Cafe Cassis had done some very good work from their premises in the Salisbury Hotel for many years, so I was sad to hear they were closing. The original plan was for another French-style place to take over operations, but when that fell through Savannah soon appeared, showcasing a South African influenced menu.
I’d been meaning to visit and on a rainy Saturday after checking out the considerable changes that always seem to be taking place on the Southside food scene regular guest quester Patrick and I toddled over their threshold.
The space is much the same as before: a smart below street-level dining room with lots of light from the rear aspect garden.
It was good to see a familiar face running front of house service in the shape of the chap who used to do the same job at Wee Buddha. He looked after us in good style during our lunch.
They offer a keenly priced lunchtime set list but our eye was more taken with their a la carte selection. This included quite the variety of meats, from ostrich to buffalo to kangaroo.
Patrick started with the venison scotch egg while I opted for the shiitake and cheese fritters. We both followed with burgers with cajun chicken and beef our chosen meats.
Starters promptly arrived, both looking like Ballquest candidates, as hoped. The scotch egg was pretty good and the mushroom and cheese combo worked quite well. The accompanying escalivada brought interesting piquancy. They were pleasing openers.
The main course burgers were very successful. My beef version was a rustic and well-seasoned beast. It was heartily enjoyable. The accompanying chips were excellent, too.
Patrick’s chicken burger was of similarly good quality although the cajun seasoning was pretty light. But these were both really satisfying dishes.
So overall, Savannah looks to have settled in well and is building an appreciative audience. If you’re looking for some meaty treats, give them a look as it’s a smart place with a broad menu that’s likely to hold items that will please.
Blythe scores Savannah
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s questers were: Patrick, Blythe
We ate: venison scotch egg, shiitake and cheese fritters, chicken burger, beef burger
We drank: water
We wore: slightly damp trousers, slightly damp hair
Total bill: £36.10
Address: 43-45 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh EH16 5AA