Blythe’s Verdict
With the sun blazing in the sky, we continued our theme of slightly Quixotic restaurant choices. No salad bars or light summer diners for us; where Indian had been the choice for the previous two scorching days, today we headed to Dunfermline to visit Grill 48, which as the name suggests is rather fond of serving well-sourced local meaty treats.

Our visit proved to be a veritable nexus of serendipity. Firstly, we’d be asked to come for a visit, as I have a link to the family that own the place, via a former work colleague. Secondly, it was a year ago today that the restaurant first opened its doors to paying customers. So, thirdly that meant that my former work colleague, who I hadn’t seen in far too long, was in the restaurant with his lovely family to celebrate the occasion. And fourthly, as part of the birthday celebrations, the folks from Edinburgh brewer Innis & Gunn were there demonstrating their wares. Given our fellow food geek Leila has just started working for them, I think you can see that our ability to deliver an impartial review of this place was rather compromised by circumstance. But we like a challenge, so here goes.

Owner Linn speaks very passionately about Grill 48, as you would expect. It’s clear that it represents an all-consuming passion for her, but she has the good sense and “distance” to recognise that the business she’s in is about listening to customers and responding to praise and criticism with an equal amount of level-headedness.

Haggis Balls

The top thing to praise about Grill 48 is the venue itself. It’s a conversion of old bank premises, but it has been so comprehensively overhauled that you would never guess. The exposed stone walls feature works from local artists (all for sale) and floors are links by smart metal spiral staircases. It has a similar feel to the late lamented E:S:I (now re-opened as a tapas bar, I believe), which is one of my favourite restaurant spaces in Edinburgh.

With the party being the main feature of today’s business, they’d swapped around their layout, so that the party was downstairs, with restaurant service in their upstairs section, which usually serves as their private party room.

Children's breaded chicken sandwich

Our party today consisted of the lovely Sarah and Paul, who’d previously quested with us at Illegal Jack’s, and their son Ross, who was cheery and delightful throughout.

We were seated at a nice table and brought lunch, a la carte, and drinks menus to consider. If the weather had been somewhat more typically Scottish, I think our choice would have been made a little easier, as the roast option would have been a primary consideration. Of course, I went for the roast (and soup to start), but the lack of some salad options on the menu made the choices of those looking for more summery dishes a little more testing.


I actually associate good steak places with really good salad options. It could just be me (for a good while all I ate in restaurants was fillet steak with green salad), or my conditioning to the way of Nusret, with its sweetly dressed feta and sweetcorn salad that starts every good meat feast in that fine Istanbulian establishment, but I definitely think the menu would be improved by the development of a signature house salad as a main course option.

birthday gift

Anyhoo, soup arrived promptly and it was as good as any leek and potato I’ve been served, with the exception of the delightful one served in the Purslane. It was hearty and packed with flavour, so a good solid starter offering. Sarah’s haggis balls were met with warm approval, also.

Main courses arrived, smartly presented on chopping boards. This worked for other folks’ dishes, but given my roast came as a few elements (potatoes and veg, roast chicken, and gravy) and even although the board did have what amounted to a “gravy moat” to avoid spillages, I’m still not sure it quite worked without a separate plate to “assemble” the elements on.


The dish itself was very good. Today’s roast was a simple roast chicken breast, which had good flavour but wasn’t particularly spectacular. The roast potatoes, on the other hand, most assuredly were, combining just the right balance of crisp outer coating with light fluffiness inside. Lightly cooked veg and good plentiful gravy made this a rather nice roast dinner.

A little ice cream was sampled by the sweet-tooths, with good espresso rounding things out for me. Well, that’s a slight lie. Birthday goody bags were given to all guests, so I ate the lollipop from mine, as dessert. That necessitated me having to try and explain to MJ who Kojak was, which made me feel even older and balder than usual.

So overall, Grill 48 is a very welcoming, stylish place, serving good quality dishes. Linn and the team seem to be approaching things with completely the right attitude, sourcing locally, showcasing quality produce, listening to their customers and responding to their needs. If they continue to improve upon what is currently a very smart place, they have a good prospect of developing a reputation that will draw in clientele from far and wide.

Grilled Chicken

MJ’s Verdict
When I was offered the chance to go to Dum-ferma-line (as I ignorantly pronounced it), I was very pleased to go to this ancient capital of Scotland. So one sunny warm morning Blythe and I hopped a train dressed in our summer best and went to visit friends there, had some drinks in their sun-drenched garden and wandered into the city to try out Grill 48.

Grilled Chicken

Grill 48 is housed in an lovely stone building, its stoic outside belying the interesting and well-designed multi-leveled restaurant inside. When we arrived, we were greeted by the lovely owner, who was gearing up to celebrate Grill 48’s 1st birthday with cocktails and children’s entertainment.

Upstairs we had a look at their menus and decided I decided to forgo the starter and have the grilled chicken and switch out my chips for veggies. After a decent amount of time, the starters arrived and the haggis balls rolled in oats in a whisky cream sauce looked nice, as did Blythe’s soup.

Club Sandwich

After discussing the perfect terminology and range of uses of ‘good’, ‘fine’, and ‘nearly there / so close’, our mains arrived, served on large wooden cutting boards. My grilled chicken was the same bit of chicken that Blythe got with his Sunday roast.

My grilled chicken was tasty, and the veggies that it was served with were well cooked and were just how I liked them. If I were being picky, I’d say that the whole thing needed some sauce, but I personally grew up on non-sauced dishes and this is right up my alley.

To be honest, I was a bit worried about the logistics of Blythe’s gravy with the flat board and its tiny trenches, but this seemed not to be a real worry.

Mint and chocolate

After lunch, we headed back downstairs and joined in the festivities, tasting several of the cocktails and the Innes and Gunn beer they were just beginning to serve.

Overall, this is a stylish a lovely place, where the art is for sale, the layout interesting and the food solid, contemporary pub grub.  If you find yourself in Dum-ferma-line, head on over for a treat.

Blythe scores Grill 48
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20

MJ scores Grill 48
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20

Today’s questers were: Miriam, Sarah, Paul, Ross, Blythe

We ate: haggis balls, leek and potato soup, club sandwich, chicken burger, macaroni cheese, roast chicken breast, Sunday roast dinner, ice cream

We drank: sparkly water, lager, Best, espresso, juice

We wore: smart sandles, green hat, shorts, shades, traditional Dunfermline linen

Total bill: c.£85

Grill 48 on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR