Sprouting broccoli, beef rump and horseradish - Borough

Borough

21st November 2018 6.30pm

https://boroughrestaurant.com

A birthday meal arranged by friends, I was keen to see what Borough had to offer, having visited its previous incarnation, Norn. Situated in The Shore, Borough describes itself as ‘a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant’. Midweek was quiet but not empty, with several diners in. The food is offered in a series of plates. Diners are recommended around 3 per person to make up the equivalent of a starter and main. Between us we chose most of the menu! We picked venison tartare, watercress soup, beef rump, smoked mackerel, pheasant, cheddar dumplings, and sprouts.

Sprouts, lardo and bearnaise sauce - Borough

Sprouts, lardo and bearnaise sauce – Borough

Smoked apple, mackerel and soda bread - Borough

Smoked apple, mackerel and soda bread – Borough

I started on the sprouts, and almost everyone on the table ordered this too. Sitting on a bed of béarnaise sauce and covered in fine strips of lardo, this was an incredible dish (and the one we are still talking about several weeks later). If you are not a fan of sprouts, this might be the dish to change your mind. The watercress soups was a vivid green colour and my friend enjoyed it immensely. It came with potato and a confit egg, which made it feel more than your average soup. The smoked mackerel was interspersed with apple and soda bread and somehow managed to look like quite a delicate dish. The venison tartare came with pumpkin and pepper dulse. This dish was full of flavour.

Watercress Soup - Borough

Watercress Soup – Borough

Venison tartare, pumpkin and pepper dulse - Borough

Venison tartare, pumpkin and pepper dulse – Borough

Sprouting broccoli, beef rump and horseradish - Borough

Sprouting broccoli, beef rump and horseradish – Borough

Pheasant, Savoy Cabbage and Chestnut - Borough

Pheasant, Savoy Cabbage and Chestnut – Borough

Cheese dumplings, onion and mushroom broth - Borough

Cheese dumplings, onion and mushroom broth – Borough

My pheasant was a really generous sized portion. It came with perfectly cooked Savoy cabbage and a lovely risotto underneath. The meat was succulent which I was relieved to discover (as so often this can be dry). The beef rump had my friends drooling. This was accompanied by sprouting broccoli and horseradish. It was juicy meat and had nice texture. One friend felt it could have done with a bit more horseradish but that in itself did not not take away from the dish. The cheddar dumplings were also another triumph. The dumplings sat in an onion and mushroom broth. Both the onions and the mushrooms were delicious and the broth had a beautifully intense flavour.

Apple, oats and clotted cream ice cream - Borough

Apple, oats and clotted cream ice cream – Borough

Parsnip, hay ice cream and chocolate - Borough

Parsnip, hay ice cream and chocolate – Borough

Sea buckthorn, mandarin and yoghurt - Borough

Sea buckthorn, mandarin and yoghurt – Borough

Whilst getting full we all went for desserts. Two of us chose the apple, oats and clotted cream whilst one went for the parsnip, hay and chocolate and the other picked the sea buckthorn and mandarin. The apple dish was tasty and surprised me as the apple was warm. The clotted cream was actually a clotted cream ice cream, which was lovely but did disappoint by friend a little as she had been looking forward to cream. The parsnip, hay and chocolate dish was going down a treat. The hay was in the form of a hay ice cream. Parsnip crisps lay on top, as did a zig zag of chocolate sauce. My friend felt that the parsnip element was not necessary but did provide a different texture. The sea buckthorn went down well with the traditionally non-dessert eater. However, it did look a little underwhelming on arrival compared to the other dishes.

We really enjoyed our visit to Borough and some of these dishes will ensure that we come back time and again.

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

Overall – 35/40

Would I eat here again? Oh yes!

Cost – £150 for 16 plates and a bottle of wine

BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe - Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

16th May 2018 6pm

https://www.facebook.com/Thegreenhouseleith/

I had been chatting with Emma from Vegan Edinburgh a while ago about the opening of The Greenhouse. A couple of weeks later, she was invited along to try them out and offered me the chance to be her plus one. Yay! The Greenhouse markets itself as a vegetarian and vegan place but to our surprise, there were a few meat options on the menu. However, most things can be made vegan if they are not already. I decided to go vegan and try out the bbq ‘pulled pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe bun and upgraded to sweet potato fries, and Emma picked the fried ‘chicken’ seitan burger with added avocado. I think the reference to meat in the names of the vegetarian and vegan dishes isn’t required but concede that it may be a way of enticing meat eaters to give vegetarian or vegan food a go.

BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe - Greenhouse

BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ jackfruit sloppy joe – Greenhouse

We didn’t have to wait long for our food and were even offered vegan mayo (just as good as the non-vegan variety). Greenhouse certainly know how to present their food and my jackfruit had me drooling at the sight of it. It tasted just as good as it looked. The jackfruit was juicy and held the sumptuous barbecue flavour beautifully. The sweet potato fries were out of this world. This all came with an accompanying salad and pink slaw, which were fine but nothing memorable.

‘Chicken’ seitan burger - Greenhouse

‘Chicken’ seitan burger – Greenhouse

Across from me, my dining companion was tucking into her tower of a burger. The avocado was one of the optional add-ons and she felt that this may have been a step too far and ran the risk of making the burger too much to eat but she bravely soldiered on! Overall she enjoyed her food but found the seitan a little spongey. That didn’t detract too much from her overall enjoyment of the burger, although I think there was a little bit of plate envy on her part.

‘Chicken’ seitan burger - Greenhouse

‘Chicken’ seitan burger – Greenhouse

Desserts vary on the day but both options were vegan, so we decided to get one of each. I picked the chocolate and hazelnut mousse and Emma chose the coconut and lime pie. Mine was a little more inspiring looking than hers on arrival but both tasted delicious. My mousse was surprisingly light and had a lovely chocolate taste, with the hazelnut flavour being more subtle. There was a sliced strawberry on top which worked beautifully with it and I would have actually liked more of them.The coconut and lime pie was a perfect portion with a dollop of coconut cream on top. The lime turned it into a refreshing dessert rather than something that was too heavy.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse - Greenhouse

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse – Greenhouse

For those of you who want to try a meat free or plant based meal, you really should give Greenhouse a try. Actually, even if you are not, you may just be surprised at how tasty it can be.

Coconut and lime pie - Greenhouse

Coconut and lime pie – Greenhouse

You can read Vegan Edinburgh’s post here: http://veganedinburgh.com/the-greenhouse/

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

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Yes and would quite happily eat vegan

Cost – complimentary but around £32 for two mains, two desserts and a vegan glass of wine

Whilst this meal was complimentary, all views are my own

Quay Commons

Quay Commons

27th October 2017 6.15pm

https://www.quaycommons.co/

After having a booking at Black Pig and Oyster, which we found to be shut on arrival, we took the opportunity to try Quay Commons. This restaurant is from the same people as Gardener’s Cottage (although we’ve yet to visit there). Quay Commons acts not only as a restaurant but a bakery and bar, which results in the dining space feeling relatively informal.

The dining menu is relatively short. I went for whitebait followed by mussels and my dining companion went for starter sized mussels followed by beef short rib. We also ordered some soft drinks, although they had run out of Appletise, which was a bit disappointing considering they only had a short list of options. The server gave only one of us a spoon for the mussels (and then to me having it as a main rather than to my friend who was having mussels first as a starter). The starters were great. My whitebait was decent and plentiful. They came with a scurvy grass mayo, which worked well with the fish. My friend adored her mussels. She loved the white wine sauce, which wasn’t overly creamy. The toasted baguette on the side was a nice touch.

Braised Beef Short Rib - Quay Commons

Braised Beef Short Rib – Quay Commons

The chef brought out the mains (and had a look on his face as if the waitress had forgotten). Again, the mussels were good and was essentially a larger portion of the starter. However, the cost provided better value along the way at Café Tartine, which we had dined at a few weeks previously. The beef short rib on the other side of the table was massive. It was nice but she couldn’t finish it. It would certainly be too fatty for some people the potatoes and mushrooms were also good. We waited getting on for 20 mins for our plates to be cleared and then she only took one plate and proceeded to do other jobs around the restaurant before clearing the second when we got her attention to ask for the bill. What was weirder was that by that time, we were the only diners in the restaurant so shouldn’t have been receiving such service. All in all the service was pleasant enough but just a bit odd.

Our experience was a little bit underwhelming. Not bad, just not enough that I want to rush back.

Food – 7/10
Service – 5/10
Atmosphere – 6/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 25/40

Would I eat here again? Unlikely

Cost £46 for two starters, two mains and two soft drinks