Chicken massaman curry - Dusit

Dusit

15th March 2019 7.30pm

www.dusit.co.uk

Food – 9/10

We ate:
• Thung Kam Phoy – Moneybags
• Ped Chom Yong – Pretty duck
• Chicken massaman curry
• Chicken panang curry
• Sticky rice x2
• One glass of wine

The duck salad was exquisite. The meat itself was tender and succulent. The sweet chilli sauce dressing on the salad was not too sweet and worked well with the surprise of the dish, mango. I really was unsure whether mango would work but I loved it. The onions have added zing and the cashew nuts brought the texture. Across the table, the moneybags looks really cute. Four adorned the plate, with a bowl of sweet chilli sauce and a beautifully presented salad. Inside the bags were mushrooms, toasted glutinous rice, and herbs and spices. These went down well.

Per Chom Yong - Dusit

Per Chom Yong – Dusit

Thung Kam Phoy - Dusit

Thung Kam Phoy – Dusit

The chicken massaman curry was delicious. The bowl looked small on arrival but I actually struggled to finish it. Filled with plenty of chicken and potato and topped off with some crispy fried onions, this was a hearty dish which went really well with the amazingly sticky rice we had ordered. My dining companion also enjoyed her chicken panang curry but said she thought she would have preferred mine. That said, she still thought her dish had good flavour and was tasty.

Chicken massaman curry - Dusit

Chicken massaman curry – Dusit

Chicken Panang - Dusit

Chicken Panang – Dusit

Unsurprisingly we were too full for dessert.

Service – 9/10

Very helpful staff.

Atmosphere – 9/10

Dusit has a bustling atmosphere but somehow is not noisy. It felt like a vibrant restaurant.

Dusit

Dusit

Value – 8/10

The food isn’t the cheapest but it is of great quality.

Cost £60

Overall – 35/40

Would I eat here again? Definitely

Bang bang chicken burger - Brewdog

Brewdog (Lothian Road)

6th March 2019 6pm

www.brewdog.com/bars/uk/brewdog-lothian-road/

Food – 8/10

We ate:
• Bang bang chicken burger (special)
• Jackpot burger
• Fries x 2
• Beer
• Diet coke

Bang bang chicken burger - Brewdog

Bang bang chicken burger – Brewdog

The bang bang chicken burger was excellent. It was quite stacked, with a deep fried chicken thigh, hot sauce, lettuce and sriracha mayo. A light slaw sat on top. The flavours danced on the taste buds and was a delight to eat. The mayo really worked well in pulling all the ingredients together. Somehow it almost felt like a healthy burger (I can kid myself!) The fries were a little limp though, which was a bit disappointing.

Jackpot burger and fries - Brewdog

Jackpot burger and fries – Brewdog

The jackpot burger consisted of a beef brisket patty with chorizo, black pudding, blue cheese and bbq sauce. This was also a large burger but easy enough to manage. It was full of flavour. The bun was also great as it was covered in poppy and sesame seeds.

Fritz-Kola - Brewdog

Fritz-Kola – Brewdog

Service – 8/10

Friendly service.

Atmosphere – 7/10

Great if you like a bustling atmosphere but perhaps a bit too noisy for decent conversation.

Brewdog

Brewdog

Value – 9/10

The voucher was a good deal but at full price, the burgers were still good value.

True cost approximately £35

Overall – 32/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

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