Our scoring system has always been a necessary evil. It does tend towards a packed middle ground but it’s rarely been miles wrong in its sentiment. The most notable exception was the 12/20 for Wild (because of its icy environment and ponderous service) despite its relentlessly interesting food.
An odd anamoly is how many of my most favourite and recommended places have on their initial assessment attracted a 15 or 15.5. The list in no particular order includes: Purslane, Three Birds, The Dogs, Castello, Hula (subsequently scored an 18.5 by MJ)
The reason it springs to mind is here comes another one for a place that really impressed me.
Sabor Criollo had been on the list for a visit for a good wee while. After the Slow Food Edinburgh AGM had been concluded, I was delighted to give it a shot.
Showcasing a cooking style that bore a strong relation to that I’d sampled in Cuba, many years previously, the place traces its roots to Venezuela with a strong creole influence, hence the name.
Their below street level premises encompass an artificial indoor tree as part of the stylings of the cantina. I think it was Bert’s Bar on William Street that used to sport a similar thing. I was delighted to see another example of this hilarious internal design feature.
Their menu offered a good array of choices. I opened with calamares then chose a traditonal Venezuelan main course of pabellon criollo, the central element of which was slow cooked beef.
The starter was a simple and well executed dish. The squid rings were crisp and profuse. The accompanying aioli packed lots of zing. It was a lovely dish.
The main course was every bit as good. The nuggets of fried plantain were delicious and the avocado laden salad was very tasty. The beef was packed with flavour and the rice was excellent, too. It was a home-style dish that made me very happy.
So overall, I was really impressed by Sabor Criollo. It served me two very good dishes. The pricetag of two courses for £14.90 was incredibly reasonable. I look forward to visiting again, perhaps to try their cocktails.
Blythe scores Sabor Criollo
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20
I ate: calamares, pabellon criollo
I drank: house white, house red, espresso
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: c.£25