Mercat Bar & Kitchen
The Mercat Bar & Kitchen on West Maitland Street has been trading in many different guises for quite a while. Their latest incarnation seems to have food as a strong focus so I popped in to check it out.
Their daytime menu offers a very broad selection including starters, sandwiches, salads & platters, main dishes, burgers and various other whatnots.
I visited late in lunch service so had quite a lot to contemplate as I took a seat at one of the window tables.
I eventually settled upon Cullen skink to start followed by the venison casserole. I had a half pint of IPA from their unimpressive beer selection.
The soup quickly arrived looking like a bonnie version of this classic smoked fish soup. It proved a richly creamy rendition that really hit the spot. The only bum note was the poor accompanying bread.
The casserole was again very good but let down by the accompanying mash which was really disappointing; dry, powdery and lacking in seasoning. This was a shame as the venison was delicious.
So overall, it was a slightly mixed bag from the Mercat. I enjoyed the central element of both courses very much, but things were let down by a lack of attention to accompanying detail. With minor tweaks this could be a very good pub grub option, so I hope these changes can be made to tighten up their offering.
Blythe scores the Mercat
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: Cullen skink, venison casserole
I drank: IPA
I wore: red and grey
Total bill: £17.40
Address: 28 West Maitland Street, West End, Edinburgh EH12 5DX