Flight days always get my system confused, and the activities over the course of my weekend didn’t do anything to aid that confusion. Rather too much sparkling wine (if such a thing is possible) was taken, leaving my eating pattern a little discombobulated.
OK, OK – for those who don’t get what that means: I tend to eat quite a lot at airports. It’s the closest thing I get to a guilty pleasure (I don’t otherwise suffer from food guilt). The opening paragraph was my subtle attempt at a rationalisation for this.
Anyhoo, I thought I’d give Thermidors Seafood Bar at Edinburgh airport a little try, before I boarded my flight to Heathrow.
Like most airport eateries, it’s a little over-priced, but they have a nice selection of seafood to choose from. It is frantically prepared by one girl, working at something approaching light speed, while diners sit at a smartly appointed bar.
She deserves a paragraph to herself, especially because of the score I’m going to give for service, at the end. The 3.5/5 is based on this: her service is exceptional; like nothing I’ve seen in a place for a good long while. But why oh why is she left on her own to handle the entire service? She can do it; just. But another pair of hands would really aid things. So 3.5/5 is made up of 5/5 for her, but 2/5 for whoever’s making the staffing decisions, averaged to 3.5.
Whew. So what about the food? Each day, aside from their extensive selection of cold dishes (platters featuring smoked salmon are their staple), they have lobster thermidor (given their name, they would have to) and a hot dish of the day. Today, it was a creamy seafood pie topped with mash, served with sugar snap peas. It sounded like a winner to me, so I went with that.
They share a kitchen (and who knows, perhaps a chef) with one of the other nearby places, so it was from that direction that the dish emerged. Upon inspection, it looked rather good. What’s more, it tasted rather good, too.
Seafood pie is often a bit of a gamble. I’ve had some really poor ones in the past, with a couple of pub grub incarnations proving almost entirely absent of actual seafood. But this was one of the better ones that I’ve tried. It had a profusion of lovely little sweet prawns, a nice amount of chunky salmon, and some flakes of white fish (maybe pollock) to round things out. The sauce was creamy, with lovely notes of wine goodness, and the mash topping was really good, too. The peas were simply treated and all the better for it.
So overall, Thermidors Seafood Bar seems like a good option if you’re passing an hour or two waiting for a flight. Their aim in life is, of course, to get you drinking overpriced wine from their impressive array. I didn’t get drawn in to that perilous game (my neighbour at the bar most assuredly did), but I was charmed by the food. If the owners would spring to another staff member, perhaps the amazing skills of the light-speed multi-tasking counter girl could proceed at something less than the break-neck rate she had to work at, on my visit.
Blythe scores the Seafood Bar
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: seafood pie, served with sugar snap peas
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: black travel suit
Total bill: £13