Honeycomb & Co
MJ’s’s VerdictBlythe and I were revisiting our long walks when we tottered over to Bruntsfield/Morningside to try Honeycomb.
Initially, we thought there might be a wait, but we were quickly shown to our seats in the slick and copper filled restaurant. As it was a bit later than the standard lunchtime rush, a few of the salads were already gone, which was fine with us. I like it when places make things fresh and when they are gone, they’re gone.
I quickly decided I wanted the shakshuka. I love the richness of the dish and it reminds me of brunches and the Med. Blythe went for the beef ramen for 2 reasons: it was warm out and he had a pristine shirt on…
When the food arrived, pretty quickly I should add, it looked good. The serving size of the shakshuka was well-judged, even though I originally thought it would be a bit small. The tomato base was rich and almost overpowered the black pudding in it, which is no easy task. The egg added a bit more richness, if you can imagine.
The downsides were that I wanted something the cut the sauce. Give it a splash of freshness. Maybe a fresh lemon served alongside. The second was the accompanying bread. It was fine, flat breads that were a bit floppy and way too few for the sauce. I would have liked to have been given the choice for other breads that are better able to stand up to the dish and could be used to snatch up the last bits in the skillet.
I think the place is bright and airy but crowded (which is good for them!) and doesn’t lend itself to relaxing and catching up with friends. They are doing a good job with the space. However, as it’s on the far side of the city from me, I’d not rush back, but if it were closer I’d be tempted to pop in for a brunch and a cup of coffee.
In a matter of months we’ve had two places open with a honeycomb theme. First came the Honeycomb Tearoom on Morrison Street with its well-crafted vegetarian breakfasts. Now we have Honeycomb & Co in Bruntsfield which opened just a few days before we visited.
On the day after this, I found another business called Honeycomb associated with the Leith Community Croft. Clearly bee-created structures are all the rage right now.
I was joined by MJ on one of her last quests before she leaves Edinburgh for the moment. We’d visited these premises before when they were Ristorante Ferrari. Since then they’ve been an Indian, then a branch of Nardini’s. It’s fair to say it has proved a slightly tricky location since its days as the local post office.
The place marks the first venture for a little collective of folks who have worked together at a number of art gallery and museum cafes across the city.
The menu has a similar feel to those kind of places with a strong emphasis on fresh salads, local produce and cakes. They’re using Artisan Roast coffee which is always a good sign.
We found the place absolutely rammed so had to wait a moment or two until a table was prepped. They have an army of friendly staff to meet the demand.
Having been on a stroll around the city before arriving here, we were in the mood for something hearty. MJ opted for the shakshuka while I chose the beef ramen.
Dishes arrived in good time looking neat and tidy. They proved to be well-executed with good flavour profiles and substance to them. I made the usual disastrous mess of the noodles and on this rare occasion when I was not wearing a tie my shirt took a bit of a pasting.
I also sampled their rhubarb and ginger soda which was suitably refreshing.
So overall, Honeycomb & Co is starting life as a slick and professional operation. The ethos is commendable and dishes accurately delivered. It’ll need time to build some more warmth and character in these premises which still have a slightly clinical feel to them, but I’m sure that will develop. Give it a visit next time you’re in the neighbourhood.
Blythe scores Honeycomb
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s questers were: MJ, Blythe
We ate: shakshuka, beef ramen
We drank: water, rhubarb and ginger
We wore: walking denims
Total bill: £19
Address: 1 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4NP