I’m starting to lose track of the days of the week. It’s remarkable that I’ve managed to keep on top of things for this long, as Edinburgh in August can be a bloody confusing place to be.
I suppose it was only fair that I lost a little of one basic skill, though, as today marked a significant breakthrough with my ability to distinguish between Hanover and Frederick Streets. Fair enough, it took a café that’s named after one of the streets (and helpfully is actually located there), but I’m claiming the victory, anyway.
I’d called in to Fredericks, a couple of months ago, for a quick coffee, and I’d been rather impressed, both with the coffee and the place. Located up a first floor stair on the lower part of Frederick Street, it manages the neat trick of retaining a sense of “hideaway” in its city centre location, even in the hectic rambunctiousness of Festival time.
I was joined today by Neil, who’d been part of the party that had the considerable pleasure of dining at Auchingarrich, the other night.
The décor the traditional New Town drawing room is a coolly welcoming blend of white and blue. It’s elegant, simple and charming.
Service is a blended approach, where you generally order at the counter then things are delivered to your table. In operation, it’s sometimes just a wee bit confusing. It’s managed very neatly, but the room lends itself well to full table service, so I think they should perhaps have a bash at that.
Their menu offers a nice range of options in the soup, salad and sandwich oeuvre. Neil settled upon a smoked salmon Greek salad, while I opted for a hummus and cream cheese pitta, to follow my soup, which proved to be tomato and lentil.
As we caught up on the wonderful world of social media, our dishes arrived. All were neatly presented, and looked fresh and summery.
My soup was really good. The flavours were well-judged, but it was the texture that was particularly pleasing. The red lentils were soft but not disintegrated, so made the dish satisfyingly rough without ever being coarse or gritty. It showed considerable skill.
Neil was very happy with his salad, although he suggested that Kalamata olives, rather than stuffed green ones, might have made the dish even better. My pitta was very good, with a generous filling of flavour-packed hummus, and nicely warmed bread.
So overall, Fredericks provided us with a very a good lunching experience. Given its city centre location, it pulls off the trick of being a little oasis of calm really very neatly. It’s the kind of place I can see myself popping in to on a fairly regular basis, particularly if the quality of their soup remains so consistently high.
Blythe scores Fredericks
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s questers were: Neil, Blythe
We ate: tomato and lentil soup, salmon Greek salad, hummus and cream cheese pitta
We drank: sparkly water, espresso
We wore: blue jeans, purple tie
Total bill: £18