14th April 2015 – 5.00pm
I was invited to attend a bloggers event for the refurbishment of Maison Bleue and the launch of their Bedouin mechoui feast. I had never ventured to Maison Bleue before, often passing it on Victoria Street but dismissing it, like many other restaurants in the area, as a tourist trap. This event has definitely set me right on that score. We were welcomed via a red carpet into the restaurant and warmly greeted by staff. We were handed a flyer about the changes to the restaurant and a menu of the food and drink to be made available for us to sample. We found ourselves a seat and started chatting to fellow bloggers as the first drink was passed round. This was a cinnamon mojito and was gorgeous. It wasn’t too over powering and was very refreshing. Whilst sipping on the cocktails, Dean, the owner, introduced himself to us and offered to take our small group around the restaurant to show us what they had done, along with his partner, who was equally enthused about the project. From those who had been to the restaurant before, it seemed that the restaurant had not lost any of its warmth, keeping its Moroccan feel. As a first timer, I thought it was utterly charming. The bar area is filled with stools and plush seating. This led onto the ground floor dining area, which had plenty of light coming in from the large windows at the front of the property. It was here that we could see the crockery they had chosen, which was a beautiful mish-mash of Victoriana. We headed up the worn stone spiral stairs to the first floor, where Dean pointed out a section of the wall covered in glass. The wall covering behind it was about 300 years old. It was nice to see that they had managed to keep some history within the building. Dean explained that the building used to be a stable, which was apparent when you spotted the large arches. This place had a nice romantic feel and some great views over Victoria Street.
Now, onto the food. Sadly we weren’t able to stay very long so did not get to try the Bedouin feast (which is typical considering the blog is Edinburgh Feasts). However, the food we were able to taste was simply delicious and confirmed that we would definitely head back to try the feast (warning, you have to order this 24 hours before you are due to visit as it takes so long to prepare and cook). We got to try a good selection of salads, from lentils to peppers. We also had the most amazing merguez sausages. They had a great spice to them that meant I could have eaten them all evening (in fact, I have also been thinking about them all evening). We also got to try haggis balls which were surprisingly light and not an ounce of grease, as well as some delicious spring rolls. We also got to try a seafood gumbo. This had a comforting quality about it. The seafood was perfectly cooked and was spiced with great accuracy. The fish flaked gently and the mussels were juicy.
Whilst I am not giving Maison Bleue a proper review this time, as it was a special event and we only got to sample a small amount of what was on offer, we have decided that we will definitely be going back to try it properly and have already thought of a few friends we intend to invite along for the ride. Don’t feel that you have to wait for my full review though, I reckon it’s going to be worth your while.