Blythe’s VerdictWhen the Canon’s Gait rebranded as a “craft beer bar & kitchen” we popped in to give it a look, but aside from a refit and paint job it didn’t look markedly different. I recently got wind of the arrival of one of our favourite chefs, David Scott previously of Blackwood’s, to head up their kitchen, so a repeat visit seemed in order.
Limpy MJ was doing a little better with putting some weight on the wonky ankle so was up for coming along. We were joined by regular guest questers Mary, Susie and Tracey as well.
The menu held lots of options across small plate, starter, burger and main course sections. I was intrigued by the mac n cheese then the fish stew caught my eye. Fortunately the mac was available in a small portion so I could have both. Tracey and MJ opted for the venison stew while Susie and Mary both went the burger route.
Service was rather haphazard throughout, with delays, inaccuracies and a general sense of things not running as they should. This needs addressed as it was a mismatch with the quality of food on offer.
With a further service mishap delaying the arrival of all our dishes, we were eventually ready to tuck in.
The lamb and beef burgers were both met with approval and the accompanying chips looked really good. The venison stew was wonderfully hearty and packed considerable meaty punch.
My mac was really good with a well-judged cheesy sauce that worked both flavour and texture wise. The fish stew was replete with mussels, prawns, salmon and white fish. The rouille was very good as was the brightly seasoned tomato broth. These were dishes of real style and charm.
So overall, the food on offer at Canon’s Gait is really impressive. Service needs addressed but that shouldn’t be too tricky and perhaps we caught them on a night where things were all going wrong. With really convincing pub grub options still quite thin on the ground in Edinburgh it was really pleasing to find this very fine exponent of the art. Make sure to visit next time you’re in need of a hearty feast.
Recently we went to a pub on the Royal Mile to catch up with friends and talk shop about the Echoes of the City project. Much like the film I saw prior to dinner (Bridget Jones’ Baby), the place was unexpectedly bright and pleasant. The interior looks more like a restaurant than a boozer with nary a grubby booth to be found.
I arrived first, hopping along on my good leg, and the helpful servers pulled together two large tables so we would have space. When everyone arrived we settled down to ordering, all very excited by the potential food coming from a chef with whom we are quite familiar.
We opted to share a bottle of red, as no one was in the mood to get hammered (crutches + wine = unwise), and Mary, Susie, and Tracey had their long journey to South Africa the next morning. We skipped starters and dove right in with the mains. The menu was good hearty pub fair and I had several things to happily choose from.
Tracey and I opted for the venison casserole and shared some roasted veggies, while others went for mainly burgers. The service for the drinks and ketchup was a bit slow, oddly, since there was no one at the bar, but for the most part it was decent service and an excellent atmosphere as we waited for our food.
Once food began to arrive, it all looked quite bonnie, but it was soon apparent that they only placed one order for the venison casserole, which left me waiting for a few minutes as the kitchen quickly fixed up a plate for me. Luckily my meal lends itself to dishing up and not cooking from scratch, else I fear my wait might have been a bit longer. This blip aside, the venison was tender and the mash was well considered. The veggies were small bite-sized cuts that I almost forgot about and we didn’t finish.
The stars, I think, of the meal were the burgers. Though I didn’t have food envy, I logged the look of them in my mind and next time I’m back in the area in need of food and shelter from the mad Royal Mile, I’ll pop in to get one. They looked that tasty.
Blythe scores the Canon’s Gait
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
2.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s questers were: Mary, MJ, Susie, Tracey, Blythe
We ate: lamb burger, beef burger, venison casserole (2), roasted root veg, fish stew, macaroni cheese
We wore: Sabbath vestments
Total bill: £73.55
Address: 232 Canongate, Royal Mile, Old Town, Edinburgh EH8 8AB