Dan’s VerdictThe Mussel and Steak Bar has been a staple on the edge of the Grassmarket for many years and has recently opened another premises on Jeffrey Street. It was to the Grassmarket restaurant that Lunchquest and I ventured on a weekday to sample their set lunchtime menu (£9.95 for 2 courses, £11.95 for 3 courses).
The set menu has a pretty good choice with 4 starters and 5 mains. I went for haggis wellington to start and a ½ kilo of mussels with a shallot and white wine/cream sauce for the main. The friendly waiter offered a choice of chips fried in beef dripping or vegetable oil to go with the mussels. Difficult to turn down beef dripping isn’t it…The haggis portion size was pretty much spot on for a starter. Not the most exciting dish I’ve had and the haggis filling was on a par with a standard fayre, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The main course of mussels was nicely presented and the sauce was pretty decent – the mussels themselves were slightly puny although I can’t really grumble when coming as part of such a reasonably priced menu.My tip is if you are after the best mussels on offer in Edinburgh, then you should head to the Ship on the Shore in Leith and gorge on their fat tasty molluscs.
The chips were more of the chip shop variety than my preferred fries but they were ok.
Overall, I’d say if you have £10 burning a hole in your pocket and you find yourself in the Grassmarket you won’t go too far wrong with the Mussel and Steak Bar and you won’t be hungry afterwards. Alternatively you could take that £10 directly across the road to Hula Juice Bar and have a tastier lunch in a more interesting venue.
After a mad dash through the city, I arrived for lunch at the Mussel & Steak Bar, in the Grassmarket, a mere 17 minutes late.
My very understanding lunch companion for the day, Dan, who had previously joined at the excellent (and nearby) Bow Bar, was already in situ. I didn’t dally too much over the intricacies of ordering, as their £9.95 for two course lunch menu looked instantly appealing, and I didn’t want to prolong things any further than my late arrival necessitated.
Dan opted for the haggis wellington and I, in a break with traditional soupy ways, chose the hot smoked salmon and potato salad. It seemed silly not to try the mussels, given the name of the place, so we both chose a half kilo pot, with Dan going for the white wine, cream and shallot sauce, while I chose the chilli and cumin.
The starters soon arrived looking neat and tidy. I think Dan had the better of things, as his haggis looked and tasted very decent. My smoked salmon was good, but the potato and egg salad lacked a certain something to elevate it beyond the solidly decent.
The main course mussel dishes were both pretty good. My sauce packed a good warmth and the mussels were plentiful and tasty. The accompanying chippy chips were excellent.
So overall, the Mussel & Steak Bar is doing good work. They’ve recently opened another branch on Jeffrey Street, where Igg’s used to be, so they’re clearly on an upward curve. I’d be happy to visit again, when I should, for completeness, try their steak.
Blythe scores the Mussel & Steak Bar
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
Today’s questers were: Dan, Blythe
We ate: haggis wellington; hot smoked salmon and potato salad; mussels (2)
We drank: cola drink, water
We wore: T-Shirt, action footwear
Total bill: £21.90