I’ve been having a bit of trouble with opening times, of late, and this continued today, when I headed towards Tollcross, but found my target destination closed. I trudged off in mild disappointment, but was delighted to have my gloom lifted by the sight of Contino, a little café that was new to me.



Open since February this year, they proudly proclaim their independence and commitment to lots of good things, on a sign inside. The place looked more geared towards lunchtime custom, but had a good little selection of breakfast options.

I was rather hoping I might allow myself to have a bacon roll, but for some reason I thought it would be a good plan to have my first try of a Stoats porridge pot.

Stoats have a commitment to bring “porridge to the people”, and their little oaty pots are certainly to be seen in many places. Funnily enough, I went to school with one of the Stoats’ founders not a million miles away from today’s venue of choice, proving once more that the world is indeed a small and curious place.

Porridge pot

Porridge pot

The helpful and smiley counter girl set about preparing my porridge pot, while I took a seat at one of their few shelf seats. I was soon tucking in to the apple, cinnamon and sultana goodness.

Porridge is not a particularly beauteous thing, and so it proved with this pot. It tasted much better than it looked though, with the fruity spice elements working well with the oats to form hearty spoonfuls of energising fare.

Porridge is never going to be my favourite, but I thought this was up there with the better varieties that I’ve tried, and it certainly chased away my morning hunger. I think Stoats’ porridge project is absolutely outstandin, so more power to their collective spurtles, I say.

Such is my continuing obsession, I followed things with an espresso. It’s fair to say that it could have used a little work, as Carraro, though not a massive favourite of mine, is capable of being made much better than this, for example at Pinocchio.

So overall, I enjoyed my visit to Contino, and will always remember it as the first place I sampled Stoats porridge. I enjoyed it and would recommend that you give it whirl, too. I look forward to popping back to Contino to try a lunchtime sandwich and see how their soup stacks up. Do pop your head in, next time you’re passing.

Blythe scores Contino
3.5/5 for food
2.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 13/20

Today’s quester was: Blythe

I ate: Stoats spiced porridge pot

I drank: espresso

I wore: crisp linens

Total bill: £3.40

Contino on Urbanspoon

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3 Responses to Contino – SADLY NOW CLOSED

  1. Fraser says:

    I don’t really see how you can judge the food of any business when you’ve not actually eaten their food. Stoats porridge is going to be the same wherever you go, and it’s never going to be exciting if it’s not a food you normally enjoy. Maybe the 3.5 stars were for the mediocre coffee (which, while made by the cafe staff, is still not exactly legitimate to put under the heading of “food”), which is somewhat fair enough in a city that goes nuts for Artisan Roast and Brew Lab.

    I’m also struggling with your rating of presentation. Stoats porridge is served in a Stoats container. Coffee is served in a coffee cup/takeaway cup. Can there be deviation from that?

    Overall I think it hardly seems realistic to review a business without actually trying what you yourself say it’s geared towards – lunch (or indeed just anything they’re actually cooked/prepared themselves). The rest is certainly applicable, but does not make for a complete picture. In an age where success or failure of new businesses is based on word of mouth, which can be affected by reviews, I think closer consideration is necessary.

    • BKR says:

      Thanks, Fraser – I appreciate these considered comments. I’ll make a point of visiting for lunch, in the next fortnight, and will update the review to reflect my lunchtime visit :-)

  2. Pingback: Gordon’s -SADLY NOW CLOSED | Lunchquest Edinburgh

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