A day off with no plans prior to pub time! What to do, what to do? The excellent Emily and Georgia, of Total Food Geeks fame, soon offered a solution to my quandry, offering the prospect of lunch merriment to punctuate 15 mile “training” walk.
They suggested E:S:I (Englishman: Scotsman: Irishman), a place I’d spotted recently, but never ventured inside. I was delighted to go with this, as it looked intriguing.
I ventured forth on my coastal route, encompassing Cramond, Silverknowes, Granton and Newhaven, bringing me round to sunny Leith.
Even at a distance of 11 miles, I managed to maintain my new found meticulous promptness. I was warmly greeted and shown to a nice table on the upper level of the stylish triple-decker layout. The table came with good light from the large windows, and an excellent view of chef carefully preparing the starter, in the open kitchen.
We agreed that all options sounded good, but soon settled upon our choices. Georgia started with the salmon, on recommendation, and followed with the traditional turkey ‘n’ trimmings. This sounded way too good to Emily’s ears, so she made it two for salmon and turkey. I opted for the intriguing Thai turkey soup, followed by gnocchi.
As the merry banter flowed, our dishes arrived. G and E’s salmon looked excellent. It was served with a vibrant chutney, packed with fruity goodness, and oatcakes.
But what it lacked in looks, it more than made up for in flavour. It was a beautifully subtle dish, full of lovely aromatics. I thought it one of the more imaginative attempts at a “festive” dish that didn’t abandon the principles of what the restaurant is all about, the rest of the year.
It’s a little too early in December for the turkey and trimming treatment, for me, but I must admit when G and E’s dish arrived, it did look good.
My gnocchi was extremely good. My good friend Mina, from LQ: Istanbul, is quite the connoisseur of gnocchi, and I have learnt a little from studying at her side. Of similar dishes that we’ve sampled across Edinburgh (and there have been quite a few, over the years) the only place that’s served better gnocchi is The Bonham, which given our general adoration of that place, is high praise indeed.
The dreaded “lunch hour” meant that G and E had to fly back to the office, but I lingered and considered things a little further over a good cup of coffee, before hitting the trail homeward.
Overall, I was extremely impressed. The new festive menu was really nice, and will no doubt get better as the month goes on. The setting is cool, with the feel of a sharp, modern art gallery about it, a feel which is enhanced by the stylish art work, on the walls. I took the opportunity to look over their evening menu, so I’ll definitely be back to sample their Steak Night, held every Thursday. I look forward to that visit, early in the new year, muchly.
Blythe scores E:S:I
4/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15/20
Today lunch questers were: Emily, Georgia, Blythe
We ate: salmon, soup, turkey, gnocchi
We drank: ale, lager, cranberry juice, sparkly water, coffee
We wore: Emilian spectacles; Georgian blonde tresses, Blythian rosy cheeks
Total bill: c.£58