27th November 2017 6pm


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.

Whistle Stop Barber Shop

4th November 2015 5.45pm


Cocktails - Whistle Stop Barber Shop

Cocktails – Whistle Stop Barber Shop

Whistle Stop Barber Shop is relatively new and resides in the former residence of Rascals, across the road from Old College on South Bridge. Another voucher deal brought us here, offering two burgers, pizzas or hot dogs plus a cocktail from a limited set of 4 for £14. The venue was welcoming, with muted tones and barber paraphernalia adorning the walls. Friendly staff gave us the menus. The cocktail offering from the deal was short (although we could see the main cocktail menu on the table so new we’d probably order more later). I opted for the Pina daiquiri, which was essentially rum, pineapple and lime and my friend went for a poire soiree, which was a great combination of vodka, lime, pear syrup and ginger beer. Both of these cocktails were scrumptious, even if mine was decorated with what appeared to be a pineapple moustache! Food wise, I ordered a whistle stop burger and my dining partner went for a pompadour burger. Whilst we waited, we were entertained with some great 90’s music, including Neneh Cherry, Mark Morrison and Another Level.

Burgers and desserts - Whistle Stop Barber Shop

Burgers and desserts – Whistle Stop Barber Shop

When the burgers arrived, I have to say I was a bit taken aback as mine was massive with two beef patties, which I hadn’t realised, so it was quite towering. I double checked the menu and it didn’t say that two burgers would be included in this. However, as you can imagine, I managed to soldier on! The accompanying chips were laid on plate. There were not masses of chips but it was just right for me. I did find it a bit weird to be served all this on a plate but still also on a piece of grease proof paper. In order to dig in I thought I would need to cut the burger in half to cope. However, this was impossible. It would have been better if the bun have been firmly toasted so it was more sturdy. So, I got hands on but it was a bit of a struggle. However, it was a tasty burger. The chips were fine. On the other side of the table, the chicken burger was decent but she felt it was a bit lacking. We think overall it was just missing some oomph.

Cocktails - Whistle Stop Barber Shop

Cocktails – Whistle Stop Barber Shop

As we decided that we were going to have another cocktail, we thought we’d try the desserts. They have some promos for cocktails at a bargain stealing £3.95. My friend went for the Fashion Killa from this menu, which was run, martini rosato, pink grapefruit, lemon and some strawberry syrup. I went for one from the main menu called a Coney Island Coaster, which is vodka, blood orange liqueur, raspberry, lemon and candy floss syrup. These were both fun drinks. As for desserts, I went for a banana split and my friend went for the New York cheesecake. The banana split was simple and filling but I felt a little underwhelmed. My friend’s cheesecake was served with chocolate sauce which didn’t seem to work. She thought it needed a sharp fruit sauce to cut through creaminess of cheesecake.

Overall Whistle Stop Barber Shop has a great cocktail range. The food isn’t spectacular but decent enough.

Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Value – 8/10 (9/10 with voucher)

Overall – 32/40

Cost with voucher £25. True cost £50

The Whistle Stop Barber Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

56 North

23rd October 2015 12.15pm


Bloody Mary - 56 North

Bloody Mary – 56 North

I nipped into 56 North for a quick bite to eat with a work colleague. 56 North is a regular stop off for work/lunch meetings. Obviously, being at work meant no booze but here is a picture of a Bloody Mary I had here in August. 56 North is a gin specialist and you’ll be able to find a gin to suit you with their choice running into the hundreds I believe. Their food offering has changed over the years. I do miss the flatbreads they used to do as you could kid yourself that you were eating something vaguely healthy and they were also good value for money. Now their main offering is burgers, with some other mains, starters and sharing platters available as well as breakfasts. We had a choice of most tables on arrival so we sat in one of the cosy booths. A quick lunch meant no starters. We both went for original burgers (which is actually a cheese burger) but I went for it with steak mince burger and my colleague went for a butterflied chicken breast burger. She asked for it with no added bits. The friendly staff were happy to accommodate her request.

Original burger - 56 North

Original burger – 56 North

We didn’t have to wait very long for food, which is essential over the lunch period. It looked fairly appetising. The brioche bun held together cheese, steak mince burger, spicy tomato chutney and gherkins. The gherkins were massive, essentially about a four inch pickle sliced in half lengthways. Whilst sweet in tone, after a few mouthfuls that was all I could taste so had to take the rest out of the burger. After that, the burger was quite tasty, even if a bit messy to eat, with the chutney meaning everything was sliding around (but hey, that’s part of the fun). The chips were flavoursome. The ketchup on the table was a bit too vinegary (and I don’t mind a vinegar heavy ketchup usually) which was a bit of a shame. The chicken burger on the other side of the table was enjoyed. She thought it hit the spot, although a bit of rogue lettuce sneaked in still.

This bar was surprisingly quiet for a Friday lunchtime but can often be packed to the rafters. The food was decent enough, but not mind blowing. I was quite thirsty all afternoon so I wonder how much flavour had been contributed through salt but nevertheless, the meal did the job.

Food – 7/10
Service – 8.5/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 7.5/10

Overall – 30/40

Cost £25 for two burgers and two soft drinks.

56 North Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


22nd July 2015 – 5.45pm




Part of the Fuller Thompson chain this pub is slightly different to the other ones in the group. Focusing more on slow cooked meats, this pub was on my list of places I wanted to try. In a warehouse-type setting the place feels airy but not cold. We took a table by a window and were greeted by a waitress who gave us menus. We poured over the menus and there was lots to choose from, from light bites to more substantial (and more expensive) steaks. The menu had changed that week, so it didn’t quite match the website but this wasn’t an issue. I opted for jalapeño smoking piglets followed by a half baby back of ribs. My dining companion went for the shrimp and lobster sliders to start, followed by the pulled pork bun. We also ordered a side of fries with cheese sauce to share. We also ordered a couple of cocktails. I went for a margarita. Upon arrival I would say it wasn’t typically traditional margarita and sadly there was no salt around the rim but the cocktail still tasted nice. My friend’s cocktail tasted of parma violets.

Jalapeno smoking piglets and shrimp and lobster sliders - OX184

Jalapeno smoking piglets and shrimp and lobster sliders – OX184

When the starters arrived they looked really intriguing. My jalapeños smoking piglets was served in a little cast-iron dish and looked very tempting. They were sausages of a cocktail size wrapped in bacon and drizzled in the sweet, smoky warm sauce with mustard seeds running through it. These were so incredibly moreish I could have had double the amount. I would definitely come back for these alone. On the other side of the table were two very cute, small sliders. Inside the sliders was a shrimp and lobster cocktail slathered in Marie Rose sauce. My friend found the sauce had quite a kick. This wasn’t a problem for her as she likes hot food but might be a bit too much for some people. The starters certainly made us excited for the mains. Whilst we waited for the mains a large group arrived, which this space leans to. A member of staff came over to apologise in advance for noise. Whilst this really wasn’t necessary (there weren’t even that loud) it was a nice touch.

Half baby back ribs and fries - OX184

Half baby back ribs and fries – OX184

When the mains came we were not disappointed. I had been toying with the idea of a full rack of ribs but my half rack was just the right size to leave space for dessert. I was a little disappointed that the sauce it was cooked in was not poured over the ribs upon serving. However, that being said it made them easier to eat your fingers. The flavour was excellent and the dry rub used on the ribs gave a nice depth of flavour. There are also plenty of meat on the ribs. On the other side of the table the pulled pork bun was a substantial size. There had been concerned that it may be too dry but upon eating this certainly wasn’t the case. There was a generous portion of meat and also some pickled cabbage to accompany it. It was served in a beautiful brioche roll. The fries we ordered the side were delicious and had some kind of seasoning on them which added an element that make them different. The cheese sauce that came with these fries was also very tasty although perhaps didn’t need to be in such large quantity as we didn’t finish it.

Pulled pork burger, chocolate brownie and strawberry meringue sundae - OX184

Pulled pork burger, chocolate brownie and strawberry meringue sundae – OX184

There was just enough room for dessert so I went for the chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and toffee fudge ice cream. My friend went for the strawberry meringue sundae. Upon arrival it was certainly the sundae that was striking. The toasted marshmallow on top was surprisingly large but delicious. My friend enjoyed every morsel of this dessert. My brownie was nothing extraordinary but was a good, robust dessert that did the job. I’m not sure I picked up the full toffee fudge flavour of the ice cream but this may have been because it was too delicate against the brownie. Nevertheless, the ice cream was creamy and was clearly of good quality.

Overall OX184 is a sturdy offering and is a pub trying to offer something a little different from the standard burger. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and the staff were really friendly.  With extended opening hours, we expect to visit here during the fringe to sample the brunch, as some of the options look amazing.

Food 8.5/10

Service 9/10

Atmosphere 8/10

Value 8.5/10

Overall 34/40

Cost £52 for two 3 course meals plus 2 cocktails

Click to add a blog post for OX184 on Zomato

Burger Meats Bun

9th July 2015 8.30pm


Specials menu - Burger Meats Bun

Specials menu – Burger Meats Bun

I visited Burger Meats Bun when it first opened and I have been meaning to go back since, particularly as it is a stone’s throw away from my flat. We had a voucher deal which gave us the perfect opportunity. Burger Meats Bun started out in Glasgow but ventured east to Edinburgh. It’s a burger place with a twist, having specials that delight and surprise. They serve their food as if you were in a fast food joint but that doesn’t mean it’s of the same standard. Their Twitter and Instagram feeds should be enough to convince you that they offer a lot more.

Burger - Burger Meats Bun

Burger – Burger Meats Bun

We were welcomed by friendly staff who were up for a bit of playful chat. The restaurant was very busy but we surprisingly didn’t have to wait to be seated and the food didn’t take as long to arrive as it might have done. The deal we had covered two burgers. The specials burgers would cost an extra £2 and all drinks and sides were extras. I went for a Big Cheese and my friend went for a Smokin’ Bacon. We decided to opt for a side of the special ‘Kim cheese chips’ to share, which were fries smothered in cheese and kimchi.

Kim-cheese chips - Burger Meats Bun

Kim-cheese chips – Burger Meats Bun

Burger Meats Bun offers very hands on dining. We were given a kitchen roll for napkins. The food arrived and the burgers were wrapped just like a chain burger place but the chips came in a tray. We weren’t given cutlery. I think this was an oversight as we saw other diners getting some but this food generally doesn’t need cutlery to eat, so we just got stuck in. The burger was tasty and was seasoned well. It had pickled cucumber in it and to be honest, I would have preferred an actual gherkin if you insist on putting these things in a burger but maybe that’s just personal preference. The brioche bun gave a really nice flavour but did end up a little soggy by the components of the burger, which is where the cutlery may have come in handy. The chips were actually incredibly good. I had tried the Thai sweet chilli cheese chips when I was last here and enjoyed them immensely but these were also of a very high calibre. The kimchi added a lovely layer of flavour and the sprinkled sesame seeds were a nice touch.

Burger Meats Bun offers good, solid food and their specials always seem to offer something a little different. This place is certainly worth investigating.

Food – 7/10

Service – 8/10

Atmosphere – 8/10

Value – 9/10

Overall – 32/40

Cost – Voucher deal £9 for two burgers. Extra – chips, 1 beer and 2 soft drinks came to an additional £10. Without the voucher the cost would have been around £28.


24th February 2015 5:45pm


The warmth of the Southern was a wonderful welcome after the windy, bitter winter outside. The Southern, located in Newington, forms part of the FullerThomson chain who also own Holyrood 9a and Red Squirrel. The pub is full of dark surfaces but is warmly lit and has a cosy feel. The place wasn’t very lively but we had arrived relatively early in the evening on a Tuesday.

We plonked ourselves down at a free table, which also happened to be by the rather nice fire. We were promptly greeted by a friendly member of staff who asked if we were in for food and dashed off to get us some menus. The Southern’s main offerings are burger based. However, there are other options such as hotdogs, salads and other light bites. There is also a breakfast section and a special section for children. To be honest though, you would be a fool not to pick one of their burgers. We were informed that the Southern was having a cocktail themed evening (they must have known I was coming). The options were a cocktail and nachos special or a flight of cocktails for £9. I obviously went for the flight, as did one of my other friends.

Cocktails - The Southern

Cocktails – The Southern

The cocktails were made whilst we perused the menus. When they arrived they looked fun. They were presented on a special board, with each of the three cocktails sat in a small milk bottle with ‘shake me’ or ‘stir me’ written on them. We had a straw for each bottle too. We were told that the cocktails were cherry cola, a lychee mojito and a bramble, which came with an additional liqueur shot to be poured into the bottle. My favourite was the cherry cola cocktail, which had great flavour and you could easily forget it had any alcohol in it. I found the lychee mojito a bit too bitter but I am sure that it would be suitable for many other palates. The bramble was a classic and they really couldn’t go wrong with this.

Burger - The Southern

Burger – The Southern

Their burgers come in a brioche bun as standard but you can change this at no extra cost to a sourdough bun if you prefer and you also get an option of seasoned or non-seasoned fries (or you can upgrade to sweet potato fries for £1). I went for the Southern burger with the brioche bun and non-seasoned fries. The Southern burger is a 6oz beef burger with red onion, rocket, Hereford Hop cheese, beer mustard mayo and caramelised onion mayo. Everyone else also went for burgers, so I will concentrate on just reviewing mine. The burgers all arrived on wooden boards so that must be a theme. There were skewers in all of the burgers with a massive bit of pickled cucumber on top. The cucumber seemed a bit weird as it wasn’t even a gherkin and was way too massive for decoration. I also hate cucumber, so that probably didn’t help. The fries came in a cup, which works well for me as I like to slather mine in vinegar. They were great fries, crispy and fluffy, just how I like them. Those who had opted for the seasoned fries were equally enthused. My burger oozed with the rather delicious mustard mayo. The salad was generally quite nice but the tomato had a bit of that fuzzy texture rather than being firm and fresh, but that can often be the case with large beef tomatoes. For those who love pickles, you will be disappointed to hear that there were none in the burger (can I hear a sigh of relief from some of my readers?!). The beef burger itself was firm, juicy and packed full of flavour. The whole thing was a slightly messy affair in the process of eating but it was worth it.

There was no room in any of our stomachs after the burger so we all skipped dessert. However, we did get drumstick lollies with the bill and that can only be a good thing. If you like a good burger, I can recommend the Southern as a satisfying fix.

Food: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Atmosphere: 6/10

Value: 9/10

Overall: 31/40

Cost £67 for 4 burgers, 2 cocktail flights, 1 gin and tonic and three soft drinks


3rd February 2015 – 6.00pm


We went to the Shandwick Place branch of Burger for a pre-gig filler (Kaiser Chiefs if you were interested and yes, they were brilliant). Burger is a typical burger style joint but of a higher class than the well known fast food high street burger chains. We were given a friendly welcome as we came through the door and were invited to choose a table. The place wasn’t overly busy but did have a few diners in. We were handed menus and advised that once we were ready we could go up to the till and order. The menu was not too long but varied enough to please an array of diners. On the burger front, beef, chicken and veggie are all covered. There is also the option to double up if you are feeling particularly hungry. If you don’t happen to want a burger (I am not one to question why you might choose to come to a place called ‘Burger’ and not actually want to eat a burger), there is also a selection of hotdogs and a number of sides to munch on. I opted for my standard cheese burger as this is my golden measure when trying out a new burger joint. My friend went for the chicken katsu burger. We both added a side of fries and a couple of drinks. I couldn’t see ketchup as an option on the list of dips so I plumped for the chipotle lime dip, although after ordering discovered the condiments such as Heinz ketchup and sarsons vinegar were available for no extra charge by the ordering point. Ordering was quick and pain free. I was given a round pager type device

Buzzer - Burger

Buzzer – Burger

and was informed that it would light up when our food was ready to collect. This was a nifty idea as it meant that less waiting staff were needed and I was able to sit at our table with the drinks we had ordered.

Once the disc lit up my friend went to collect the food. Served on metal trays and in fast food type wrapping, Burger have an ethos of having fully compostable packaging. Whilst it doesn’t make the food look amazing, that isn’t really the goal of this place. My burger came in a brioche bun and was adorned with a generous portion of cheese, a tomato and some rather large gherkins. The meat itself was juicy and held well. This burger was nice but didn’t convince me it was any better than burgers offered in similar establishments and pubs across the city.

Burger - Burger

Burger – Burger

Saying that, it beats McDonalds and is quite reasonably priced. The chicken katsu on the other side of the table was a bit disappointing as the coating on the chicken seemed to stick to the bread. Perhaps a bit of toasting of the bun would fix this. Moving onto the fries, their rustic appearance was a little worrying as this isn’t my preferred type of chip. However, they were full of flavour and we both gobbled them all up. The chipotle lime dip didn’t really add anything and may have worked better with something like nachos.

We had a little time to kill and enough room in our stomachs for some type of dessert. Burger offer a range of ice creams and shakes with a decent choice of toppings. I went for a vanilla shake with honeycomb and chocolate sauce. My friend went for vanilla ice cream with honeycomb and raspberries. Again we were given the pager but as we were chatting when it started flashing and because the place wasn’t too busy, a waiter brought them over to us. My shake had the sauce and honeycomb blended into it and it is probably the best shake I have ever had. Whether this was my excellent choice of additions or whether all their shakes are like this, I am not sure, but it was good enough to make me want to come back to try another one. So much so I wonder whether they should change their name to ‘Shake’. The ice cream was also enjoyed, although the raspberries were frozen, which wasn’t stated on the menu and were quite difficult to eat.

Food – 7/10 (boosted by the shake)

Service – 9/10

Atmosphere – 5/10 (a bit too like a cafeteria)

Value – 8/10

Overall – 29/40

Cost just over £27 for two burgers and fries, a dip, ice cream, shake, peroni and a can of diet coke.


30th January 2015 – 12.40pm


No photos with this review as I was with a couple of colleagues for lunch. Biblos is centrally located on the corner of South Bridge and Chambers Street. It has recently extended its bar area, which does not serve food. As a result, there is more space for diners in the original part of this venue. We had not booked but managed to secure a table. That said, it was busy but just not rammed to the rafters, which gave it a nice Friday lunchtime feeling. We were warmly greeted by staff but we did struggle a little in asking whether they served J2Os as the waitress did not understand what that was. There was a bit of a language barrier but the effort from the waitress made up for it. I ordered a burger (it would be rude not to on a Friday) and my colleagues ordered the spaghetti carbonara and the chicken panini.

Food was delivered in a timely manner, which is pretty important over lunch time. Sauces came in the form on sachets in a holder on the table and there seemed to be enough of everything (I like my ketchup!). The cheeseburger I had ordered also had chilli jam on it. I was intrigued to taste this. However, whilst it was pleasant, I don’t think it was a jam or anything near it. It seemed to be a homemade chilli sauce. The burger itself was weighty and had a good meaty taste. It didn’t appear to be filled up with too much other stuff. The burger came with chips and a side salad (to counteract the chips!). The salad was a bit limp but not the worst I have had. It consisted of lettuce, peppers, onions and cucumber (yuck to the last one). The chips were lovely though. All three of us had some and were definitely popular. I donated a couple – only a couple, mind – to the spaghetti carbonara diner. My colleagues enjoyed their dishes. I hadn’t decided whether I was reviewing this at the time of eating, so I didn’t gauge their opinions much further.

The food in this place is pretty standard but does the job when you want a quick bite to eat.

Food – 6/10

Service – 7/10

Atmosphere – 7/10

Value – 9/10

Overall – 29/40

Cost – £26 for 3, include three meals and 4 soft drinks. The bar had 25% off food, so the true cost would be nearer £32.