Newly opened on the site of the old Balfour Bar, I’d popped in to Woodland Creatures shortly after it opened, for a quick beer. It was very busy and although still full of the smell of new paint looked intriguing enough to merit a lunchtime visit, to check out their grub.
I was joined today by Tracy, for whom Woodland Creatures is her new local, given her fitness studio is just around the corner.
The place was pretty quiet, so the friendly waitress could focus her attentions on keeping us happy, throughout, which she did with admirable style.
The décor is quite minimalist, with a nicely eclectic blend of seating. A set of theatre stalls particularly caught my eye. Local artists are showcased on the walls, as is increasingly becoming a very welcome norm with places like this.
The menu offered simple, tasty sounding dishes, priced very reasonably. I checked on the soup of the day, and it turned out there were two. I opted for the sweet potato and coconut. For main, Tracy opted for the vegan five bean stew, while I chose the hake and mash, served in a lobster bisque.
The soup promptly arrived, served in classic camping tin crockery, which I rather liked. It was able to evoke reassuring memories of my childhood, when I was thankfully spared the extreme terror of camping trips.
My soup proved to be very good, with a nice, light texture and good balance of flavours.
The main courses were similarly impressive. I really liked the little sample of Tracy’s stew that I tried. It had very warm spicing and was packed with good flavour.
My main course wasn’t the finest quality piece of hake I’ve ever eaten, but the dish worked very well as a while, bringing together well-prepared elements, all of which looked quite bonnie. I was pleased with each delicious forkful.
For dessert, Tracy sampled their triple chocolate terrine, which looked mighty rich. We rounded things out with decent coffees, then settled up the very reasonable bill.
So overall, Woodland Creatures is a very good addition to the Leith dining scene. Their menu is full of smart dishes that are likely to prove enduringly crowd-pleasing. The décor and feel of the place will no doubt develop over the coming months and years, as will the menu. From this excellent starting point, they have every chance of becoming a real favourite with a broad range of punters. I look forward to seeing you there, soon.
Blythe scores Woodland Creatures
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s quester was: Tracy, Blythe
We ate: sweet potato and coconut soup; vegan five bean stew; hake and mash with lobster bisque; triple chocolate terrine
We drank: water, tea, coffees
We wore: snow boots, purple stripes
Total bill: £20.90