It had been many years since my last trip to Cafe Marlayne so when regular guest quester Freya suggested it as a potential venue for lunch I was keen to check it out.
Their branch on Thistle Street was our choice ahead of their Antigua Street outlet. I’ve always preferred the Thistle Street one as it has a lovely, compact and homely feel to it.
This was reflected in a menu that was brief and to the point. Freya did a good job of picking all my second choices, so I was very happy to start with Jerusalem artichoke soup to her mussels, then follow with the lamb steak with polenta while she had the gnocchi.
Starters promptly arrived delivered by the friendly and attentive waitress. Freya was in raptures about the creamy lemon and white wine mussel broth. I was similarly impressed with my elegant and flavourful soup.
Main courses maintained the standard. My lamb was a splendid dish with a beautifully cooked piece of meat atop charred polenta with nicely cooked green beans. The gnocchi was very well-excuted and the accompaniments were on point.
I delved into unfamiliar dessert territory with an excellent chocolate and beetroot brownie with splendid raspberry ice cream. Freya was very happy with her rum-soaked fruits and pannacotta.
So overall, Cafe Marlayne served us a memorably good lunch. It’s a modest and understated sort of place but it consistently serves dishes of real charm and verve. I shouldn’t leave it so long before my next visit. And neither should you.
Blythe scores Cafe Marlayne
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16.5/20
Today’s questers were: Freya, Blythe
We ate: Jerusalem artichoke soup, mussels, lamb, gnocchi, brownie, pannacotta
We drank: water, wine
We wore: brogues, action footwear
Total bill: £39.40
Address: 76 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1EN