Badger & Co
Badger & Co arrived a couple of months back with a fair amount of glitz and glamour. I’d heard some rather mixed accounts, but popped in for lunch today with regular guest quester Kim.
The name ostensibly relates to Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, having been born on this site in 1859. This link is barely continued beyond the name. The badger logos, artwork and aesthetic seems much more like a crude attempt to align itself with some of the cool that nearby cocktail bar Panda & Sons effortlessly exudes. This is just the first of Badger & Co’s many failures.
They’ve clearly spent a huge amount of money on the interior with gaudy light fittings and leather banquette seating. It feels rather formal and stilted despite the elegant cornicing.
Their lunchtime menu – full a la carte is also available – offers two courses for £10 and three for £13. From that, Kim started with the Borders suckling pig terrine followed by the Scrabster coley and chips. I opted for the carrot and orange soup then followed with the pea and parsley quiche.
Starters were both pretty poor. My soup had the kind of burnt orange bitterness more usually associated with marmalade rather than soup. Kim’s terrine was almost entirely bland.
Kim’s main course fish and chips featured a rather meagre portion of fish dwarfed by the kind of chunky chip house that I thought Tam Cowan had ridiculed out of existence in about 2003.
My quiche was woefully short of the required quality for restaurant cooking. The pastry of the base was soft to the point of soggy-
bottomed cliche and again the portion size was completely misjudged. The filling was totally bereft of flavour. The “heritage tomato salad” was a complete joke.
We rounded things out with espresso that was simply mediocre rather than bad, so that was practically one in the win column.
So overall, Badger & Co is so laughably trapped in the past it’s like the living embodiment of the kind of glossy mediocrity, the cliched “fur coat and no knickers”, that used to typify the worst excesses of Edinburgh’s New Town. Thankfully the world has moved on with most new openings now displaying a much stronger commitment to considered substance rather than transient style. As things stand, Badger & Co is a colossal waste of time and money, a charmless relic, and somewhere well worthy of swerving.
Today’s questers were: Kim, Blythe
We ate: pork terrine, carrot and orange soup, fish n chiphouse, pea and parsley quiche
We drank: water, espresso
We wore: blue, also blue
Total bill: £24
Address: 32 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3HT