“Edinburgh institution” is probably a term we overuse a little, but surely for Edinburgh’s oldest Chinese restaurant, with us since 1956, the term seems somewhat appropriate. The fact that I’d never previously visited was somewhat remiss of me, so I set about rectifying that.
I’d spent the early part of the evening helping out with a good project sponsored by the North Edinburgh News, which featured expert Edinburgh bloggers sharing their skills. I found it tremendously informative, so would encourage you to sign up for their upcoming events.
Now, my experience at Rendezvous was a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes you get surly service in Chinese restaurants. I have no problem with that, and have grown to love it as something of a feature. Tonight’s service was deficient in two ways, although very good in a third.
Firstly, I arrived at around 10:10pm, and enquired as to whether they were still serving. They said yes, but that I could only order one course, or have all my dishes together in one serving. Fine. I had no particular issue with this, but considering I was turned around and out of the place by 10:39am, precisely, leaving a half-full restaurant, it did seem slightly beyond the bounds of acceptable surliness.
Secondly, I ordered a pint of lager, which never arrived, then they tried to charge me for it on the bill. An easy oversight, you might say, but I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that a touch annoying.
In between this, they took my order quickly and brought my dishes very promptly. So the 2/5 mark tries to encompass this “interesting” array of service experiences, but the simple numbers do not quite cover it.
Turning to the food, for my one course buffet, I ordered soup of the crab and sweetcorn variety, to be accompanied by salt and pepper spicy squid, and a side of egg fried rice.
The soup looked a little on the gluey side, to begin with, but once duly stirred it proved to be a delightful dish, with generous crabstick and sweetcorn goodness. I was pleased with it.
The squid was crisp and light, but the rice was a little light on seasoning, which was an unusual thing to encounter. I enjoyed these main course elements, but the soup was undoubtedly the outstanding item.
So, I liked my visit to Rendezvous, up to a point. They need to replace their chairs, as the warm reds throughout the other elements of the decor are not matched by the nasty blue velour of the seat coverings. And the service wasn’t at its best, this evening. But the food was pretty good, particularly the soup, so I can see why the place has sustained through the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (cookies), over the years.
Blythe scores Rendezvous
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
2/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 12/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: crab and sweetcorn soup; salt and pepper squid; egg fried rice
I drank: nowt
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £15.45