The whiff of Istanbul is firmly in my nostrils. It’s but a few days until I head off for some much needed sunshine and warmth, in that wonderful melting pot of a city, taking advantage of the new direct flights.

Interior

To ease my passage towards the end of the week, I popped along for lunch at La Garrigue, today. Joining me was Julian, who had previously quested at L’Escargot Bleu and The Rosehip.

We were shown to a nice table at the window, by the thoroughly pleasant and efficient waitress, which gave us a good view across Waverley Station to the pleasing aspect of Governor’s House, an architectural treat which is much undervalued, not least because it’s only visible from certain spots, with Jeffrey Street being one.

Soup

Our attention drifted from architecture to the menu, which offered good looking two and three course lunchtime deals.

Julian opted for two courses, with chicken followed by a classic floating island, while I started with soup, moved on the a potato-topped lamb shank, and concluded with their cheese selection.

Chicken

The soup was very good. Onion soup is often rather sweet and this one certainly that, but it had great beefy depth and lovely bursts of juniper, which offered great balance. The cheesy crouton added good extra tang, making this a really satisfying dish, and the best French onion soup I’ve sampled on quests, so far.

My main was similarly good. It was volcanically hot, with a profusion of beautifully tender meat hidden beneath the creamy layer of piped potato. This was hearty, Gallic fare, the kind of dish you could feel doing you good with every mouthful. Julian’s chicken dish looked rather good, also.

Lamb parmentier

The dessert course was again very good. Julian’s floating island, with crème anglais and berries looked lovely.

My cheese selection was first class. The pungent blue cheese was a particular winner, and the dainty little oatcakes proved a pleasing accompaniment.

Floating island

Sadly, things were to end on a less fortunate note, as their coffee was seriously bad. We both agreed that what was served was some of the worst coffee we’d had for a good while. This was a minor blemish on what had otherwise been an excellent lunching experience, and something that can be easily and speedily rectified, I would imagine.

On a rainy Edinburgh day, La Garrigue offered heartening dishes, and sent me nutritionally and spiritually restored to face the slings and arrows of outrageous afternoon fortune. I’d heartily recommend that you pay it a visit, to sample its good quality, well-presented dishes.

Cheese

Scores
Julian scores La Garrigue:
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20

Blythe scores La Garrigue:
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 16/20

Today’s questers were: Julian, Blythe

We ate: onion soup, lamb shank parmentier, roast chicken with peas, floating island, cheese

We drank: water, coffees

We wore: blue jacket, black shoes

Total bill: c.£35


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Written by BKR