The closure of some places is easy to predict, but others come as something of a surprise. The demise of Porto & Fi’s branch on the Mound definitely fell into the latter camp, as it always seemed busy when I passed. Their branch in Newhaven is thankfully still going strong, but the Scottish Burger Bistro has now taken over the Mound space, so it was to there that I headed, this lunchtime.
The space is quite a good blend of the old and the new, with exposed stone and brick walls set against modern fixtures and fittings. I liked it.
The menu is, as the name suggests, dominated by burgers, in a range of styles. At the heart of things is local meat and poultry from Puddledub, in Fife. I’d sampled their burgers before at the Greenmantle and Mather’s, so expectations were set high.
The place has quite an interesting array of local beers, along with “adult” milkshakes, and a full cocktail menu, with cocktail matching suggestions against a number of the burgers. We’ll see whether this catches on, but I like it as an idea.
At lunchtime during the week, it’s 25% off on their burgers, which is a smart play. I opted for the Bank burger, which comprised a buffalo beef burger paired with bacon, avocado, Swiss cheese, romaine lettuce, beef tomato and caramelised red onion. I asked my helpful waitress whether I should try their skinny fries or chunky chips. She briefly pondered then recommended the latter, which sounded good to me.
My burger and chips were soon with me, looking mountainous. It looked very much like a knife and fork attack would be the way, but I decided to brave a shove-faceward approach, which proved just about doable.
The burger was excellently juicy and flavour-packed, and the chunky chips were impressive, so kudos to the waitress for her selection. However, the brioche bun was a real let down. There was rather too much of it, and it was unappealingly dry and stodgy. It didn’t do justice to what was otherwise an impressive lunch.
So overall, once the bun issues are resolved, the Scottish Burger Bistro will be well on the way to being a very good new place. The welcome is warm and attentive, and the meat of very good quality. I look forward to coming back to see whether an Old Fashioned really does work with a haggis burger, later in 2014.
Blythe scores the Scottish Burger Bistro
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: Bank burger; chunky chips
I drank: water
I wore: black suit
Total bill: £9.81