I can’t say that the prospect of a refit of the former Rick’s Bar filled me full of girlish thrills, but I thought I should give the place a look, nevertheless. Now called Rabble, we popped in on a lively Thursday to see what was what.
I was joined this evening by regular guest quester Patrick.
It was nice to be greeted by some familiar faces which made sure that our stay was smoothly handled throughout. Service is a definite strength.
The refurb has been handled very well, too. It’s a complete reworking of the space with a horseshoe bar now at the centre of things and a range of different seating options. Modish (pointless) tank beer is to the fore.
We opted for one of the booths on the right hand side of the dining room. It hard a smart and stylish feel to it.
The menu is extensive. The steaks looked a little strongly priced so we turned our attention to their other main course options. After settling on pork cheek balls and salt baked beetroot to start, we opted to follow with slow cooked beef short rib and secreto Iberico.
Starters promptly arrived looking pretty smart. The pork balls had good crunch and the meat was of good quality but they were underseasoned, which was a shame. Patrick’s beetroot salad was a much more assured dish with nice crowdie and good notes of sherry in the dressing.
The main courses again were light on seasoning but this was much more straightforwardly rectified with the condiment shakers.
Secreto Iberico – top notch Spanish pork steak – has started appearing on more and more menus, of late. I’ve previously only seen it cooked medium rare rather than slowly braised. I think I preferred it when more lightly cooked. The beef was good.
We added sides of macaroni cheese, tenderstem broccoli and some salt and chilli fries. These were all strong dishes.
So overall, Rabble is a significant upgrade on what Rick’s – once a breeding ground for some of the finest bartenders in the city – had become. It feels fresh and stylish. Their food offering is well thought out, though isn’t quite there in terms of execution just yet, but there’s every reason to expect it to flourish. Give it a look next time you’re in the mood for somewhere new.
Blythe scores Rabble
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s questers were: Patrick, Blythe
We ate: pork cheek, salt beets, beef rib, secreto Iberico, mac, broccoli, fries
We drank: Neck Oil, wine, water, espresso
Total bill: £73.20
Address: 55a Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 1LH