Review of the Year: 2017

31st December 2017

Please note that this post is image heavy

Well it’s been another bumper year for Edinburgh Feasts. As we conclude our third year documenting our dining escapades, our readership and page hits have more than doubled since we completed our first year in 2015. It’s great to see that what started off as a way to remember all the great places to eat in Edinburgh when friends asked for recommendations has become something others are using as a guide. We have reviewed 59 restaurants in 2017, eight of which have gone into our highest scoring reviews. Here are some of the highlights.

Favourite Restaurants

There have been plenty of new openings in the city but we have tried to cover more of the long standing restaurants too. However, it’s the newbies who have really left their mark.

Saboteur

Vit Curry - Saboteur

Sister restaurant to Ting Thai Caravan, Saboteur opened just a few doors down during the summer. Their menu has a very similar style to Ting Thai but this time with a Vietnamese slant. From noodle dishes to curries and bao, there should be something for everyone here.

No. 1 The Grange

Pan Seared Duck - No 1 The Grange

Nestled in Newington, No.1 The Grange offers high end food in a relaxed pub setting. A welcoming atmosphere and reasonable prices for the quality of the food means it’s one to seek out.

BABA

Lamb Shawarma - BABA

Across in Glasgow, Ox and Finch has an excellent reputation. The masterminds behind that place opened BABA in Edinburgh as the year was coming to an end. A different style to its sister restaurant, BABA is inspired by the food from the Levant. Eastern Mediterranean flavours swirl around this place and the dips are to die for.

New Chapter

Hake - New Chapter

A stroll down to the bottom of Dundas St along to Eyre Place will lead you to New Chapter. A cosy little restaurant away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre but easily reached. Superb food – we particularly rated the fish.

Otro

Brownie - Otro

Yet another sister restaurant on this list – this time Otro is the sister restaurant to the above New Chapter. Situated more centrally between Princes Street and Haymarket, this restaurant is light and bright with wonderful food and helpful staff.

Taisteal

Hake - Taisteal

Taisteal can be found in Stockbridge and offers the most amazing value pre-theatre menu, particularly considering the quality of the food. The a la carte menu is also worth exploring.

La Petite Mort

Roast Pork Belly - La Petite Mort

Hidden away a little in a side street in Tollcross, La Petite Mort has a french bistro feel inside. Some incredible food and a baked alaska that wins my vote.

Gin 71

Venison Tartare - Gin 71

Gin 71 is actually CupTea during the day but becomes a gin bar in the evenings. However, the food should not be overlooked in this place as it’s gorgeous. Watch out for vouchers on Itison for their tasting menu as it offers spectacular value.

Kanpai

Assorted Sashimi Salad - Kanpai

My current office for the day job is round the corner from Kanpai and has quickly become a firm favourite. Beautiful sushi and sashimi, amongst other things, can be found here. A calming dining experience.

Best dishes

All the dips at BABA

Baba

Jilani’s milk chocolate chip cookie dough

Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - Jilani's

Tuna maki at Kanpai

Tuna Maki - Kanpai

Hake at Lovage

Hake - Lovage

Contandino at Contini

Contandino - Contini

Chocolate bombe at the Ivy on the Square

Chocolate Bombe - Ivy on the Square

Popular reviews and photos

Whilst this won’t be strictly accurate, considering not all reviews have been up for very long, the top 5 reviews on the site this year have been:

  1. On Bap (Korean)
  2. Saboteur (Vietnamese)
  3. Pizza Posto (Italian)
  4. New Chapter (Scottish)
  5. No. 1 The Grange (Scottish)

The top 9 photos on the Edinburgh Feasts Instagram account can be seen below:

Instagram Best 9 Photos 2017

Top row: dumplings at the Fringe (George Sq), covfefe at the Fringe (George Sq), Otro
Middle row: Dishoom, BABA, The Refinery
Bottom row: Ishka, 56 North, Saboteur

Lastly, here is an little infographic about Edinburgh Feasts over the past three years.

Edinburgh Feasts Infographic 2015-2017

In 2018, we’ll look to develop some ‘top 5’ lists for additional ease of searching now we have so many reviews. We’ll also be eating at plenty of new places so come back and visit, or subscribe by filling in your email address into the subscribe option in the menu (left hand on desktops and settings icon on mobile).

All the best for 2018 and thanks for supporting Edinburgh Feasts!

Emma

Review of the Year: 2016

2016 was my second year in the blogging arena. Somehow I managed to eat at fewer restaurants than in 2015 (68 versus 78 last year) I think mainly due to revisiting some favourites, but the blog has had over 20% more hits and 15% more visitors, so I think things are still going well.

Best restaurants

This year the best experience comes as no surprise – Kitchin. The tasting menu is excellent value for money, the food is exciting and so tasty. The man himself is often in the kitchen too, which cannot be said for all chefs at Michelin starred restaurants.

Special nods should also be given to Dishoom, Bon Vivant, Reekie’s Smokehouse, Atelier, Norn, Rollo and Seasons who all made it into my highest scoring reviews this year. You can read more about all my highest scoring reviews, which I call my ’35 club’ here.

Best dishes

There are always so many contenders in this category so, as I did last year, I’ve picked on the basis of food that I am still thinking about now.

Sea bass at Bistro Provence. This was a superb dish. Although it is almost a year ago, I still think about how good it was. Hopefully, when my hectic dining schedule allows, I will get to go back there.

Seabass - Bistro Provence

Seabass – Bistro Provence

Meltmongers – Big Cheese Toastie. Meltmongers has taken Edinburgh by storm and this cheese toastie was simply excellent. Who knew cheese toasties could be this good?!

Big Cheese - Meltmongers

Big Cheese – Meltmongers

BBQ Beans at Reekie’s Smokehouse. Simple food but the flavour is amazing. I have been back for more of these and still love them.

Reekie's Smokehouse

Reekie’s Smokehouse

Mun Tod at Ting Thai Caravan. Ting Thai Caravan often has queues outside and its communal dining isn’t to everyone’s taste but these sweet potato crispies were phenomenal. Again, I have been back to eat these again (and also had a lovely sea bass dish on that visit).

Mun Tod - Ting Thai Caravan

Mun Tod – Ting Thai Caravan

Classic queso fundido at Topolobamba. Cheesy goodness and nachos. What more do I need to say?

Classic Queso Fundido - Topolabamba

Classic Queso Fundido – Topolabamba

Foundry 39’s Tomato and Parmesan Dough Balls. I knew I was in love with this as soon as I saw a photo on social media but once I tried it I was hooked (for the photo, see below in the Favourite Photographs section).

Venison at Bon Vivant. Bon Vivant did many things well on our visit but the flavour in this venison was something special.

Venison - Bon Vivant

Venison – Bon Vivant

Sea trout at Atelier. I loved the food at Atelier but there was something special about this sea trout. I think it was the pairing with wasabi that took it to another level.

Sea Trout - Atelier

Sea Trout – Atelier

Keema Per Eduu at Dishoom. I have yet to have anything other than brunch at Dishoom but it was such a fantastic experience. This was a special dish and hearty at that. Although the nann rolls are also excellent.

Keema Per Eedu - Dishoom

Keema Per Eedu – Dishoom

Sweetbread at Kitchin. I had these a few years ago at Kitchin and coming back with my blogging head on, I was still blown away. The taste was exquisite.

Sweetbreads - Kitchin

Sweetbreads – Kitchin

Favourite photographs

As I’ve said before, I am not a great photographer but I am always pleased when my trusty iPhone delivers me a good photo. Here are some of my favourites from the year:

Ceviche of Sea Bass – Tapa

Ceviche of seabass - Tapa

Ceviche of seabass – Tapa

Tomatoes, chanterelles, broad beans and leeks – Edinburgh Food Studio

Tomatoes, Chanterelles, Broad Beans and Leeks - Edinburgh Food Studio

Tomatoes, Chanterelles, Broad Beans and Leeks – Edinburgh Food Studio

Olives – Serrano Manchego

Olives - Serrano Manchego

Olives – Serrano Manchego

Tomato and Parmesan Dough Balls – Foundry 39

Tomato and parmesan dough balls - Foundry 39

Tomato and parmesan dough balls – Foundry 39

Toulouse Sausage at Spoon

Toulouse Sauage - Spoon

Toulouse Sauage – Spoon

Sriracha Eggs Benny at Thomas J Walls

Sriracha Benny - Thomas J Walls

Sriracha Benny – Thomas J Walls

Sea Bass at Hotel Du Vin

Sea Bass - Bistro Du Vin

Sea Bass – Bistro Du Vin

Sea Bass at Kitchin

Sea bass - Kitchin

Sea bass – Kitchin

Conclusion: Sea bass photographs well.

The Coming Year

Well although I have managed to go to plenty of restaurants since starting this blog, the Edinburgh dining scene changes its face frequently and there are new places that have opened that I need to try along with some more established places I have yet to get to. I already have several bookings for 2017 so I cannot wait to get started. Finally, I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to read my blog and I hope at least some of you have found it useful.

If you want to follow any of my social media accounts, either click one of the icons in the left hand menu under ‘Social’ or click on the links I have handily left below:

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Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful 2017!

Emma

Review of the Year: 2015

Well 2015 was my first year in blogging. I have managed to eat enough to review 78 restaurants this year. That’s a lot of food! So I thought a little look back at the year’s eating was called for.

Best restaurants

This year the best experience was tied between Timberyard and The Table. Both fine dining offerings are trying to do something a little bit different without the need to be wacky. Whilst a little on the pricey side, I whole heartedly believe they are worth it.

Special nods should also be given to Aizle, Purslane, Mark Greenaway, Tutto Matto and Boozy Cow. You can read more about my highest scoring reviews, which I fondly call my ’35 club’ here.

Best dishes

There are so many contenders in this category so I’ve picked on the basis of food that I am still thinking about now.

Asparagus - Timberyard

Asparagus – Timberyard

Timberyard – Asparagus and Duck Egg. This was just an amazing dish and gave so much flavour from what appeared from the menu to be quite simple. The egg made the whole dish so creamy. Yum.

Steak Tartare - Galvin Brasserie De Luxe

Steak Tartare – Galvin Brasserie De Luxe

Galvin Brasserie De Luxe – Steak Tartare. Regular readers will know that I love a steak tartare and I’ve had several good ones this year. However, nothing ever seems to beat this one. A nice balance between the meat and the sharpness of the capers and gherkins makes it sublime. The egg and toast just finish it off perfectly.

Not So Werther's Original - The Table

Not So Werther’s Original – The Table

The Table – Werthers Not-So-Original. This was a surprise and a delight to the palate. Whilst not looking much to start off with, the sentation and flavour in the mouth was a pure joy.

Meat and cheese platter - Pickles

Meat and cheese platter – Pickles

Pickles – sharing board. This was just the board that kept on giving. Lovely meats, cheeses, pickles, chutneys and bread. Nom.

Whitebait - Potting Shed

Whitebait – Potting Shed

The Potting Shed – Whitebait. This is a strange one to put in as the Potting Shed gets very mixed reviews (but did ok on our visit apart from the horrid dessert). However, this whitebait was just amazing. I should have just ordered two portions of that and I would have been very happy. The aioli that came with it set it off nicely.

Frozen Margarita - Miros Cantina Mexicana

Frozen Margarita – Miros Cantina Mexicana

Miros Cantina Mexicana – Frozen Margarita. Ok, so this is not a dish but I couldn’t let this post go by without mentioning how amazing these are (and available in lots of different flavours).

Favourite photographs

I’m not the world’s best photographer by any stretch of the imagination and it’s just me and my trusty iphone with a point and click shot. However, I am very pleased when I manage to get a good shot of amazing food. These few are my favourites:

Watermelon tartare - Aizle

Watermelon tartare – Aizle

I adore this photo I took at Aizle. The food here is pretty good stuff and made my 35 club of highest scoring reviews. I think this photo picks up the beautiful colour on this plate.

Butternut squash veloute - Purslane

Butternut squash veloute – Purslane

Love this shot of the butternut squash veloute at Purslane. Simple yet elegant and seems to be catching the little light that comes in through the basement window.

Halibut - Mark Greenaway

Halibut – Mark Greenaway

I was a little slow to take this one and the veloute is escaping the jelly ring, but I still love this photo of my halibut dish at Mark Greenaway’s. It captures the skill of the chef in designing such pretty food.

The Coming Year

I still have around 80 restaurants in my list to try and there always seems to be something new opening up. There are already plans to go to The Kitchin for Christmas next year and we already have bookings for both fine dining and more easy on the bank balance dining experiences as we move into 2016. Thanks to those who have dined with me and will continue to do so over the next year. Finally, I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to read my blog over the last year and I hope at least some of you have found it useful.

May you all have a fantastic 2016.

Emma