Tutto Matto

NOW CLOSED

4th December 2015 6.30pm

http://tuttomatto.co.uk/

Tutto Matto is new on the block. They seem enthusiastic over social media, which was part of the reason I hurried myself there. Three of us were having our Xmas get together and we decided on trying this place out. One of my friends commented ‘it’s bigger on the inside’. The tardis-like qualities of this place never make it feel too big but at the same time you don’t feel like you are sat on each other. There were also lots of places to hang coats near your tables, which is a much preferred option in Edinburgh, particularly on this dreich evening. The staff were friendly without trying too hard but they were clearly keen to please.

Frozen Strawberry Margarita - Tutto Matto

Frozen Strawberry Margarita – Tutto Matto

Tutto Matto offer a massive amount of choice, from traditional to modern and not only offers pizza but burgers and pasta too. My friend, a self-declared selective eater, said that she could eat almost all of what was offered on the menu. Already resounding approval. Starters were available and offered variety. The whole menu is great value, with most things comfortably under £10. We decided to get some drinks. Two of us went for the very reasonably priced frozen strawberry margarita, the other a glass of wine. In the end, we went for two starters to share; voodoo chicken and chilli jam and goats cheese bruschetta. Then it was pizzas for all three of us. I went for a classic Hawaii, one went for Marrakech and the other Texan. Many of the pizzas are based on a round the world theme, including Edinburgh and Glasgow ones.

We were not kept too long for food. The voodoo chicken surprisingly juicy and had plenty of kick, although they were not much to look at. None of this ‘very spicy’ only to not even induce a tingle in the mouth experience here. The accompanying mayonnaise helped ease off the kick. The bruschetta solid offering and the chilli jam worked well with cheese but some may find it overly sweet (not me though!).

Hawaii Pizza - Tutto Matto

Hawaii Pizza – Tutto Matto

Now onto the star of the show – pizza. I was relieved to see that it was not too thick and there was plenty of topping, creating a really good base to topping ratio. They were great looking pizzas served on boards. Mine was delicious. Whilst I would actually prefer sliced ham, the chunks didn’t destroy the pizza for me. The pineapple was not too big but frequent, meaning that slices don’t collapse under the weight. The spring onion was a nice addition. The other two also enjoyed their pizzas and I was envious of both. This is just going to be an excuse for a return visit. One friend, who is notorious for not finishing her food, kindly had her leftovers placed in a take away box for her to enjoy later. No-one could think of a bad word to say about the food or the experience. We ordered more drinks and whilst we were warned on booking that we’d need to give the table back after two hours we never felt rushed.

Tutto Matto offers great value, good food and great music (a mixture of many classics that you can’t help but sing along to – quietly of course). This place will do well with students, considering its location but it is somewhere that everyone can enjoy. We even got given a couple of cards at the end offering a deal where buying one pizza and two drinks will give you a second pizza free. Good times! Go visit.

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Value – 10/10

Overall – 36.5/40

Cost £62 for 2 starters, 3 pizzas, 4 frozen margaritas and 2 glasses of wine

Tutto Matto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Amarone

16th October 2015 6.30pm

www.amaronerestaurant.co.uk/edinburgh_amarone

Amarone

Amarone

Amarone, situated on the corner of George Street and St Andrew Square, was taking part in the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival where participating restaurants offered lunch for £15 or dinner for £25. I went with fellow foodies Emma from The Edinbug and Ann from A Quirky Lifestyle. Upon arrival it was clear to see that this place was popular. Whilst it is a rather large dining space, it was still packed to the rafters early on a Friday evening. The staff at the front of house knew we needed the festival menu without asking, which was good to see. We got some drinks ordered. Both Ann and I decided to try some of the cocktails on offer. I went for a raspberry daiquiri and Ann a passionfruit mojito. They were nicely done and very pleasant to drink.

There was a reasonable choice on festival menu. I went for chicken liver parfait with apple and thyme chutney and accompanied by crostini, followed by pizza salame piccante. Ann went for the same starter and halibut with spinach, mushrooms and pine nuts for her main. Emma went for salada caprese followed by chicken with a basic cream, pancetta and mushroom sauce with sautéed potatoes.

Chicken liver parfait and insalada caprese - Amarone

Chicken liver parfait and insalada caprese – Amarone

The starters came out at lightning speed but when thinking about it, much of these can be pre-prepared so I wasn’t overly concerned. The parfait was a very generous portion. It was smooth and had a good balance of flavour. It was also great to see lots of crostini for it, which it a pleasant surprise as I find with parfait I either had to leave some as there is too much for the bread provided or I eat it on its own. However, because of the size, it did mean it was a bit filling for a starter (not that it stopped me). The chutney was superb and worked really well. It perked up the parfait so it was more interesting. The wafting smell of the caprese was tempting from the other side of the table. That was also fully enjoyed.

Pizza, halibut and chicken - Amarone

Pizza, halibut and chicken – Amarone

The mains came out at a more usual speed. My pizza was a largish size and was smothered in rocket. The cheese was great and the salami was almost juicy with taste. Unfortunately the crust was too dry and hard to cut, which also spread to a bit of the pizza base but to be fair that’s often the case with pizza, particularly when fired in an oven (which can be seen in the dining area of the restaurant). Ann’s halibut was again a generous size, so much so that she struggled to eat it. However, she liked what she did eat. Emma’s chicken looked tasty and devoured as she had gone for a sensible lighter option for her starter.

Semi freddo and cheesecake - Amarone

Semi freddo and cheesecake – Amarone

Finally we had dessert. The waitress didn’t need reminding that we were on the festival menu and brought us the correct option. Ann and I both went for the iced chocolate and praline semi freddo. Emma went for the honey and ginger cheesecake. Both desserts were beautifully if simply presented. Whilst I enjoyed the semifreddo, the flavouring meant that the texture was grainy rather than fully smooth, which didn’t really work for me. That didn’t take away from the flavour itself though, which was good. There was a cute tuille balanced on top. Emma’s cheesecake looked beautiful and I was a little jealous of it.

The venue was nicely decorated but as it was large it did mean it was quite noisy when full and made it a little difficult to talk but at the same time it gave what could have been a cavernous venue some atmosphere. Overall, Amarone offered a pleasant dinner.

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

Overall – 30/40

Cost £95 for 3 x 3 course meals. 2 cocktails and 1 glass of wine

NOTE – Photos of the dinner were taken by Emma on a professional camera so you may be able to see better shots on her blog.

Amarone Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Soderberg

11th June 2015 – 6.15pm

www.soderberg.uk

Apple juice - Soderberg

Apple juice – Soderberg

I had an evening work event to attend but as I had a little bit of time and not wanting to miss out on the warm weather, I looked for somewhere to sit out for a bite to eat. I had been meaning to try Soderberg since it opened earlier this year. A venture that forms part of Peter’s Yard, Soderberg creates its own sourdough and uses it to make some delicious food. Their speciality for the evening service is pizza (which can be bought by the slice at lunch). Upon arrival I was greeted by a friendly waiter who looked a bit like a young Leonardo Di Caprio. He said I could sit myself outside and he would bring me a menu. The outside seating is very relaxed and is in a nice little square hidden within the Quartermile complex. Whilst perusing the relatively short but still varied menu, I ordered an apple juice, which was solely pressed apples. It was absolutely delicious and perfectly refreshing. I was informed that one of the pizzas was not available that evening but an alternative of an asparagus and hollandaise pizza was available instead. I was tempted by how fresh that sounded so plumped for that, even though traditionally I would normally go for a tomato based pizza. If I had not been able to decide, there was also an option to have a set of mini pizzas with a variety of toppings, which might be fun for a couple to share.

Asparagus and hollondaise pizza - Soderberg

Asparagus and hollondaise pizza – Soderberg

I didn’t have to wait too long for the pizza and when it arrived I couldn’t wait to tuck in. Firstly, let’s talk about the base, which is where Soderberg’s speciality resides. I had never had a sourdough pizza before but I am sold. The base was thin, light and crispy and not doughy in the slightest. It worked very well as a base. The asparagus was full of flavour and was complimented by the zingy hollandaise, which was lightly drizzled onto the pizza rather than used as a base sauce. There were also melted pieces of mozzarella scattered across the pizza so the cheese element was not lost. Also, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the pizza was of a generous size. I only just managed to finish it and felt satisfyingly full afterwards.

This place was welcoming, the staff were friendly and helpful and didn’t make me feel uncomfortable that I was dining alone. I will be coming back again so I can work my way through the menu.

Food – 9/10

Service – 9/10

Atmosphere – 8/10

Value – 8/10

Overall – 34/40

Cost – £16 for a pizza and an apple juice

Enzo

NOW CLOSED

27th January 2015 – 6.00pm

www.enzo-edinburgh.co.uk

This restaurant is hidden away in the Quartermile development with a few other restaurants, which must make it difficult for passing trade on a winter’s evening. We arrived a little before our booked time of 6pm, which is when the restaurant opens. However, we were welcomed into the bar area and we sat ourselves down for a couple of cocktails whilst we waited for the upstairs restaurant section to be ready. We were made to feel that arriving early was not an issue and was even part of the plan. The gentleman who served us had a pleasant demeanour and was chatty without being too intrusive.

Drinks (left) and the restaurant (right)

Drinks (left) and the restaurant (right)

I had a bloody mary topped with mozzarella and prosciutto, which arrived in what appeared to be a fish bowl, whilst my friend had a more standard sized mojito. Whilst we were sipping our cocktails, we perused the bar menu. The bar offered a selection of fancy bar snacks as well as pizzas. This seemed a good way to get customers to have a bite to eat as they drink without having to move to a more formal setting. Looking at our surroundings, it was full of dark wood but modern and quite chic.

We were informed that the table upstairs was ready for us whenever we were ready. We decided to go straight up and take our drinks up and the waiter kindly brought them up for us. The upstairs dining area continued the stylish, contemporary theme with suede walls and crisp lines. One side of the restaurant was floor-to-ceiling windows, which gave a nice view, albeit mainly of the square below. I imagine in the warmer months this would be a great view for people watching. Surprisingly, the soundtrack to the evening was a string of 80’s classic hits. Not the first choice I thought this restaurant would have gone for but I actually loved it and couldn’t help but sing along frequently (quietly of course). We were the first ones in the restaurant that evening, although a few other diners came up later. However, we were not made to feel self-conscious and were not pestered by the waiters.

After perusing the menu, we decided that we could pretty much eat everything on it. I settled on arancini to start followed by tortiglioni chorizo e bufala gratin. My dining partner opted for the crochette di merluzzo saltalo followed by carnaroli risotto al nero for her main. It wasn’t long until the starters arrived and I have to admit, the arancini were a little larger than I anticipated (similar to Madonna’s iconic pointed cone bra – see the photo below for evidence).

Arancini - Enzo

Arancini – Enzo

That said, they were delicious and filled with incredibly gooey cheese. There was a nice tomato sauce which accompanied it. However, I really struggled to get through them and was a little worried about how I was going to attempt my main. Half the amount would have been sufficient for a starter. On the other side of the table, my friend seemed a little disappointed with her salted cod. They were on the same style glass plate that my arancini had arrived on and it did nothing to enhance the presentation of the dish. She said they tasted fine though and the pesto sauce that accompanied them was tasty.

The pasta main had a lovely flavour to it. The dish also wasn’t overflowing with pasta, so I was somewhat relieved after the filling drink and starter. Also, the pasta-to-sauce ratio was excellent.

Pasta (top) and Risotto (bottom)

Pasta (top) and Risotto (bottom)

There was a nice scattering of mozzarella across the pasta and the chorizo was crumbled through the sauce, which was a refreshing change from having it sliced. The only complaint I had was that the chilli oil did become a little overpowering after a while. The squid risotto certainly had a visual impact on arrival. However, there wasn’t a great deal of squid actually in the dish, which meant the dish felt out of proportion. Again, my dining partner felt a little disappointed.

I couldn’t manage a dessert. I hadn’t been able to completely finish the main. However, my friend opted for a limoncello cheesecake. When it arrived, it was adorned with chocolate shards and sour cherries.

Cheesecake - Enzo

Cheesecake – Enzo

As she tucked in, she was a bit flummoxed as to where the limoncello actually was but a little further in she got a hit of it. The flavour didn’t seem to be consistent throughout. She seemed to prefer the cherries to the cheesecake.

This restaurant is nice but it is not quite there yet. It’s only been going six months and I think has still to fully find its feet. The enthusiasm and manner of the staff was a credit to this establishment and it does deserve to do well. Maybe next time I might just head to the bar and eat there and see if the experience is any different.

Food – 6/10

Service – 9/10

Atmosphere – 8/10 (mainly for the 80’s music)

Value – 7/10 (the cost is quite reasonable but the standard of the food needs to be higher to be better value)

Overall – 30/40

Cost – £37 for two, including two cocktails and a glass of wine. This did include a 50% discount on the food due to a January dining offer, so the true cost would be nearer to £50.