On a rather sweaty Wednesday, a merry little grubcrawling band of Graham, Tim and I took to the streets of Leith for an evening of shared food joys.
The original plan had been to head to Tapa for Spanish small plate starters, but Tim was too hungry so to address his imminent expiration the closer-at-hand Depot was the order of the day.
I’d actually recommended a trip here to a friend, just the previous day, as she’d been looking for places with decent vegan options. With that in mind I recommended to the chaps that we give their vegan platter a go. It fit the bill very nicely.
Bringing together dolma, olives, smoked tomato hummus, sweet potato wedges, deep-fried pickles, vegan cheese on toast, pesto, spicy ketchup, and olive oil and balsamic, this was an impressively diverse and tempting array.
Each aspect was pretty strong with the hummus and crisp pickles my favourites. The vegan cheese was much less awful than expected, too.
We supped on some Drygate ale and soaked in the lively atmosphere. It was a very enjoyable starter stop.
Again our original main course plan was foiled as Domenico’s was packed out, so we headed just around the corner to Kezban, a newish Turkish place which used to be the Istanbul Palace and before that Guchhi.
Having being so virtuously vegan with our starters, the consensus was that meaty meat should be the focus of our main courses. I opted for iskender kebab, Tim went for patlicanli kebab, while Graham took a recommendation from the lovely waitress and chose the ali nazik.
The place was a little bit on the chaotic side but things soon started appearing. As is often the way with Turkish places, pide bread soon appeared with a little selection of complimentary dips, including very good ezme. Cucumber phobic Tim was less taken with the jajik.
Our meat fests soon followed looking plenty substantial enough. Mine was certainly one of the better iskender dishes – a mix of lamb kebab and bread in tomato sauce with yoghurt and butter – I’ve had in Edinburgh. I really enjoyed it. Tim and Graham were similarly appreciative.
Tim was defeated by his but the friendly staff boxed it up for him to takeaway for tomorrow’s lunch, which was a rather nice touch.
Baklava inevitably appeared to give us a jolting sugar hit to round things off.
So overall, this was just a two-stop grubcrawl but it was still highly entertaining. I’ll need to come back to give the hot meze from Kezban a look as what we sampled was really very good. For vegan needs, I’d recommend the Leith Depot’s platter too. And the little stroll in between the two places was rather marvellous also.