Dino’s – NOW TRADING AS CAFE EDINBURGH
I’ll admit, I insisted that we go to Dino’s. It just opened near my office and the colour alone drew me to it, plus the fact that on a sunny day people are always crowded outside.
Inside, the refit has made it brighter than any of the building’s previous incarnations. The chairs outside mean it’s a proper suntrap if the weather permits, but on a grey Friday there was no sitting outdoors. The menu is a strange mix of salads, breakfast items, and sandwiches, Heath Specials (I still wonder who/what Heath is) with a special of Fish and Chips. I guess it’s what you would expect from a café, and the prices are higher than I’d normally pay for a lunch, but it is on the Royal Mile, and prime locations don’t come cheap.
I ordered the Dino’s salad, which was a mix of lettuce, roasted peppers, orange, Marcona almonds, green olives and Serrano ham.
I should first mention the setup of the café. I was sitting facing the back of the café, and I could see the open kitchen, which is in the centre of the space and is sort of a feature. Great! I love watching the chef work. At Dino’s I got to see the chef using what looked to be an open sandwich press as a grill. Thing is, they also seemed to not have a stove, as they used the microwave for the eggs and I’m fairly certain hot water came from the espresso machine to blend up some hollandaise sauce. It was an interesting idea for an open kitchen.
Once the food arrived, it looked pretty bonnie. My salad was large, but quite light on the actual contents of the dish, with one piece of ham pulled apart over the top and probably one whole olive cut up throughout mixed a scarce amount of peppers and some orange. It lacked the filling aspect of any real bulk, but it was well seasoned and tasty.
The most interesting part of the place, and the thing I would advocate they change pretty quickly, is the setup for the bathrooms. I went to the back area where they are, and once I decided whether I was a man or handicapped (yup only 2 choices), I saw that the place had been nicely done, but the signage in the loo is sure to ruffle some feminist feathers. I even sent Blythe to have a look.
Overall, I like that it exists. I think on sunny days it will get its share of traffic, but I’m not sure that Dino’s is offering enough to make me return, even if it is just a small walk away.
I’d spotted Dino’s arrival, a wee while back, and was impressed by Miriam’s enthusiasm for giving it a try. I had the day off and the hangover to match, so we popped in for a lunchtime visit.
The menu brings together all day breakfast options, salads, sandwiches and more substantial things like burgers and fish n chips.
MJ tried their house salad. It looked fine. She’s said stuff about it, above.
I had the eggs Benedict from the breakfast selection. I had my back to the open kitchen, but MJ watched with considerable amusement as the eggs were microwaved and the hollandaise made from powder.
The dish proved acceptably filling, but it was bland and completely guileless, with only one of the eggs providing any oozing yolk. They’d presumably been over-microwaved if that’s a thing.
So overall, little to no fucks are given at Dino’s. It’s a total tourist trap taking the total piss. Over a tenner for MJ’s salad was absolute robbery. If we all agree simply to ignore it, I reckon it will go away soon enough.
Oh, and as for their taste in toilet art…
Blythe scores Dino’s Cafe
2/5 for food
2/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting minus 3 for the sign giving 0/5
3/5 for service
giving an overall 7/20
Today’s questers were: Miriam, Blythe
We ate: Dino’s salad, eggs Benedict
We drank: water
We wore: hipster trousers
Total bill: £17.90
Address: 57 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR