Bangkok Dirty Fries - Miss Woo's

Miss Woo’s

14th June 2018 6.20pm

www.misswoosbars.co.uk

We decided to visit Miss Woo’s in Leith without booking, but even early Thursday evening meant we couldn’t get a standard table and had to perch to eat along a bar ledge. I’m not sure if it’s just because they have an itison voucher at the moment (which we didn’t have) or its just popular anyway. Either way, book in advance just in case.

The menu is relatively simple, breaking down into fries, gyoza, bao buns, wings, ramen, pad thai and sides. Even though we didn’t have the voucher deal, Miss Woo’s has a very reasonable deal of one cocktail plus 3 items from a highlighted selection on the menu for £18, which we decided to try. I chose a Miss Woo Woo cocktail and then pork gyoza, Asian bbq chicken wings and spicy Korean pulled pork bao buns. My friend chose the same wings and buns but opted for the Bangkok dirty fries instead of gyoza.

The food came out pretty much at the same time. The Bangkok dirty fries had pulled pork and chillis slathered over the top of the fries. These were really substantial and enjoyable. The bao buns were beautifully soft, although it was a little annoying that they stuck to the cardboard container there were served in. The hot and sour flavours were great.

The pork dumplings were served in a bamboo steamer basket and were cooked well, with a decent amount of filling. Dipping them into soy was lovely. However, my favourite was the Asian bbq wings. The portion was generous, with each wing having a good amount of meat on it. The glaze was sweet and smoky in equal measure. I could eaten three servings of that!

We did originally get charged with the full price rather than the deal price but this was quickly fixed. We enjoyed our trip to Miss Woo’s and will definitely head back to try more of the menu.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Oh yes!

£36 for two of the special offer cocktail and three eligible dishes

Halibut, swiss chard, salt marsh herbs - Fhior

Fhior

1st June 2018 7.15pm

www.resdiary.com/restaurant/fhior1

Chef Scott Smith announced in April that he was leaving Norn to set up a new place. Around a month later, Fhior opened up on Broughton Street and we nipped in on a Friday night on the off chance there was a table, which there was (I doubt that will last for long). We were seated by a window looking out into a little back garden. It was nice to get some natural light on the table in these light evenings.

There was a choice of a four or seven course tasting menu. We decided to throw caution to the wind and plump for the seven course option. We were brought out some bread and some coppa to start off. Those delicious slice of pork was great to stave off the stomach rumbles until our first course arrived.

Coppa - Fhior

Coppa – Fhior

The first course was a little bowl with some small mackerel pieces in it sitting in some liquor. This was a refreshing taste and a really pleasant start to the meal.

Mackerel - Fhior

Mackerel – Fhior

We then received a beautiful halibut dish. This came with Swiss chard and salt marsh herbs. The fish was cooked perfectly and flaked delicately. The light sauce pulled the whole thing together well.

Halibut, swiss chard, salt marsh herbs - Fhior

Halibut, swiss chard, salt marsh herbs – Fhior

The next course was slightly unusual with the pairing of prawn with rhubarb but weirdly it worked. Again, the exquisitely designed plate of food was delicious. The prawn was particularly plump and juicy.

Prawn, rhubarb, borrage - Fhior

Prawn, rhubarb, borrage – Fhior

I love a bit of asparagus as well as garlic, so the next course was right up my street. Asparagus was matched with spruce, wild garlic and wood sorrel. The delicacy of the flavours worked in harmony and created a lovely summery flavour.

Asparagus, spruce, wild garlic, wood sorrel - Fhior

Asparagus, spruce, wild garlic, wood sorrel – Fhior

Next up was baby gem lettuce, hogget, peas and goats curd. This was a whole piece of charred baby gem lettuce with hogget scattered through it. Again another really great dish, although I found the end of my lettuce a little unappetising so left it.

Baby gem lettuce, hogget, pea, goats cheese - Fhior

Baby gem lettuce, hogget, pea, goats cheese – Fhior

The last of the savoury courses was chicken with mushroom, barley and lovage. The chicken had been cooked sous vide and was wonderfully moist as a result. The mushrooms complemented the barley and the lovage purée drew the elements together. The whole thing was satisfying.

Chicken, mushroom, barley, lovage - Fhior

Chicken, mushroom, barley, lovage – Fhior

The first of our two desserts arrived in the form of strawberries, with a woodruff ice cream and rapeseeds. Neither of us had tried woodruff ice cream before and were pleasantly surprised. This served as a more substantial palate cleanser.

Strawberry, woodruff, rapeseed - Fhior

Strawberry, woodruff, rapeseed – Fhior

The last course of the evening was a chocolate one. It came as white chocolate, beremeal and seaweed. Whilst reading the list, you might not be attracted to this dessert but it was an absolute corker. The flavours and textures felt like they were made for each other.

White Chocolate, Beremeal, Seaweed - Fhior

White Chocolate, Beremeal, Seaweed – Fhior

As we wrapped up our meal, we were given a raspberry each on a spoon. I thought this was a much nicer way to end the meal than a mint but was even more surprised as I popped it in my mouth as it was warm and almost liquid. It was the perfect end to what was a delightful meal.

Raspberries - Fhior

Raspberries – Fhior

The staff at Fhior were knowledgeable and friendly and the whole place had a more relaxed atmosphere than Norn. Fhior is a place to enjoy and savour. Check it out.

Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 36/40

Would I eat here again? Most definitely

£145 for two 7 course tasting menus and two glasses of wine

Ciao Roma

Ciao Roma

31st May 2018 6pm

www.ciaoroma.co.uk

Handily located across from Festival Theatre, Ciao Roma was bustling on arrival but relatively quiet once theatre groups left. Ciao Roma is a typical Italian affair, with the most intriguing mural along the walls. Then menu isn’t too overfacing and should have something to suit everyone. I chose burrata to start followed by rigatoni norcina. Only one other friend picked a starter and opted for the crostini nduja. She chose risotto capesante for her main and our other friend picked the crudiaola pizza for her main (as she was holding out for dessert).

The starters looked pleasant enough. My burrata was creamy and the balsamic dressing went well with it. I could pretend to be healthy with the addition of rocket and peppers. My friend’s crostini had been billed on the menu as thin sliced, however, these were massive chunks of toasted bread so were far too filling as a starter. That said, the nduja was nice.

My rigatoni was nice and the pasta cooked. I liked the flavours and the portion size was just about right. The risotto my friend had chosen was really well received. There was plenty of seafood in it so felt very generous. The pizza tasted good but was very difficult to cut with her knife as the base was a bit soggy. No-one wants to fight with their pizza.

We all decided to give dessert a try and we were glad we did. Clearly the highlight of the meal, there are various assortments of sundaes and ice cream concoctions. I chose the coppa fabbri, which consisted of cherry and balsamic ice cream, cherries, bits of chocolate fudge gateaux and chocolate sauce. This was totally lush dessert and a pleasant surprise, albeit rather large. I valiantly ate my way through it.
My friends also picked sundaes and equally enjoyed them.

Ciao Roma is nice enough but nothing special. It is worth holding back for dessert though.

Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Maybe

Cost £78 for two starters, three mains, three desserts and two glasses of wine

Bistro Deluxe

Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini

29th May 2018 6pm

www.paultamburrini.co.uk

Third time lucky. We originally booked to visit Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini at the MacDonald Hotel at Holyrood several months ago and then changed the booking due to a change in my friend’s plans. We rescheduled, but then we had to cancel due to snowmageddon. Luckily the sun was shining and we made it this time.

We opted to go a la carte rather than the fixed price menu as there were a few things that caught our eye. There were a few changes to the menu because of seasonal produce. My friend chose a couple of these dishes. I opted for the mushroom veloute followed by Ox cheeks. Jen picked the beetroot, blue cheese and fig starter followed by turbot for her main. The server came back and said that the chef wasn’t happy with the figs (which were already a change from the menu) so would revert back to the apple if that was ok, which it was.

Ox Cheek - Bistro Deluxe

Ox Cheek – Bistro Deluxe

My mushroom veloute was very nice. Thespis-cooked egg nestled in the soup was interesting touch and when cut into, oozed into the mushroom. I enjoyed the little croutons and I also used a bit of the beef served at the table to mop up the last bits of veloute. Across from me, the beetroot was pleasant. The blue cheese and apple added some lovely contrast and served to be a very light starter.

Turbot - Bistro Deluxe

Turbot – Bistro Deluxe

The smell on my main of ox cheeks was beautiful. Maybe a bit of a heavy dish to have on a warm day but I didn’t care, as it melted in mouth. The mash was smooth and the mix of mushrooms, bacon and onions were a delight, if a touch salty. The sauce was rich and had strong depth in its flavour. I was pleased that I was automatically given extra sauce in a jug for pouring. My friend was enjoying her turbot with cockles and a coconut and chorizo broth. It was presented with a pretty flower on top. The flavours were pretty decent but it was a small and light dish for a main.

My friend was still hungry after her first two courses, whereas with my more wintery options I was closer to full. She chose to go for dessert and it would have been rude of me not to join her! I chose key lime pie, which was more of a deconstructed pie but was excellent It included a creamy lime parfait, with coconut sorbet and lime meringue. The whole thing was really quite lovely and refreshingly zingy. My dining partner chose the crema catalan foam. This was nice enough but a bit disappointing as she would have preferred an actually crema catalan rather than a foam flavoured that way. It had some great charred pineapple but the chocolate was probably not required. The sorbet was lovely though. We did also have a bit of a wait for these to be served.

Overall they offered nice food but perhaps a bit expensive. The service was lovely but the place lacked a bit of something.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Maybe.

£82 for two three course meals and one glass of wine

Diablo Loco

Diablo Loco

 

NOW CLOSED

17th May 2018 5.45pm

www.diabloloco.co.uk

An arranged meet up for two of us became an impromptu dinner for four as a couple of other friends came along for the ride. Situated in Newington, Diablo Loco offers a range of Mexican food in a relaxed , cheerful setting. Two of the group had already been here previously but two of us were newbies. I opted to go for the chargrilled marinated hangar steak. My friends picked the Diablo burrito, the Diablo wings(X2), crinkle fries and the fajitas. Frozen margaritas and wine were also ordered.

When the food arrived, I was excited to tuck in. The steak was of really good quality. This was lightly covered in a beautiful habanero aioli and sat on a bed of ranchero sauce. Additionally potato cubes (patatas) and spring onions scattered the plate., almost like fancy chips This was a relatively simple but delicious plate of food. The fajitas across from me were an impressive sight, arriving with its own mini table. This was really a generous portion and highly satisfying. It could even be shared as a snack or light meal. You do have to put it together yourself, but that’s not a real hardship.

Hangar Steak - Diablo Loco

Hangar Steak – Diablo Loco

The burrito was chunky and the chicken wings small but full of zingy notes. I did like the 70’s throwback crinkle cut chips which had a light dusting of chilli salt. These flavours paired with the frozen margaritas made for an excellent meal.

Whilst I was too full for dessert, a couple of the group opted to have the churros with Dulce de leche. These were pretty decent churros, although one of the two would have preferred a chocolate dipping sauce.

We had a fun time at Diablo Loco and it worth a visit.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Certainly.

£105 for two light bites, three mains, one side, two desserts, one bottle of wine, 6 cocktails

BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe - Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

16th May 2018 6pm

https://www.facebook.com/Thegreenhouseleith/

I had been chatting with Emma from Vegan Edinburgh a while ago about the opening of The Greenhouse. A couple of weeks later, she was invited along to try them out and offered me the chance to be her plus one. Yay! The Greenhouse markets itself as a vegetarian and vegan place but to our surprise, there were a few meat options on the menu. However, most things can be made vegan if they are not already. I decided to go vegan and try out the bbq ‘pulled pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe bun and upgraded to sweet potato fries, and Emma picked the fried ‘chicken’ seitan burger with added avocado. I think the reference to meat in the names of the vegetarian and vegan dishes isn’t required but concede that it may be a way of enticing meat eaters to give vegetarian or vegan food a go.

BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe - Greenhouse

BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe – Greenhouse

We didn’t have to wait long for our food and were even offered vegan mayo (just as good as the non-vegan variety). Greenhouse certainly know how to present their food and my jackfruit had me drooling at the sight of it. It tasted just as good as it looked. The jackfruit was juicy and held the sumptuous barbecue flavour beautifully. The sweet potato fries were out of this world. This all came with an accompanying salad and pink slaw, which were fine but nothing memorable.

‘Chicken’ seitan burger - Greenhouse

‘Chicken’ seitan burger – Greenhouse

Across from me, my dining companion was tucking into her tower of a burger. The avocado was one of the optional add-ons and she felt that this may have been a step too far and ran the risk of making the burger too much to eat but she bravely soldiered on! Overall she enjoyed her food but found the seitan a little spongey. That didn’t detract too much from her overall enjoyment of the burger, although I think there was a little bit of plate envy on her part.

‘Chicken’ seitan burger - Greenhouse

‘Chicken’ seitan burger – Greenhouse

Desserts vary on the day but both options were vegan, so we decided to get one of each. I picked the chocolate and hazelnut mousse and Emma chose the coconut and lime pie. Mine was a little more inspiring looking than hers on arrival but both tasted delicious. My mousse was surprisingly light and had a lovely chocolate taste, with the hazelnut flavour being more subtle. There was a sliced strawberry on top which worked beautifully with it and I would have actually liked more of them.The coconut and lime pie was a perfect portion with a dollop of coconut cream on top. The lime turned it into a refreshing dessert rather than something that was too heavy.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse - Greenhouse

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse – Greenhouse

For those of you who want to try a meat free or plant based meal, you really should give Greenhouse a try. Actually, even if you are not, you may just be surprised at how tasty it can be.

Coconut and lime pie - Greenhouse

Coconut and lime pie – Greenhouse

You can read Vegan Edinburgh’s post here: http://veganedinburgh.com/the-greenhouse/

Food – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Yes and would quite happily eat vegan

Cost – complimentary but around £32 for two mains, two desserts and a vegan glass of wine

Whilst this meal was complimentary, all views are my own

Smoked Chorizo Mac and Cheese - Harry’s Bar

Harry’s Bar

5th May 2018 2pm

https://harrysedinburgh.co.uk/

Yet another Itison voucher (well actually two) brought Edinburgh Feasts to Harry’s Bar. On arrival they didn’t seem to have our booking, but this was no bother and they accommodated us. You can find Harry’s in a spacious basement, offering fab drinks and tapas. We greedily had a voucher each but we had chosen slightly different options. Each voucher offered four tapas dishes but mine came with a cocktail and my friend’s voucher came with a glass of prosecco (at a slightly cheaper price). Without the voucher, you can get 3 tapas for £14. I ordered the chorizo mac and cheese – which my friend highly recommended, moules frites, courgette tempura and calamari rings. My friend picked the mac and cheese, tempura fish bites, chilli and garlic king prawns and potato cubes, chorizo and cider sauce. I ordered the rhubarb and elderflower gin cocktail but sadly they were out of the gin. However, they did offer to make an alternative with ordinary gin and rhubarb bitters which tasted lovely.

The feast spread out before us and I really didn’t know where to start. I put my sensible hat on and started with the calamari as that was likely to turn quickly. They looked a little anaemic but actually tasted fine. They were generously sliced rings and the dip was delicious. The courgette tempura was great and also had a similar accompanying dip. I could pretend I was being a little bit healthy whilst also managing to enjoy the light tempura too.

The moules frites were probably enough to be a lunch on its own. I ended up passing the fries to my friend and focussed on the mussels, which were of good quality and sat in a light, creamy sauce. Lastly, but by no means least, was the chorizo mac and cheese. My dining companion was not wrong on how good this tasted. You even get a couple of bits of garlic bread alongside to dunk in it. If I bought this voucher again, I would seriously consider just ordering four of these. The cheese was oozy and the pasta luscious. The chorizo added a lovely twist.

Smoked Chorizo Mac and Cheese - Harry’s Bar

Smoked Chorizo Mac and Cheese – Harry’s Bar

Across the table from me, mac and cheese aside which was already a given, the dishes were also going down a treat. The potato, chorizo and cider was a particular favourite. The prawns were big and juicy but the fish bites were probably the most uninspiring of the lot.

The staff were great in Harry’s Bar, with what I assume was the manager giving us some light hearted chat which made us feel very welcome.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 32/40

Would I eat here again? I’ll be there and ordering the chorizo mac and cheese

Cost £18 for voucher with 4 tapas and a cocktail and £14 for voucher with 4 tapas and a prosecco.