The highly personable staff members at Angels with Bagpipes had a couple very wet coats to deal with, as we entered their smart establishment, the other day, as the Edinburgh weather was in very dreary form.
There were quite a battalion of them, from the matire d’, to a series of smiley waiters and waitresses, to the busy chefs on show through the serving pass, in attendance, managing a steadily busy lunchtime service.
The original plan for today was that I was going to be joined by Sarah, who has previously quested at Grill 48 and Illegal Jack’s, but she wasn’t feeling on top form, so our visitor from Istanbul, Patrick, ably stepped in to the breach.
Given its location, I had a strong suspicion that Angels with Bagpipes would be a touch tourist trappy, but the reality proved this to be a fallacious notion. Not only was the restaurant populated mainly by locals, the fare on offer was both high quality and very reasonably priced.
From the set lunchtime menu (served until 6pm) we had a good range of choices. Patrick opened with salmon ceviche, while I stuck to my usual approach with cauliflower veloute, with Dunsyre blue cheese.
Patrick was very happy with his choice, with the wasabi mascarpone proving a particular winner. A dish with a lot going on, there was perhaps just one ingredient too many in the picture, with the ponzu either one step too far, or just a little too abundant.
My soup was very good, too. It tap-danced on the edge of being over-seasoned, but its intense creaminess just about managed to rein things in. The light, blue cheese gougere in the middle of it was lovely.
Main courses maintained the quality levels. Patrick’s mackerel with orange and fennel salad was very similar to a dish that Miriam sampled at the Timberyard, the other day, but this version looked better to my eye.
My fish n chips featured a very nicely prepared piece of flaky white fish encased in shard-crisp batter. The peas were caught between two stools, in the realm of “smashed” rather than “mushy”, and the chips were of the skinny fries variety, which didn’t completely thrill me, but it was still a good dish overall, with very good tartare sauce.
A simple cheeseboard rounded things out for me, while Patrick has great fun with a delectable sorbet and impressively decadent crème brulee.
So, I was really happy with what Angels with Bagpipes had to offer. It served quality dishes at a reasonable price in a smart location. Service was impressively attentive, too, so everyone on the books gave a good account of themselves. I’d happily visit again, and would be more than happy to recommend it to others.
Blythe scores Angels with Bagpipes
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: Patrick, Blythe
We ate: cauliflower veloute with blue cheese gougere; salmon ceviche; barbecued mackerel with fennel and orange salad; fish n chips
We drank: water, diet cola drink
We wore: drenched coat, drenched hat
Total bill: c.£36