I had enough time, today, for a leisurely takeaway lunch, or a quickish sit-in. When I alighted upon Has Beans, on the Canongate, I was in two minds, but settled upon sitting in, to preserve a little bubble of time away from the world of work.
With a distinct Turkish influence, this café serves breakfast, lunch and main meal options, with a good range of stuff on offer. I was in soup and sandwich mood, and liked the sound of their wild mushroom soup. I followed that with a hummus, red pepper and tomato panini.
The place isn’t the smartest. I liked the big world map on the wall, but the fixtures and fitting felt a little tired and in need of a refresh. Service was friendly and quick, throughout.
When the soup promptly arrived, it proved to be rather disappointing. It was a rather characterless rendition, and not one that thrilled me, at all.
What followed was an entirely different matter, as the panini was outstandingly good. The filling was generous, and the bread crisply toasted. The lovely accompanying salad was full of parsley and dill, which give it a wonderfully fragrant quality. There was even a little more hummus on the side, making it an altogether impressively good dish.
So overall, Has Beans was a bit of a mixed bag. The soup wasn’t up to scratch, but the panini was very good. The price-tag was a little too high, but the location, in the heart of tourist land, is somewhat to blame for that. My recommendation would be to stick to their paninis, as they’re amongst the best you’ll find in the city. On other aspects, there are definitely things to improve.
Blythe scores Has Beans
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 12/20
I ate: wild mushroom soup; hummus, pepper and tomato panini
I drank: water
I wore: brown pinstripes
Total bill: £9.90