What a lovely surprise it was to step out of the cold and into the Percy down at the bottom of Easter Road. Having lived a short walk away for several years now, I had never ventured in, but on this brisk December day, Blythe and I popped in for a pre-Christmas lunch. And Lord, I would have skipped breakfast altogether had I known how much food we would’ve been given! (to be fair, I did order 2 mains.)
Inside the Percy is exactly what I want a pub to look like. Clean, deep browns, long booths with a group table at the front. There are Polish language and English language menus, and some daily specials and drinks, presumably brought over from the Persevere pub adjacent.
I waited for Blythe before deciding to allow him to make my choice for me by choosing one of the two stews I was dithering over. So, I ordered bigos, hunter’s stew, while Blythe got tripe soup and beef stew with wee potato dumplings. I also really wanted to try the dumplings, so I placed an order of meaty dumplings too, for good measure.
The soup and dumplings arrived first, looking bonnie and, well, a good-sized portion. I knew I was in trouble with the amount of food I ordered once these came out. The soup looked nice and I was surprised with how soft and well-cooked the tripe was. The dumplings were a bit dry for my liking, and I could imagine them being in a rich sauce or soup base and then diving right in and eating way too much for my own good.
The mains came out before too long, and mine was a heartening portion of sauerkraut based stew with a mix of meats. The sharpness and richness of the dish worked really well together and I was shamed by being unable to finish it.
Blythe’s stew was good, and the wee dumplings were a unique texture unlike anything I’d had before. Like a big gnocchi, but broken up into almost a udon-like texture on chewing. Really good wee things.
Overall, this was a joy to find. The food was cheap, plentiful and very tasty, the service welcoming and the space lovely. I’d certainly recommend you go down to the bottom of Easter Road whenever you need hearty, cheering fare, and dine at the Percy. I know I’ll be going back.
The Persevere is a slightly intimidating bar at the Leith Links end of Easter Road. It seemed rather odd when they opened an Italian restaurant as part of their offering a while back. Its fairly rapid demise was more predictable. In its place has arisen a Polish place called The Percy. MJ and I went to check it out.
Decked out in festive cheer, the place looked very smart and welcoming when I arrived. MJ was already ensconced so that added further warmth to the welcome.
The menu was offered in both English and Polish. Although my Polish is incredibly accomplished I wasn’t in a show-off mood so stuck to the English descriptions.
We quickly settled upon four dishes: the tripe soup; meat dumplings; beef stew; and bigos. This was, of course, far too much but such is our commitment to giving you a good overview of menu options.
The soup and dumplings arrived first. I really like tripe and this was very nicely prepared with profuse soft pieces in a light broth. The overall flavour effect was not dissimilar to haggis. I liked it a great deal.
The filling of the dumplings was meaty but on the dry side. They benefited from a dunking in the soup so that’s how we tackled them.
Main courses soon followed. The beef stew came with Silesian potato dumplings. These had a slightly odd texture and were sort of like massive gnocchi. The stew had good flavour and profuse meat. It was another winner.
MJ’s bigos, a traditional hunter’s stew, was exceptionally hearty and defeated her in its filling profuseness. It was tasty stuff.
So overall, the food at the Percy was really quite impressive. If you’re looking for a very generous feed for a small pricetag it’s a place you should visit soon. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Blythe scores The Percy
4/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s questers were: Miriam, Blythe
We ate: tripe soup, meat dumplings, bigos, goulash
We drank: water
We wore: stripes, reindeer
Total bill: £22.10
Address: 398 Easter Road, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 8HT