Rose Street Cafe
I initially figured that my naming and shaming of the Rose Street Cafe on Twitter, following my disastrous visit there the other night was enough, but my brain has been itching to share a fuller account of the horror so here it is.
Having taken over the premises that I think were previously a newsagent a little while back, the Rose Street Cafe looked to be a fairly straightforward purveyor of all-day breakfast fare and the like.
The interior has a touristy feel to it, but it’s fairly neat and tidy with some smart enough detailing.
Upon entering, I took a seat and perused the menu. I wasn’t sure where their strength might lie, but thought that they couldn’t go far wrong with a haggis pie (£5.85). How wrong I was.
It became clear that this was not going to be an enjoyable experience when the unmistakable poppityping of microwaves began.
First, although I didn’t have an unobstructed view of the full horror show, it appeared that something was scooped from a large freezer bag and popped in for defrosting. This was the mash.
There was another set of clicks which was presumably the pie going in there, too.
Then came the evening’s defining moment. Gravy was prepared. This came from Bisto granules given the relatively sophisticated addition of boiling water from the coffee machine’s hot tap, then whisked in a plastic measuring jug.
For good measure, this was then added to the microwave along with everything else.
There have been various descriptions of the look of what was then presented to me. ‘A plate of pineapple topped with blood’ is my favourite. A gravy lake with unfortunate morsels suspended in it is more accurate, albeit substantially more anodyne.
The texture of the pie’s pastry was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It was like a firm jelly giving a sense of being both hot and uncooked. I had to double-take the mash as it looked almost like rigatoni. It tasted of starchy sadness.
Bisto has a devoted following and in days of yore was one of the more popular items to bring to friends when visiting them abroad as ‘ye cannae find Bisto anywhere’. This was the most voluminous and least satisfying rendition of it I’ve ever had.
I raised my concerns about the experience with the two counter people including the ‘chef’. Nary a single fuck was given. They seemed deaf to my feedback with nothing approaching an apology offered.
I further raised things with the guy outside who was bringing in their outside furniture as I left. He at least looked concerned that I hadn’t enjoyed my food, but the fault was scarcely his.
So overall, the Rose Street Cafe served me comprehensively the worst meal I’ve experienced in Edinburgh. They don’t give a shit about what they’re doing so don’t deserve your custom. I suspect it will quietly drift into the land of historical footnote in short order, but it will forever remain a blot on the Lunchquest landscape.
I ate: ‘famous’ haggis pie, mash and gravy
I drank: water
I wore: my crushing disappointment with as much good grace as I could muster…which wasn’t a lot