliver of the top of the yolk but was runny underneath. The curry veloute was thin but still had nice flavour.

Scotch egg - Stocks

Scotch egg – Stocks

Across from me, my friend was eating their signature mushroom soup. This was cooked in a dish with a pastry lid to it and came with a slice of lightly grilled bread. Sadly she felt it was just mushrooms in cream and not sure what the pastry crust really added to it. This was a bit of a shame.

Mushroom soup - Stocks

Mushroom soup – Stocks

The main of chicken was generous in size. It was a little overcooked but not to the point of being too dry. The chicken was sat in a lemon and thyme sauce, which was great but the dish could have done with a bit more of it. The dish also came with wagyu bon bons which were delicious. The broccoli and asparagus were pretty decent too.

Chicken - Stocks

Chicken – Stocks

My friend was tucking into a pretty risotto dish. She thought this was a good risotto and managed to get some texture in there rather than be mush, which can often be a risk with risotto. The butternut squash was good and the flavours came together well.

Risotto - Stocks

Risotto – Stocks

Service – 7.5/10

We received friendly and helpful service but perhaps it was a little slow at times.

Atmosphere- 8/10

Stocks has a nice bistro feel – relaxed, cosy dining.

Value – 8/10

We had an Itison voucher deal, which made the cost £29 for two courses and a glass of prosecco each but full price would have been around £57. The voucher was good value.

Overall score – 31/40

Would we eat here again? Possibly

Avocado on toast with egg and hash browns - Smoke Stack

Smoke Stack

3rd January 2019 11.30am

www.smokestack.org.uk

Food – 8/10

We ate:

  • Sausage butty
  • Avocado on toast with fried egg and hash browns as extras
  • Berry energiser smoothie
  • Sweet melody smoothie

The sausages in the butty were from Crombies (based a little further down Broughton Street) so were of high quality. They came on a brioche roll, served open with butter on the side so you can add if you wish. Sauces were also provided. It would have been nice for the sausages to have been cut in half so they filled the roll better but this didn’t detract from the experience. The brioche was lightly toasted and held together well.

Sausage Butty - Smoke Stack

The avocado on toast was good and certainly benefited from the added extras. The avocado had chilli running through it. The egg was cooked well and the hash browns were satisfying.

Avocado on toast with egg and hash browns - Smoke StackThe smoothies were packed full of flavour. The berry smoothie was the more vivid of the two, filled with blackcurrants, strawberries and blackberries. The sweet melody smoothie contained melon, strawberries and mango and whilst not so attractive on the eye was refreshing and light.

Smoothies - Smoke Stack

Service – 8/10

Prompt and friendly service. We were not rushed to leave.

Atmosphere – 7/10

Not too bad for late morning. A few tables were occupied.

Value – 7/10

The bill came to just over £20. This wasn’t too bad for what we had. The smoothies were large so provided better value for money than we originally assumed.

Overall score – 30/40

Would we eat here again? Yes.

Edinburgh Feasts

Review of the Year: 2018

As we conclude our fourth year at Edinburgh Feasts, we take a look back on what this year has uncovered. We have reviewed 54 restaurants in 2018, 8 of which have gone into our highest scoring reviews. Here are some of the highlights.

Favourite Restaurants

There have been some great new kids on the block this year. Whilst we could write quite an extensive list, here are some of the highlights (click the headings to read the full review):

Mono

We have fallen in love with Mono and have now visited multiple times this year. We first went for the tasting menu but have also been back for the lovely lunch menu. Mono offers contemporary Italian dining and really delivers some very exciting food.

Sonder

It’s worth heading to Newington for this beauty. Sonder offers contemporary European cuisine with bold flavours and clever combinations. We adore this place.

Borough

Formed after the dissolution of Norn, Borough down at The Shore offers effortless dining and dishes you find yourself thinking about for some time after.

Six By Nico

We couldn’t omit the sensation that is Six by Nico. This place caused a stir in Edinburgh throughout 2018. Changing it’s themed set menu every 6 weeks, there should be something to take everyone’s fancy. It’s also very reasonably priced. Although here at ‘Feasts we had to force ourselves to miss a couple of these in order to avoid starting a habit!

Those who have opened prior to 2018 also got a look in:

Forage and Chatter

Sublime flavours with Scottish ingredients, Forage and Chatter knows how to create amazing plates of food. You feel you’ve been hugged and wowed in equal measure.

Best dishes

Sprouts, bearnaise and lardo – Borough

Sprouts, lardo and bearnaise sauce - Borough

Sprouts, lardo and bearnaise sauce – Borough

We are still talking about this dish a month after eating it. Enough to turn a sprout hater’s head.

Chips and Cheese – Six by Nico

‘Chips and Cheese’ - Six by Nico

‘Chips and Cheese’ – Six by Nico

Hands down, Six By Nico makes the most amazing espumas.

Onion Tart – Forage and Chatter

Onion Tart - Forage and Chatter

Onion Tart – Forage and Chatter

How can so much flavour be packed into such a simple dish?

Deep fried shredded beef in chilli – Golden Dragon

Deep fried shredded beef in chilli - Golden Dragon

Deep fried shredded beef in chilli – Golden Dragon

They say it’s voted the best in Edinburgh and I’m not sure I can argue with that.

Smoked chorizo mac and cheese – Harry’s Bar

Smoked Chorizo Mac and Cheese - Harry’s Bar

Smoked Chorizo Mac and Cheese – Harry’s Bar

Drool.

Popular reviews and photos

Whilst this won’t be strictly accurate, considering not all reviews have been up for very long, the top 5 reviews on the site based on the number of views this year have been:

  1. On Bap (Korean)
  2. Jilani’s (desserts)
  3. Maki and Ramen – Leith St (Japanese)
  4. Crolla’s (mainly desserts)
  5. Forage and Chatter (Scottish)

Surprisingly, two of these were actually reviewed in 2017, so good to see they are still useful.

The top 9 photos on our Instagram account can be seen below:

Instagram best 9 2018

Top row: Miss Woo’s, Mother India, Taxidi
Middle row: Brunch and Supper, Roti, Brasserie Prince
Bottom row: Scottish Café and Restaurant, El Cartel, Wine House 1821

Lastly, here is an little infographic about Edinburgh Feasts over the past year, which includes some of the information above.

Edinburgh Feasts 2018 review infographic

 

We didn’t do everything we intended to, such as top 5’s, as life is getting in the way. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with reviews, so will be mixing the format up a little bit in 2019 to try to get reviews up more quickly but still provide the information readers may find useful. Your feedback will always be appreciated. You can still use our tools to find the reviews you are looking for:

A-Z

Restaurant Review Map

Highest Scoring Reviews

In 2019 we’ll still be eating at plenty of new places so come back and visit, or subscribe by filling in your email address into the subscribe option in the menu (left hand on desktops and settings icon on mobile).

All the best for 2019 and thanks for supporting Edinburgh Feasts!

Emma