1st December 2016 5.45pm
Newly opened on Broughton Street from the owners of Jeremiah Tap, the Empress has opened on the site of the old Mathers bar. The menu is relatively varied, with burgers, flatbreads and salads. Unfortunately we were informed anything with salmon, venison and squid was off, which was a shame as I had been eyeing up dishes with these in but I guess they are the fresh elements where availability could vary. In the end, we went for the Scotch bon bons, buffalo hot wings and Empress ribs for starters and for main, two of us went for the brisket flatbread (I went for a large as I am a pig) and the last of the three of us went for a twisted fire starter burger. On top of this we decided to get an extra side of paprika halloumi fries to share. We also got our first round of very delicious cocktails in.
We waited a little while for our starters but they were worth the wait. The bon bons had a lovely flavour, being a mix of haggis and black pudding, which seemed to give them a more substantial taste. The accompanying chilli and whisky jam complemented well. The buffalo hot wings had a really tasty hot sauce on them and had a decent amount of meat on the bones. I’m not a fan of blue cheese so avoided the dip but my dining companions raved about it, saying it was almost like a blue cheese béchamel. A massive thumbs up for this. The ribs had a nice barbecue glaze and were still juicy.
Again, we waited a while until the food came out of the kitchen. The flatbreads looked and smelt amazing. Tucking in, we weren’t disappointed. The meat was great and plentiful. The crispy onions added a wonderful textural element. The barbecue sauce and the mozzarella topped it off nicely. The only downside was that the bottom of the flatbread was perhaps a touch over (but then I’m not a huge fan of charcoal flavours). The burger also was going down well. Accompanied by a slaw and fries, this was generous portion. The paprika halloumi fries were definitely the hit of the meal though. I really couldn’t get enough of them and I think I’d order a smaller plate of food so I could eat more of them!
As long as you are not in a hurry, this is a nice place to go.
Food – 8.5/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8.5/10
Overall – 32/40
Would I eat here again? Definitely
Cost £92 for three starters, three mains, one side, five cocktails and a mini bottle of prosecco.