Having completed the formalities of check-in, at Edinburgh Airport, and finding myself hungry, I pondered the options of where to grab something quick and filling. I ate at Thermidors Seafood Bar, last time, so this time I thought I’d try Eat, not least because it’s an MJ favourite, but also Danielle from Edinburgh Foody expressed a liking for the place, and I’ve heard a rumour that they’re opening an outlet in town, soon.
The set-up at Eat is not dissimilar to Pret. There are cabinets full of a range of items for you to choose, which are then prepared or heated at the counter. What is different about Eat is the sheer breadth of choices you have. They have a good range of Japanese stuff, more traditional sandwich, wrap and toastie options, and then (heaven be praised) a brilliant range of soups from which to choose.
The soups reflect a strong Asian influence, with Tom Yum, miso, pho and the like, all to the fore. It was the latter of these, and chicken and noodle pho, that I chose.
I “matched” this with a steak and cheese toastie. Hunger took over any sense of eating two dishes that might actually go together, but this struck me as an eclectic, “vive la difference” kind of place.
Both items were promptly heated, and I repaired to a nearby shelf to munch them.
I started with the toastie, having established that the pho was plenty hot enough. It made me smile, although I’m not sure entirely as intended. The overwhelming impression it left me with was that every bite of it was different. This first bite was filled with steak, which was pretty good. Next bite had more cheese to it. Then the third revealed some good English mustard. Further in, onions came to the fore, then another pocket of cheese. Finally, in the last few mouthfuls, a couple of mushrooms entered the game.
If this is genuinely designed to be a “journey” of a dish, in the style of a traditional “two course in one pasty” Cornish pasty, then I think that’s a rather marvellous notion. I rather suspect they’re after for something that combines the principle elements across the toastie a little more evenly. Whatever the case, it was pretty good, and brought a slice of fun to what may normally have been a rather routine experience.
The pho was similarly enjoyable. It was a riot of flavour, with strong citrus from fresh lime permeating the broth. Soft pieces of chicken were abundant and satisfying. Vegetables were crunchy, with particularly fresh bean sprouts. The noodles were soft and plentiful. It was a complete winner of a dish.
So I find myself saying and thinking this rather a lot (maybe a little too much, actually), but MJ was entirely correct. Eat is an absolute joy. The only experience I can liken it to was that I had in the excellent Martha’s in Glasgow. If the rumours are true and a city centre outlet is soon to open, I can imagine that I’ll be a frequent visitor.
Blythe scores Eat
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overal 14.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: pho chicken and noodles; steak and cheese toastie
I drank: nowt – the soup was enough
I wore: blue linen travel suit
Total bill: £8.94