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

Caley Sample Room

Caley Sample Room

21st May 2017 12.30pm

http://thecaleysampleroom.co.uk/

My friend insisted that we find somewhere new to go for a Sunday roast. The Caley Sample Room is situated in Dalry so whilst not in the city centre, it is really easy to get to and prides itself on being a family friendly venue. The roasts are served from 12noon on a Sunday until it runs out. It’s probably wise to get in early as although it was quiet on our arrival, the place was pretty busy by the time we left. There were two roasts on offer – lamb and beef. I went for the lamb whilst my other friends went for the beef.

When the roasts arrived, they were not piled high as you sometimes see, but did have plenty of meat on them. Both roasts came with seasonal vegetables (in this case runner beans, broccoli, courgette and cabbage), roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding and a lovely gravy. The lamb dish came with a pot of mint sauce and the beef dish came with a pot of horseradish sauce. The lamb was very succulent, even though there was no pink colour to it. The gravy had a beautiful depth of flavour. It was poured into the Yorkshire pudding though, to the horror of my friend who prefers a crispy batter (it was fine by me though, I like a bit of sogginess). My potatoes had clearly caught a bit on the pan, which wasn’t great but didn’t impact too much on the taste. The veg was ok but nothing spectacular. I personally like carrots as well as green veg with my roast dinner but I have to say I didn’t miss them too much. The other two were enjoying their beef, both saying that their meals were really good.

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart - Caley Sample Room

Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart – Caley Sample Room

We decided we’d try to fit in a dessert, although if you felt this was too much, a boozy coffee or hot chocolate is a good alternative on offer. I chose the dark chocolate and salted caramel tart and my friends chose the espresso crème brulee and the knickerbocker glory. My tart was actually a slice but was about the right size considering the richness of the chocolate. The tart was accompanied by a fruit compote and a scoop of ice cream. These two additions helped balance out the intensity of the tart. The base was delicious too. All in all a solid dessert. The knickerbocker glory was massive. Full of ice cream and fruit compote and topped with flakes (she had asked for it without any cream). She was surprised to find that part way down there were also marshmallows, which she wasn’t expecting. She particularly enjoyed the ice cream in this and almost managed to finish the lot. The last dish – the brulee – did have a bit of a crack on entry but I noticed that the custard was a bit runny, possibly connected to the coffee content. My friend didn’t seem bothered by this and said it still tasted good. This dessert had three small amaretti biscuits served with it too.

Generally, we enjoyed our visit to Caley Sample Room. The menu had lots of interesting options on it so it might be worth a return visit.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10 (one of my friends particularly like the Beatles playlist)
Value – 8/10

Overall – 30.5/40

Would I eat here again? Probably

Cost £75 for three roasts, three desserts, a bottle of white wine and a diet coke

The Mad Hatter

26th April 2016 6pm

http://www.facebook.com/themadhatteredinburgh

I really didn’t know much about this place apart from that it was in the West End, I liked it’s name and that I’d seen a voucher deal so decided to give the place a go. The voucher was £20 for two starters, mains and two glasses of prosecco.

Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter

We had a table reserved in a snug corner with a sofa and a high backed arm chair. The Mad Hatter is a relatively small place but does have a cosy feel. The menu was extensive and offered a good range, although lacking somewhat in the dessert department with only one on offer (but it was sticky toffee pudding). I opted for Camembert to start followed by a steak sandwich for my main. My dining companion went for the duck spring rolls for starter and the same steak sandwich for main.

Baby Camembert - Mad Hatter

Baby Camembert – Mad Hatter

The starters arrived and we tucked in. I wasn’t expecting the Camembert to be breaded but this was fine and was still very delicious. The accompanying chutney was a perfect match. The rocket had a nice drizzle of balsamic over it. The portion size was generous, particularly for a starter, but at the same time was not over-facing. On the other side of the table the spring rolls were crispy which was a good sign but were deemed satisfactory rather than anything special, although she said the cucumber and dressing were tasty.

Duck spring rolls - Mad Hatter

Duck spring rolls – Mad Hatter

We had the same opinion of the main (we were eating the same thing). The steak sandwich and accompaniments were very ample. The ciabatta roll was skewered with a knife and the handle was covered in a stack of onion rings. Inside the ciabatta was plenty of steak, well seasoned and full of flavour, juicy mushrooms, beautifully cooked onions and oozy cheese over the top. The chips were chunky and had a nice crispy outer. However, it was a bit too much for either of us to finish after having a starter.

Steak Sandwich - Mad Hatter

Steak Sandwich – Mad Hatter

This was a pleasant meal and certainly filled up our bellies.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 31.5/40 

Would I eat here again? Probably

Cost £20 with voucher but true cost closer to £45.

The Mad Hatter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Scran and Scallie

28th February 2016 12.30pm

http://scranandscallie.com/

I visited here not long after it opened, way before the inception of this blog. I had a great time then so we decided to book Scran and Scallie is the brainchild of Tom Kitchin and offers relaxed gastro pub style dining, with mismatched furniture and neutral colourings.

Scran and Scallie

Scran and Scallie

After perusing the menus, I opted for both my starter and main from the specials menu; wood pigeon on toast with hazelnut salad followed by a Sunday roast of beef with veg and a Yorkshire pudding. My dining companions went for goats cheese and beetroot salad and salmon ravioli for their starters and they both went for the fish pie for their main.

The starters all came out looking lovely, but I have to say the ravioli looked the most stunning, sitting in a vivid green watercress sauce. My wood pigeon was plentiful. I had been forewarned that it would be pink, which was perfectly fine by me. It wasn’t quite as soft as I’d hoped but was still very tasty. Surprisingly though, it was the hazelnut salad that was the star of this plate of food. It was fresh, vibrant and dressed perfectly. My friends both enjoyed their starters. We expected the ravioli to be one big one but was a number of smaller ones and was very delicious. The goats cheese and beetroot salad was also good, with the cheese not being too overpowering.

Onto the mains, my roast was very generous in size. The meat was cut thickly and there were at least three massive slices of the topside. The accompanying vegetables consisted of carrots, kale and potatoes which were all seasoned to perfection. The Yorkshire pudding was light and fluffy. I’ve never tasted a Yorkshire pudding so light. The gravy pulled everything together and a side pot of horseradish was nice to add just as much as you wanted to avoid over powering your mouth. The fish pie was enjoyed again by my fellow diners. It was full of fish rather than it being mainly sauce. The mash was good and the addition of an egg gave it a bit of variety.

After all that food we were too stuffed for dessert, even though I was hugely tempted by the apple crumble with crème anglaise. We’ll have to come back for that.

This was a really enjoyable meal. The portion sizes are generous and the quality of food is just was you’d expect – amazing.

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

Overall – 34/40

Would I go here again? Yes!

Cost £89 for three starters and mains and a bottle of wine.

The Scran & Scallie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Andrew Usher and Co

5th November 2015 1pm

http://andrewushers.co.uk/

Andrew Usher and Co

Andrew Usher and Co

I visited with a friend for lunch here on his recommendation. Well he had suggested Whistlestop as he’d not been but as I’d eaten there the evening before, we went here. This venue has been many guises over the few years. However, they brew on site here for those of you that like that sort of thing. You can also see some of it going on behind some glass in the dining area. I thought this place had a nice pub feel. This pub offers a regular selection of burgers, dugs, pub classics such as fish and chips and mac n cheese. There are also some specials available at a very reasonable price. I deliberated but went for a classic American dug whereas my friend went for a special of meatloaf and then a side of mac n cheese, claiming we might share it (I knew he would eat it all).

Andrew Usher and Co

Andrew Usher and Co

We had a little wait for the food, probably longer than I would have expected considering what we ordered and that there were a only a couple of other diners in there. Anyway, it wasn’t an inordinate wait, particularly as we were having a good catch up. The food arrived and we got stuck in. My hot dog was massive and had a generous portion of onions. The mustard was nowhere to be seen but I had some ketchup to make up for it. The bread was really good for this kind of food. Shame it was quite crumbly and actually collapsed on me, so I had to finish it with a knife and fork but it was worth it for bread that had some oomph to it. The string fries that came with it were cooked well and plentiful. On the other side of the table, the meatloaf had been ordered to satisfy some curiosities. Firstly, to see how generous the portion was for a special. Secondly, to find out what meatloaf was actually like. The portion was a very reasonable size, so they are not skimping on the specials menu, should you wish to order from it. His conclusion was that meatloaf was decent. He also devoured the Mac and cheese, which came with a large hunk of bread. Although I was offered some, I wasn’t going to stand in his way and polished off almost all of it.

Overall, Ushers does the job. The food is not going to blow your socks off but you’ll leave feeling full and satisfied.

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

Overall – 29.5/40

Cost £22 for hotdog with fries, meatloaf, mac n cheese and 2 diet cokes

Andrew Usher & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato