Makar’s Gourmet Mash Bar Company
Previously the brief home to a second branch of Porto & Fi, then a burger place, then the Crafters Barn, then the Makar’s Rest, the Makar’s Gourmet Mash Bar Company is winning no prizes for snappiest name to occupy this challenging North Bank Street location.
I’d visited the Makar’s Rest a few months back and it had been very poor. However, given its proximity to the Writers’ Museum and the potential for the place to be a useful crossover location for literary events, I decided to give them a pass and revisit in a few months. It was interesting to note their change of incarnation in the meantime.
The layout is much the same as before although there are fewer tables and some more seats that might draw in people just for a drink rather than a meal. Everyone on today’s visit was there for the food, though.
Given their new name the menu held few surprises: it was all hearty dishes to be served with various versions of mash. I settled upon the ox cheek in Stewart’s stout gravy to be accompanied by black pudding mash.
This soon arrived looking rather good. The ox cheek was served in generously chunky slices that fell apart with the slightest prodding. Eveything on the plate could have been more boldly seasoned, but that was quickly rectified with basic condiments. It was otherwise a very good plate of food with all elements smartly executed and flavour-packed. I was impressed.
So overall, the Makar’s Mash Bar (they need a shorter name) is the best fit for this location that I’ve visited so far. It’s always going to be a little tourist-trappy, but if tourists are to be trapped by delicious black pudding hash, local ox cheek slow cooked in local beer served with good buttered greens they will be happy and I will be pleased to recommend they visit.
Blythe scores Makars Mash
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: ox cheek in gravy, black pudding mash, kale and broccoli
I drank: water
I wore: grey trousers
Total bill: £13
Address: 9 North Bank Street, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2LP