Where Stag Espresso and Obadiah have previous had pop-ups, Pumpkin Brown has recently taken over with a more permanent venture. Showcasing food with no dairy, no gluten and no refined sugar, it’s the most slavish interpretation of the raw and clean approach that we’ve seen so far in the city.
The space was previously the height of hipster coffee cool as Obadiah. They’ve retained the coffee but lost much of the elegance. The space is now rather dominated by a double chiller cabinet in which lurks various juices and pots from their focussed menu selection.
I wasn’t sure what to go for so asked the friendly counter woman what the chef’s dish of the day was. Lentil bolognese sounded pretty good to me. Kevin opted for one of the Buddha bowls, a dish bringing together avocado, quinoa, veg, nuts and seeds. He added some lemon infused water.
My large steaming pot was soon with me. It proved hearty eating but fairly unsophisticated. Kevin’s was pretty much as expected. These were decent lunchtime dishes but didn’t set pulses racing.
We rounded things out with coffees. My espresso was very good. Kevin’s almond milk – which he chose ahead of soy or coconut milk – flat white was grainy.
So overall, Pumpkin Brown is clearly a very good idea, but it needs a good bit of refinement to make it really sing. With time I hope it builds from here as there’s the opportunity for it to become a good, healthy lunch spot.
Blythe scores Pumpkin Brown
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s questers were: Kevin, Blythe
We ate: lentil bolognese, buddha bowl
We drank: infused water, espresso, almond milk latte
We wore: informal shirt, informal shoes
Total bill: £18.80
Address: 16 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 2JU