On my recent bus travels I’ve spotted a number of intriguing spots that I’ve made a note to investigate further. The first one of these I made good on was to pay a visit to the Rosemary Bistro on Morningside Road.
In the premises previously occupied by wobbly tabled Cafe Amalfi, the new traders are primarily a purveyor of middle eastern mezze, but the menu covers more routine territory such as burgers, baked potatoes and all day breakfasts. It’s a staggeringly broad menu that I suspect they’ll need to trim down as things develop.
I was in mezze mood so took advantage of their three dishes with bread for £9 deal. Their blackboard suggested the pricing was £6.90 so I’m not sure if that what it costs during the week (I was dining on a Sunday) but it would be good for them to make things more consistent.
I opted for the spinach borek, falafel and fishcake, the latter of which the friendly waiter owner recommended ahead of the artichoke salad.
Things arrived quite promptly. The accompanying bread was hugely disappointing. Far from being the expected flatbread it was in fact a slice of dry white sliced toast cut into triangles. I was unimpressed.
Thankfully things started to improve with main events. The falafel was two overly crisp balls, which seemed a small portion. They packed decent flavour but the shells were bordering on hard.
The borek was much more pleasing with good, crisp pastry filled with spinach and cheese. They made for good eating.
The fishcake, which was large and very generous for the money, was the winning dish. It packed good flavour and the potato had a light and fluffy texture. I liked it.
The accompanying spiced chai tea was a Twining’s tea bag served without milk. That also needs a rethink.
So overall, it was a very mixed bag from the Rosemary Bistro. There was enough to suggest that there’s someone with a degree of skill working in the kitchen, but the overall offering is in need of some further thought. They can start by ditching the sliced white as a mezze accompaniment and getting some better tea. I hope it can build on the strong aspects and minimise the weak. I’ll come back and see how it’s doing later in the year with a view to reaching a full scoring verdict.
I ate: spinach borek, falafel, fish cake, “bread”
I drank: tea, water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £11
Address: 165 Morningside Road, Edinburgh EH10 4AX