December 22, 2015 Southside, Turkish 1 Comment

Falafel

Falafel

MJ’s Verdict

I know Blythe had been trying to go visit Verdo for some time, but they seemed to keep fluctuating lunchtime hours. Luckily, we were able to go one evening as a Christmas get together before the holiday madness struck.

The first thing you notice when you enter the restaurant is the smell of an open charcoal grill; it’s strong, and I loved it. The grill is in pride of place near the back of the restaurant and you get to watch the flames leap up past the barrier and cook your meal. We, however, were way too amused by our waiter and by the starters to watch the meat grilling away.

I should mention, briefly, that they forgot about our booking for six people, and had to ask a table to move so that our table could be made up. It was fine for us, but not great for those who had already been seated.

Liver

Liver

To begin, we each ordered a starter and shared around. In all, we tried the humus, which was particularly nice, ispanak tarator, which was also good, falafel (a bit dry), hellim peynir, ciger tava (lambs liver – a tasty and generous portion). I feel I am forgetting something, maybe that’s indicative, maybe not.

The starters came in good time and along with the Turkish white wine, we managed to polish all of them off with the good Turkish flatbread that came with them. Then the mains. I ordered the mixed grill, as I usually do at these sorts of places to get an array of tastes and flavours. This version came with adana (ground lamb with spices cooked as a kebab), chicken kebab, lamb chop and a lamb kebab. While they were all tasty, the stand out was the lamb and chicken kebabs with real flavour hits from lemon and spices that was accentuated by the succulent tenderness of the meat itself. The chop, was good, but given the choice I would order the kebabs next time.

Ispanak tarator

Ispanak tarator

The sides that came with the mains were great too. We were given extra grilled onions in pomegranate sauce with grilled mushrooms and fresh salads. With the leftover humus from the starter (not much, actually as it was not a massive portion), the main really hit the spot.

After dinner, we let Susie try her first Turkish coffee, which I have developed a soft spot for, and that I think fondly of whenever I smell kitchen cleaner. While we read each other’s fortunes in the grounds, the server brought our surprise servings of Turkish pastries and baklava, which were delicious, but too sweet for me. Finally, after much entertainment from the waiter, we headed out into the cold Edinburgh night full of great Turkish food and much laughter and happiness.

Hellim peynir

Hellim peynir

All in all, I enjoyed it and would return, it was well-priced, with good food, and service that I (and Tracey, no doubt) will remember for a while to come.

Blythe’s Verdict

I’d tried to visit Verdo on a couple of previous occasions, but their lunchtime opening time had proved elusively variable. I was on a much surer footing visiting in the evening with MJ.

We were joined today by regular guest questers Fiona, Susie, Tracey and Gary, who’d been along at countless venues in the past.

Side dishes

Side dishes

Verdo is a Turkish barbecue and mezze restaurant. This is a cuisine with which I’m pretty familiar, not least from a recent visit to Ada and previous visits to Rodi, which I think is in the same ownership as Verdo.

From their extensive menu, we opted for sharing starters of liver, falafel, hummus, spinach yoghurt dip, borek and halloumi, all served with excellently fresh and warm pide.

The falafel was pretty ordinary and the borek a little underwhelming, but the liver was very profuse and the grilled hellim cheese really nicely done. This was a pretty good set of openers.

Main courses were a good bit better with really well prepared meat dishes featuring mixed grills and various kebabs, alongside a good vegetable stew for Fiona. My classic iskender kebab was very tasty indeed, and accompanying salads were generous and tasty.

Iskender

Iskender

The friendly waiters brought a nice little selection of baklava with candles in, as it was Gary’s birthday, which was a nice touch. They then rather let themselves down, service wise, with some rather over zealous encouragement for us to review them on Trip Advisor. I get it when places push this strongly, as the site is hugely influential, but this is the second occasion of late where I’ve seen (or heard) places being rather too insistent.

So overall, Verdo is doing good work in a very similar way to Rodi. The place is a notch smarter, with the LED-lit artworks particularly eye-catching. We were served extremely hearty and filling fare, and had a jolly good evening. I’d be happy to visit again when next looking for a good feed in this neighbourhood.

Scores
MJ scores Verdo
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20

Blythe scores Verdo
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20

Today’s questers were: Fiona, Miriam, Susie, Tracey, Gary, Blythe

We ate: liver, muska boregi, hummus, ispanak tarator, hellim, falafel, chicken kebab, lamb kebabs, mixed grill, sebze guvec, iskender

We drank: Turkish white, Argentinian red, water, Turkish coffee

We wore: our eating trousers

Total bill: £145.60

Verdo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Written by BKR