Carnivore

Carnivore

3rd July 2018 6pm

https://carnivoreedinburgh.co.uk

We’d not been able to make the Carnivore launch but finally got round to visiting. The décor was as expected, blacks and browns, giving it a meaty feel! It was relatively quiet when we popped in but that didn’t seem to impact on the atmosphere too much. We got a couple of mule cocktails ordered, from their 555 menu, which has 5 cocktails on it, available 5 days a week (Sun-Thur), for £5. I ordered the duck confit nuggets followed by a philly. My friend chose the prawn rice balls followed by the Korean.

The ‘little plates’ were nice. My confit duck nuggets weren’t particularly anything to look at but they still plated them in the best way they could. The duck was good but I would have liked more mustard flavour in the apricot mustard sauce as it was not noticeable (unless I have misunderstood the phrase apricot mustard). Across from me, the prawn rice balls were also good. These came with a lovely shellfish mayo. They were surprisingly substantial considering their size, so good for snacking.

Onto our mains. The fillings were fresh and juicy. The meat in my philly was cooked well and wasn’t difficult to eat, as steak can often be when placed in a sandwich. However, I did feel a little uninspired by the dish as a whole and I’m not really sure why. Perhaps I was just expecting more meaty oomph. My dining companion was a little disappointed as she thought she was getting a rack of ribs rather than a sandwich. It isn’t overly clear on the menu, even though it is under the heading proper meat and bread. The kimchi inside was also not very spicy. The side of chips went down well though and the meat inside the sandwich was good and plentiful.

The food at Carnivore is nice. However, we just felt a little underwhelmed on the meat experience. We were expecting it to be a celebration of meat but it was more of a whimper.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7.5/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 31/40

Would we eat here again? Maybe

£48 for two little plates, two mains, a side and two cocktails

Steak Frites - Buffalo

Buffalo

19th April 2018 12.30pm

www.buffalogrill.co.uk

Also known as Buffalo Grill, I met a colleague here for lunch. A small frontage gives way to more space than you’d think, with a light and airy dining area. The lunch menu is quite varied and includes a build your own burger option. I was tempted by the steak frites option and my friend chose the beef burger but added blue cheese and a side of chips. She had contemplated the steak frites but wanted a sauce, which they offered to make for her, which was a nice touch but she stuck with the burger in the end.

Steak Frites - Buffalo

Steak Frites – Buffalo

We didn’t have to wait too long for food, which was great for a lunch break. My steak frites looked good. Strips of skirt cut steak with tomatoes, mushrooms and chips, it was a substantial lunch offering but somehow still wasn’t over facing. The meat was juicy, the chips were skin on fries and I have to say I really enjoyed the mushrooms. I was really pleased with the flavour and scoffed the lot. Across the table from me the burger bun was branded with a buffalo outline and the blue cheese was oozing out of the side. She seemed to enjoy the burger too.

Blue Cheese Beef Burger - Buffalo

Blue Cheese Beef Burger – Buffalo

We had really lovely and accommodating service and the food was of a good standard. A great lunch spot.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 10/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall- 32.5/40

Would I eat here again? Yup.

£19 for a steak frites, burger with blue cheese and fries and two soft drinks

Wings - Spatch

Spatch

7th March 2018 6pm

www.spatchchicken.co.uk

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

Burger

Burger

27th November 2017 6pm

www.burgeruk.co.uk

The lovely peeps at Burger have revamped their menu and invited us along to their branch in Fountainbridge to put it through its paces. Their restaurant is airy and bright (even at night) and we sat at a table by the window. The new menu has some interesting options on it, from classics to burgers with blue cheese, and veggie and vegan options too. The size of their burgers has also increased to 6 ounces. I settled on the chicken katsu burger and a New York cheesecake shake and my dining companion opted for the bacon cheese burger with a salted caramel shake (they also now serve cocktails on top of the beer and wine which was already available, which we may sample on another visit). We decided to try a couple of the sides too, choosing the onion rings and the salivation-inducing brisket cheese fries.

Shakes - Burger

Shakes – Burger

The shakes arrived first. These are made using four scoops of home-made ice cream and had lovely sauces poured over the top. They weren’t an over-facing size, which was nice to see. The food followed not that much longer after. Served on trays, the burgers did look generous in size. They were placed on top of greaseproof paper but if you intend to use a knife and fork like we did (as there is no way we could tackle them without), it does tear up and become soggy, which is a touch annoying. However, that was really the only grumble. My chicken katsu burger was delicious. The burger was encrusted with panko crumbs and the wasabi mayo and tonkatsu sauce made the whole dish dance in my mouth. The burger was juicy and not dry at all, which was also great for chicken. On the other side of the table, my friend was getting quite excited about her bacon cheese burger. The cheese was red Leicester and crispy maple bacon poked out the sides. The meat was juicy and full of flavour and their own burger sauce really made it come together. The sides were also of a great standard. The onion rings were juicy and crispy. The brisket cheese fries were on another level though. Skinny fries, covered in cheese, followed by a smothering of brisket. The meat was in a glossy gravy. The totality sounds so wrong but tastes so right. However, this tipped us over the edge and we couldn’t finish it. Well worth an attempt though!

The burger market is tough in Edinburgh but the options here make it worth a visit.

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

Overall – 31/40

Would I eat here again? Yes, I probably would.

Cost – this meal was complimentary but would cost around £40 for two burgers, two shakes and two sides

Whilst this meal was complimentary, all views are my own. Thank you to Hayley for organising.

Bubba Q

Bubba Q

5th April 2017 6pm

www.bubbaq.co.uk

Enticed by some photos on social media, we decided to give Bubba Q a try. Situated on the Royal Mile, down a small staircase, exposed wood is the theme of the day. The menu has a lot to admire, with burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, mains and even salads for the health conscious. We both ended up going for sandwiches, mine a Hot Links SW and my friend’s a Triple P. Both came with slaw, pickle and skin on fries. My dining companion also chose BBQ pit beans as an additional side.

The food came out incredibly quickly. Served on big metal trays, they were generous portions. There were a few home made sauces on the table to try, alongside the more standard condiments, which were very nice. There was no way I was going to be able to tackle mine using my hands so had to use a knife and fork. My friend was more adventurous (and also had a more compliant filling) so got her mitts on hers. My sandwich consisted of spicy smoked sausage, barbecue sauce, crispy onion and jalapeños. There were perhaps a few too many chilliest for my taste but that is probably personal preference. The sausage was nice but didn’t taste very smoky. The difficulty with having to eat with a knife and fork, alongside the barbecue sauce, meant that the paper lining the tray kept coming apart and attaching to the food, so I was continually having to pick paper off my food. However, the slaw was great and creamy without being too rich. The fries were ok. My friend commented that they lose their heat too quickly when spread out on a non-warmed plate (or baking tray as was the case here). That being said, she loved her Triple P sandwich, which consisted of pork shoulder, crispy onions and barbecue sauce. She thought it had great flavour and scoffed the lot. The BBQ pit beans had a lovely smoky taste and the meat chunks were plentiful.

Bubba Q is good enough but nothing spectacular. It’s location will keep it safe but needs to pick up its game to be on a par with other smokeries in the city.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere- 7.5/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Maybe

Cost £25 for two sandwiches, one side and two soft drinks

Byron

15th June 2016 6pm

www.byronhamburgers.com

Byron stormed on to the burgeoning burger scene in Edinburgh recently. Not only have they opened a branch on North Bridge, they have recently just opened a second branch on Lothian Road. On this visit we were heading to the North Bridge restaurant. I was a little wary on arrival based on previous reviews I had read that we were going to be embraced by an over enthusiastic set of staff. However, this wasn’t the case and it was simply a friendly welcome. This restaurant is tardis-like. From the outside it looks average in size but inside it is actually spread over two floors, mezzanine-style and has tons of seating, many of it in booths.

Byron

Byron

I spotted on the menu that if you buy a special burger, it forms one of the ‘one feeds two’ scheme where a school meal is bought for a child living in an area of poverty for every special burger you buy. Unfortunately the burger in the special wasn’t my cup of tea for me but I will definitely keep an eye out for the special next time. So I decided to go for a cheeseburger and pimped it up with Byron’s special Freddar cheese, which was the only cheese that came at an extra cost. My friend went for the smoky burger and we both got fries and shared a portion of onion rings.


We seem to wait a little while for our food which seemed a touch odd for fast food. Hhowever it was worth the wait. I admit that these burgers didn’t have the visual wow factor of some of the burger joints in Edinburgh but the taste more than made up for this. My burger was hefty, meaty and packed with flavour. The Freddar cheese was nice but I am not sure it was worth paying extra over American cheese. My friend enjoyed her burger too. Whilst she continued to protest that she preferred a toasted bun, she had to admit that the bun did hold together well. I was also impressed that I could eat my burger without having to cut it in half. The fries were excellent- some of the best I’ve had in Edinburgh. The onion rings were light and had a tasty batter. I would just like to make my usual request to get ketchup in squeezy bottles as it’s a pain getting it out of a glass bottle, no matter how nice it looks.

Milkshake - Byron

Milkshake – Byron

We were feeling greedy and topped dinner off with milkshakes. These are humongous and probably had my calorie intake for the week in it (neither of us managed to finish them). You can opt for booze in them too. I had a Reece’s peanut butter cup one and my friend went for banana. They were fab and I’d definitely have one again.

We had a long wait for anyone to come to our table to take these away and eventually just called for someone so we could get the bill. Not ideal but we were chatting away so it was not a big problem. Service was very pleasant though.

We enjoyed it here and would happily visit again.

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

Overall – 32/40

Would I eat here again? Yup

Cost £47 for two burgers and fries, one onion rings, two milkshakes, two soft drinks and a beer

Foundry 39

Foundry 39

4th August 2016 1pm

http://foundryproject.com/

Newly opened on Queensferry St, Foundry 39 is all warehouse chic but is the food up to much? Their main offerings are sharing plates, burgers and pizzas. I had seen some photos from their opening and knew that if I ate nothing else I had to try the tomato and parmesan dough balls. I then went for a cheese burger and a side of house fries. My dining companion went for the buffalo blue cheese chicken burger also with a side of house fries.

Tomato and parmesan dough balls - Foundry 39

Tomato and parmesan dough balls – Foundry 39

When the tomato and parmesan dough balls came out they looked just as beautiful as I had hoped. Five largish balls smothered in a delicious tomato sauce and a smattering of cheese. They had a fluffy texture to them and were far superior to the dough balls you may come across in a national pizza chain. They came in a pan which was very hot (and we were warned about). However, we didn’t get plates to actually put the balls on and eating out of the pan either with fingers or a knife and fork wasn’t really ideal. Not a big problem though as they were so good.

Cheeseburger and fries - Foundry 39

Cheeseburger and fries – Foundry 39

The burgers followed. They came on a metal tray wrapped in paper and then a side bowl of the fries. I am not sure I am keen on that type of presentation. It also seems a bit wasteful in the paper as this isn’t like some of the other burger joints where much of the clientele are ordering take away. Regardless, the burgers were top notch. My burger was juicy and pink, albeit a bit too pink for some people but grand for me. Lettuce and tomato was then smothered with and American mustard mayo and a bacon ketchup. Both sauces were divine. The bacon ketchup in particular brought a smokiness and depth to proceedings. The bun was also toasted, so held together relatively well. On the other side of the table, the chicken burger was also being devoured. The chicken burger was fried in buttermilk and this kept the meat very tender and moist. The blue cheese came in the form of a mayonnaise, which my friend commented stopped everything from becoming too dry. Some hot sauce also sat on the lettuce in the burger. My dining partner added that they got brownie points for not putting a tomato in her burger.

We were too stuffed for desserts but we definitely plan on heading back to try some.

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

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Yup and looking forward to it.

Cost – around £30 for a starter, two mains and two soft drinks