Having gently lubricated our moving parts with a couple of cocktails in the Bon Vivant, then found The Raconteur closed due to plumbing issues, our attentions turned to sustenance, so we gently plodded to Hector’s, in the heart of Stockbridge.
I was joined, on this occasion, by Iain and Aileen, who had previously quested at Locanda de Gusti.
I’ve visited Hector’s on a number of times, down the years, but I’ve never had occasion to sample their food. We were welcomed in to their usual busy hubbub, and managed to grab a free table. We ordered drinks, once our friendly waitress had very impressively run through the list of their dozen or so different lager options, most impressively, then started our food decision-making process, from an two different menus. A full a la carte offered a broad range of options, while a smaller set menu offered two courses for £8.50.
Iain and I both opted for the latter, which sounded like excellent value. Iain went for a mushroom starter then hake fingers, while I opted for a steak pie to follow my inevitable soup. Aileen stuck with the main menu, opting for the veggie burger, which she asked to come along with our starters, so she could savour it slowly while we wolfed our two courses.
Dishes quickly arrived. My soup, which was broccoli and stilton, was good but a little thin. The lack of body was replicated in a lack of real depth of flavour, too, but I was reasonably pleased by its subtle charms.
Iain was less impressed by the mushrooms, which were a little greasy.
Aileen some issues with the bread to filling ratio of the burger, but happily chomped through it with a good level of satisfaction.
Iain was much happier with his main. The accompanying chips were of the thin-cut fries variety, the minted peas had a slightly odd, smashed texture, but the hake fingers were very warmly received.
My pie looked very bonnie and generous in portion size. The mash, laced with lovely kale was really good, but the pie wasn’t quite as good as it looked. The filling had more mushrooms in it than chunks of good meat, and the gravy was a little thin. I got creative and thickened it with some of my mash (I do so love playing with my food), so ended up with something a little more to my tastes.
Overall, I found Hector’s good but not great. Their £8.50 deal is a snip, particularly given that it’s served throughout the evening, but the quality of the dishes could be a little better. I’ve previously used it predominantly as a watering hole, so think I’ll probably rely upon it for that again, in the future.
Blythe scores Hector’s:
3/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 13.5/20
Today’s questers were: Aileen, Iain, Blythe
We ate: broccoli and stilton soup, mushrooms, veggie burger, hake fish fingers, steak pie
We drank: lager, IPA, zinfandel, merlot
We wore: red, black and grey striped www.tieclub.co.uk tie; blue sweater; excellent boots
Total bill: c.£50
47-49 Deanhaugh Street
Edinburgh, EH4 1LR
0131 343 1735