Wings - Spatch


7th March 2018 6pm

Spatch is situated in the heart of the Old Town on Hunter Square, just off the Royal Mile. Unsurprisingly, Spatch’s speciality is chicken. However, if it’s not your thing, they offer non-chicken options and a surprisingly decent amount of vegetarian offerings too. We happened to visit Spatch on a Wednesday, when they offer all you can eat wings and a beer for £12. Bargain! We decided to split what we ordered between us, so we chose the all you can eat wings with the sweet and spicy sauce (other options include sauces such as BBQ and nuclear hot), then we tactically chose the BBQ pork ribs as it came with a couple of sides which we wanted anyway (chips and a tequila and lime slaw). We got an extra side of hot BBQ beans.

The food arrived and it was saliva inducing. Firstly let’s focus on the chicken. We got 8 wings with our first portion. The sauce was smothering the wings but fear not, kitchen towel and hand wipes are on standby. The meat was succulent and came away from the bone easily. We were mightily impressed with how they were cooked and how the sauce built up in complexity and heat as you went. Lip smackingly good, I’d say. The ribs were also excellent. The meat fell off the bone and virtually melted in the mouth. Their signature BBQ sauce was sticky deliciousness. The tequila and lime slaw was a nice slaw but I could have coped with an upping of lime content. The chips were chunky and good for dipping in the sauces, although we did have a little bit of envy when we saw sweet potato fries being delivered to another table. The beans were a little bit of a let down. I think they would be better offering a stronger BBQ flavour or even trying burnt end beans as this would pack a better punch. That being said, they weren’t a disaster and we did eat them.

We decided not to top up on the wings (I know – controversial) and try dessert. There were only a small number of options. I chose the chocolate torte with orange sorbet and my friend chose apple crumble. We had a little wait before they came out but when they did, it was a tale of two halves. Mine was passable. The chocolate torte was rich and tasty. The sorbet took a bit of getting used too as the orange flavour almost had a clinical taste to it. However, on the other side of the table the crumble really looked like chunks of unbreakable biscuits sat on top of some nicely cooked apple. My friend even tried to break some of the biscuity type topping with her fingers but couldn’t. I am not sure a drill would have made it through. Some of it was closer to being burnt too. Disappointing after the joyous mains.

The staff were super friendly and helpful. We liked the environment so generally a positive experience.

Food – 7.5/10 (would have been higher excluding the dessert)
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 31.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yes but I’d give dessert a miss.

Cost £58 for ribs, unlimited wings deal, one side, two desserts and three diet cokes

Forage and Chatter

Forage and Chatter

22nd February 2018 6pm

Forage and Chatter is a little hidden away on Alva Street but its pretty lighting points the way. In the location where Edinburgh Larder was, Forage and Chatter aim to provide excellent, locally sourced Scottish cuisine. We were warmly welcomed and led to the seated area at the raised back portion of the restaurant. Even with other diners seated in this area, the tables were spaced out well. The menu itself had lots of choice without being over facing and I settled on the onion tart to start, followed by aged beef sirloin. My dining companion chose langoustine bisque followed by monkfish. I was then presented with a selection of brightly coloured handled steak knives to pick from, which was an unusual but nice touch. Whilst we were waiting for our food, we were brought some fried dough balls with a mint pesto and a whipped yogurt butter with mushroom powder. These dough balls were delightfully warm. I preferred the butter option and my friend liked the pesto but both were excellent.

Dough Balls - Forage and Chatter

Dough Balls – Forage and Chatter

The starters followed shortly after and both were beautifully presented, although some of that was lost for the langoustine dish when the bisque was poured. My onion tart was not in the form of a traditional tart but in this case, that was not a bad thing. The varying textures of onion worked well on top of a pastry strip. The black garlic puree was outstanding and the small dollops of goats curd with herb oil nestled in small onion leaves was a graceful and clever touch. Across the table, the bisque was working its magic. The langoustines were complemented with mussels, leek and fennel. This dish managed to be hearty and delicate at the same time. We were very excited to see whether the high standard continued on to our mains.

The answer was yes – there was still an exceptionally high standard. I only have one negative, and it’s not my own personal negative but one I think other diners may have. I was told the beef would arrive medium rare. I like rare anyway, so this was not a problem. However, on arrival I would definitely say it was rare, which was great for me but may make others a bit twitchy. That aside, this dish was phenomenal. The meat was full of wonderful flavour. Alongside it was ox tongue, wild leeks, mushrooms, ramsons and persillade. Each element added an interesting dimension to the dish and made the entirety sing in my mouth. Across the table, the monkfish almost glowed with whiteness on top of a bed of puy lentils. Bacon, capers and parsley were mixed through the lentils. The fish was cooked to perfection and the whole dish worked in harmony. The attention to detail in putting these dishes together is clearly evident.

As the courses were reasonably sized, we actually had space for dessert. Again, the list made it incredibly difficult to choose as I wanted them all. I settled on the Vahlrona dark chocolate mousse and I wasn’t disappointed. The mousse was supplemented with malt ice cream, marshmallow and sable crumbs. The textures and tastes in this dessert were amazing. I oohed and aahhed all the way through eating it. I certainly found my happy place whilst eating it. Across the table, my friend had chosen my back up choice – apple, oat crumble with salted caramel ice cream and custard. She allowed me to try some of the ice cream and it definitely was exceptional. My friend doesn’t do desserts often and actually commented that she could have eaten that dessert all over again. High praise indeed.

We were mightily impressed with our dinner at Forage and Chatter. It is definitely worth visiting, and more than once.

Food – 9.5/10
Service – 10/10
Atmosphere – 9.5/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 38/40

Would I eat here again? Yes, and possibly dream of it in the meantime

Cost £79 for two three course meals, a large glass of red wine and a raspberry gin with lemonade

Meat Sharing Platter - Herringbone


13th February 2018 7pm

It was the birthday of a dear friend and occasional ‘Feasts dining companion, and she had chosen Herringbone for a low key birthday get together. Herringbone has two places, one in Goldenacre and one in North Berwick. We were at the Goldenacre branch, which has a nice corner location and large windows. The slightly mismatched chairs at our table meant we had to do a few seat swaps so the taller of us weren’t towering over the smaller in the group. All settled, we started drooling over the menu. There was plenty of choice and everyone was struggling to pin point exactly which dish to opt for. Half price cocktails are also available from a smaller list, Monday to Thursday, although the prices on the flyer were more expensive than those on the main menu. Presumably that is the full price charged rather than the cost at half price. In the end I was the only one having a cocktail and I picked from the main menu. We had already got a sharing platter voucher from Itison (with two glasses of wine), which we were going to use as a table starter, so we only needed to focus on mains. I went for the black pudding and chorizo salad. The rest of the table chose two salmon burgers, the rib-eye steak, the gourmet lamb burger special and the chickpea burger.

Meat Sharing Platter - Herringbone

Meat Sharing Platter – Herringbone

We had a little wait for the sharing platter but it eventually came out. We had selected the meat option (there was also a fish or veggie platter to choose from). This came with deli meats, bread, pate, chicken skewers, pork belly bites, rocket with peppers and olives. We were all very impressed with this platter. Once we got over the typical politeness of how we were going to share this between the six of us, we got munching and all got to try a bit of everything. The pate was the winner of the platter but shortly followed by the chicken skewers which were incredibly succulent.

Black pudding and chorizo salad - Herringbone

Black pudding and chorizo salad – Herringbone

We had a bit of a wait for our mains and they weren’t brought out completely together. However, once we got going, there were lots of satisfied noises emanating from the table. My black pudding and chorizo salad was a hearty portion, with plenty of meat but still enough salad to feel like you were making a small contribution to healthy eating. The salad consisted of salad leaves, onions and tomatoes, all of which were fresh and vibrant. The black pudding was in rather hefty chunks but resulted in a very generous portion and worked harmoniously with the chorizo. On top, were crispy onions, which added some further texture, along with two poached eggs, which oozed beautifully golden yolk across the dish. I couldn’t finish it (who ever normally says that about a salad?) which is testament to the weight of the dish. Around the table, the variety of burgers were getting the thumbs up. The salmon burger was particularly popular and the flavour in the chickpea burger was great – although the flatbread it came with was too crispy to wrap around anything. The steak was also of a good standard but what won everyone over were the chips. Wide but also thin, the chips had a good crispness to them.

Only a couple of the group went for dessert as most of us were stuffed. One friend chose ice cream and the other a cherry, liquorice and blackberry dessert. Both of these desserts were decent and provided a satisfactory end to the meal.

Overall, whilst the service was helpful it was often on the slow side. Herringbone was busy for a Tuesday but it was still a bit annoying to have a long wait. Additionally, it was lucky – as we’d had varying amounts – we were paying for our own meals rather than splitting the bill equally which meant we spotted that they charged us for the voucher including the wine and we had to ask to have this taken off. A very disappointing end to what was a fairly good meal.

Food – 8/10
Service – 6/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Yes but not when I was in a hurry and I would always scrutinise the bill before paying.

Cost £152 for 6 mains, 2 desserts, 2 cocktails, 5 glasses of wine, 2 beers and a whisky. Additional £14.50 for the voucher for the sharing platter and 2 glasses of wine

Michael Neave

Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar

31st January 2018 6pm

Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar has been a firm Edinburgh Feasts favourite for some time. However, since our inception, we’ve just not had time to visit and this had to be rectified. Situated in one of the closes off the Royal Mile, this restaurant could easily be missed. The top, entry level is a bar and had some outdoor seating and the downstairs section is the main dining area. The table we were sat at was generous for two, but this was welcomed as too often a restaurant squashes in small tables that also have no real space between them, so this was a pleasant change. We got some drinks ordered (their cocktails are quick reasonably priced) and went over the menu. The starters and desserts are great value for the standard of food. The mains are where the expense lies, but still, the food is definitely worth it. I chose the scallops, black pudding and pea purée followed by garlic toast rump of lamb. My friend opted for celeriac soup to start and wild mushroom, spinach and truffle gnocchi for her main.

Whilst we were waiting for our starters, we were brought out a couple of tomato and parmesan bread rolls. They were warm, so the butter melted on them easily. The flavour was delicious and a nice little surprise at the start of our meal. The starters followed not long after and emitted a beautiful aroma. My scallops sat alongside black pudding, on a vivid green pea puree. The scallops were cooked to perfection, with the black pudding providing a suitable accompaniment. A very satisfying dish, all in all. On the other side of the table, the soup was full of depth and had roast granny smith apple pieces scattered across the top which added an interesting alternative to croutons.

My main of lamb was a very generous portion. It was quite pink, which was fine for me but might put off some (I didn’t get asked how I would like the meat cooked, so this must be the standard). The taste was beautiful though, with the roast garlic complementing the lamb beautifully. This sat on a massive lump of skirlie mashed potato and had savoy cabbage and pancetta on the side. The pancetta was a little hard for my preference but I am also someone who doesn’t insist on crispy bacon, so I am not sure you can take my advice on that one! The jus pulled all the elements of the dish together nicely. A successful dish, I think. Across the table from me, the gnocchi seemed like a slightly smaller plate of food. However, it was a lovely looking plate of food. The gnocchi itself was soft and the sauce not too overpowering but still something of substance. The plate was left clean by the end of it.

I had already spotted that there was a soufflé on the dessert menu. My dining companion decided she could only manage tea (which came with its own petite fours anyway) but I was definitely still committed to the soufflé. It arrived with a superb rise, so we were off to a good start. It was a sticky toffee soufflé with salted caramel sauce and lemon shortbread. The sauce came in a little jug so you could pour it into your soufflé if that’s your kind of thing. The soufflé itself had bags of flavour. Possibly a smidgen underdone but nothing to be concerned about. I chose to pour the salted caramel sauce in and it was utterly divine. I didn’t think the soufflé could be outdone but it was a close race with this sauce. On the side were three little rounds of lemon shortbread. These had wonderful flavour but I did struggle to eat them all with everything else on the plate. It was worth it though. I had a grin on my face with every mouthful. On ordering the bill I also received some petite fours, so ended up taking them home to snaffle at a later date.

Sticky Toffee Souffle - Michael Neave

Sticky Toffee Souffle – Michael Neave

I really enjoyed our dinner here and think it’s a bit of a hidden gem.

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 8.5/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Yup (mmmmm souffle)

£75 for two starters, two mains, a dessert, a tea, one glass of wine and one cocktail

Deep fried shredded beef in chilli - Golden Dragon

The Golden Dragon Restaurant

20th January 2018 7.45pm

A friend and I had taken a trip up to Edinburgh Zoo to see the Giant Lanterns of China and it subconsciously got us in the mood for Chinese food. We headed back into town and had originally intended to visit Rendezvous but it was closed for a break, so we wandered along to The Golden Dragon Restaurant. It’s one of those places in a central location but so easily overlooked. Inside, the Golden Dragon is an old style Chinese restaurant – so nothing flash but focussing on great food and warm hospitality.

The Golden Dragon Restaurant

We settled down to look at the menu and I was delighted to spy char siu dumplings, so opted for that immediately. I added some deep fried shredded beef and my friend chose salt and pepper prawns to start and chicken satay for main. We decided to share mains so also got some egg fried rice between us. After ordering my friend spotted a sign on the wall saying their customers rated the shredded beef the best in Edinburgh. A bold claim that we could test them on. But first, the starters.

My char siu dumplings came as a pair and were white and fluffy on the outside and full of tasty pork on the inside. Not too spicy, these buns are quite filling but so satisfying. Across from me, the prawns sat on top of a bed of salad. They were coated in batter and chillis were scattered across the dish. My friend heartily enjoyed this starter, finding the prawns of good quality and size and the flavour was hitting the spot.

The mains came along not long after and smelt divine. They say you eat with your eyes, but your nose also plays a part and it was telling me to hurry up and get stuck into the delicious smelling food. The deep fried shredded beef was quite subtle in its appearance, unlike other places where it’s been day-glo orange. The beef was crispy rather than chewy and the coating didn’t hide the beef. The sauce itself was full of depth and complexity that surprised me. Spring onions gave a nice contrast too. I have to say, it is definitely the best deep fried shredded beef that I have had in Edinburgh, and possibly ever. The satay was also ticking all the flavour boxes. The chicken was moist and the vegetables not over cooked. The satay sauce itself was not too thick and had a gorgeous nutty tasty. The egg fried rice worked well between the two of us and mopped up those sauces well.

This was a wonderful find and somewhere central that gave a satisfying meal. We really enjoyed the food.

Food – 9.10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

Cost £50 for two starters, two mains, one rice and four coke zeros.

Cafe Andaluz

Cafe Andaluz (George IV Bridge)

19th January 2018 5.30pm

We reviewed the George Street branch of Café Andaluz back in 2016 but thought we’d give the new branch in Old Town a whirl. Situated on George IV Bridge, the restaurant has views over to the Castle – but it was night and we weren’t near a window, so we appreciated the beautifully tiled décor instead. There is also a giant bull statue at the front of the restaurant that is pretty impressive. Café Andaluz has a number of offers and we availed ourselves of the three tapas and a dessert from £16.95 per person (some supplements for a few dishes can make it slightly more expensive). I picked patatas bravas, ensalada Andaluza and the calamares. My friend chose the chorizo al vino, carne de res picante and vieiras con serrano. Without appreciating how quickly this would all come out, we also ordered some bread with oil and some olives. We also got a couple of frozen margaritas to get the weekend started.

We made a start on the bread and olives but within about 10 minutes, all our plates came out together. The smells emanating from the dishes were saliva-inducing. There was no weak plate amongst them but the highlights were the carne de res picante and vieiras con serrano. The carne de res picante was a bed of rocket with manchego and chorizo oil that had strips of steak on top. The vieiras con Serrano were beautiful scallops with Serrano ham which sat on a bed of creamed leeks. All of the dishes are easily shared but they taste so good you may not want to. Keep that in mind and make strategic choices when ordering!

Cafe Andaluz

Cafe Andaluz

We’d polished off our cocktails, which were excellent. We decided to order a couple more drinks and find a way to squeeze in desserts. I chose the churros and my friend chose trifle. I have to say that the churros were excellent with a beautiful crispy exterior, sugared to perfection, and the chocolate dipping sauce was delicious. The trifle was also enjoyed.

This branch is just as good as the one on George Street and is a good alternative if you are in Old Town.

Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 8/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall – 33.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yes

Cost £72 for two of the three tapas and a dessert deals plus bread, olives and four cocktails.



10th January 2018 12.15pm

Situated on South Bridge, Roti offers Indian food, with tapas being a specialty. A colleague had suggested lunch here as they had some good lunchtime deals. These consisted of a few different thali options along with some Indian fast-food fusion hybrids, which sounded unusual to say the least. I am a big fan of thalis so I ordered the non-vegetarian one and one of my dining companions chose the vegetarian version. The last of the three of us went for one of the slightly more unusual options and picked a tikka burrito.

Non-vegetarian thali - Roti

Non-vegetarian thali – Roti

We had a bit of a wait for our food, but unsurprisingly, the thalis looked great on arrival. Each had three different curries. On the non-vegetarian tray, one was lamb, one was chicken and the last was vegetarian. Additional to this were a couple of pieces of chicken with a dip, a naan and some rice. Each of the curries were different rather than being various meats with the same sauce and all had their own personalities but worked well as a meal. On the vegetarian version, the curries again were all different and came with naan and rice but had bhajis instead of the chicken. We were both suitably impressed and filled by our thalis. The tikka burrito did look a little bit sorry for itself in comparison. Certainly a size for those who like a lighter lunch but at a cheaper price, this makes sense. The burrito came wrapped in foil and had a sauce to dip into or pour. My friend enjoyed the flavours and gave it the thumbs up, even if she did have a bit of thali envy.

Vegetarian thali - Roti

Vegetarian thali – Roti

My two friends decided to order a mint tea and a latte. After what seemed like an inordinate amount of time (I’d say at least 15 minutes) the tea arrived and we were informed that it could be another 10 minutes for the coffee as the machine needed to warm up. We decided to wait but only because the tea had already been delivered. All very odd.

Tikka Burrito - Roti

Tikka Burrito – Roti

Roti offers value for money and the food was nice. However, don’t consider this a place to fit a lunch into an hour lunch break as there won’t be enough time.

Food – 8/10
Service – 6/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 10/10

Overall – 31/40

Would I eat here again? If I wasn’t in a hurry

Cost £26 for two thali, a burrito, a tea and coffee.