Thomas J Walls
Jon Sharp has had quite an adventure getting Thomas J Walls, his new cafe on Forrest Road, open. It finally began welcoming customers just in time for the Festival season so I popped in for an early look one sunny morning.
He has retained the name of the optician that used to occupy the site along with many of the original fixtures and fittings. This has proved at least part of the challenge as keeping on the right side of various regulations can be a tricky proposition.
The time has been well spent though as the interior is quite beautiful with dark wood and glass detailing to the fore. It has a smart contemporary feel, although today’s soundtrack was rather a mixed bag.
The menu focusses on substantial breakfast dishes available throughout the day. I opted for a bacon, avocado and fried egg roll. I added espresso which like his other cafes – Wellington, Blackwood’s, Project Coffee, Kilimanjaro and Press - was from Squaremile. As usual it was a little too acidic for my palette, but was well made.
The roll was cooked to order and very nicely done. The yolk of the egg was suitably runny so I broke it before munching, to save my shirt. The bun was fresh and the filling made for satisfying mouthfuls. I liked it a lot and it set me up well for the busy day ahead.
Mr Sharp now has a very consistent product across all the cafes. They are distinctive and unmistakable. For me this makes them easy to like but harder to love, but I can see myself being a fairly frequent visitor here.
So overall, Thomas J Walls is a welcome new coffee addition that’s likely to thrive in this student area of town. It follows a tried and tested formula so don’t expect innovation, so if you’re a fan of the other places in the group you’ll definitely be a fan of Walls.
Blythe scores Walls
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: bacon, avocado and fried egg roll
I drank: espresso
I wore: linen mix
Total bill: £5.80
Address: 35 Forrest Road, Edinburgh EH1 2QN