The place has been given a smart makeover. I always rather liked the place, although I’ve only previously reviewed the cafeteria for breakfast. This refreshed bistro feels like a smooth transition to a new look rather than a revolutionary new approach.
It was with strongly mixed feelings that I heard the attentive and charming waiter announce that their new Christmas menu was on offer. Edinburgh is not the best for quality and choice in December and is notoriously poor for vegetarians options. The almost total domination of butternut squash this December was particularly sad to see.
Anyhoo, this menu was packed with appealing sounding things. I started with the mushroom and sage tapenade and beetroot hummus, then followed with a roasted brussels sprout salad.
The starter soon arrived looking simple and rustic, with the accompanying oatcakes looking particularly good. The hummus was was served rather too chilled, but the tapenade was outstandingly good, with suitably seasonal notes from the sage. The oatcakes were a rough-hewn delight.
The main course looked plentiful and fresh. The sprouts were charred to an unexpectedly palatable sweetness and were nicely balanced by zing from cranberry. Quinoa and carrot brought substance and textural interest making each mouthful joyfully different. I was impressed.
So overall, the curmudgeonly old Guardian can stick their write-up of Henderson’s Vegan up their pomegranate-jewelled arse. Their staggeringly patronising review, decrying the menu for a lack of za’atar for example, was fatuously jejune. I’m all for leathering a place you don’t enjoy (as I frequently demonstrate), but places should be judged on what they are, not what they are not. And when reviewers order dishes they’re obviously not going to enjoy they are wasting their own time as well as that of their readers.
Make sure to visit and check Henderson’s out as it’s delivering dishes of broad appeal and high quality.
Blythe scores Henderson’s
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: mushroom and sage tapenade, beetroot hummus; quinoa and roast brussels sprout salad
I drank: water, ginger ale
I wore: pinstripes and tweed
Total bill: £16.05