Our first stop was at Rollo, one of my favourite spots in the city and a fine purveyor of sharing dishes. We kept things fairly straightforward by ordering all of the bites (panko crumbed aubergines with aioli, haggis bonbons, ham hock bonbons, roasted mushroom pate with vegetable pakora and sundried tomato tapenade, and smoked salmon pate with tempura prawn and beetroot) apart from the olives which we replaced with the halloumi and pomegranate salad from the bowls selection. We accompanied things with a light and bright sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.
Our very friendly waitress was soon delivering a dazzling array of dishes that were eye-catching and aromatastic. Highlights were the halloumi, the ham hock bonbons and the general freshness and quality of everything else we were served. It’s always good to see a treasured friend of a place continuing to perform at a hugely impressive level.From the chic surroundings of Rollo, we moved on to the more pared-back charms of Thai street food shop, Street Box.
From the owners of Ruan Siam, which used to ply its trade next door to the Doubtfire Gallery, it was my first time visiting. I’d never previously made it to Ruan Siam either, so I wasn’t in a position to offer a comparative judgement.We had a focus on main courses so kept things pretty classic and varied, ordering a duck dish, a massaman curry, some pad Thai, a king prawn red curry and a chicken pad med mamuang.
Dishes arrived thick and fast. Everything was distinct in its look and taste, with lovely textural variance and deliciously warming spice. Given we were sitting-in at their one big bench seat, we didn’t really get a sense of it being a street food experience, but everything was still very enjoyable indeed.
To round things out, we headed to one of my regular haunts, the Last Word Saloon. A maker of some of the finest cocktails in the city, they have recently added a cheeseboard to their offering.
Sourced from local cheesemonger Iain J Mellis, it packed in some brilliant cheeses across the two boards we ordered. Highlights were a typically fine blue and outstanding Murcia al vino, a red wine rim washed goat’s cheese of dazzling quality. Their chutney, made in-house, was an absolute winner.
Of course, no trip to the Last Word would be complete without some cocktails. Manager Bekah looked after us in accomplished and elegant style, with the Highland Rogue proving particularly popular. The restorative green pill delights of the Last Word Revisited had the expected wow factor.
So overall, our Stockbridge grubcrawl was oodles of fun and showcased a nicely diverse cross-section of the neighbourhood’s businesses. For me it blended the familiar and the new really effectively and for my compadres it was great to introduce them to some fabulous places. Where will our grubcrawl wanderings take us next? One can only speculate…