Following on from a highly enjoyable visit to The Black Hoof, a few days ago, I found myself still in the mood for Spanish food. I suspect this was because I was looking forward to some time on the beaches of Gran Canaria in the coming days.
I’d been tracking the refit of the Roamin’ Nose – a place I was very sad to see go – over recent months and was keen to give the new place, called Casa Mara, a go.
I paused outside to say hello to some of the folks from The New Chapter, which is just next door. They were keen to see their new neighbour flourish in the spirit of drawing fresh punters to Eyre Place for the mutual benefit of both businesses.
I found Casa Mara fairly quiet but this is to be expected for a new place on a weekday lunchtime. I took up station at a window table and had time to take a relaxed look at the place.
It has a similar feel to before with a simply appointed room with a mix of table and banquette seating. It has some nice bottle lampshade detailing which caught the eye.
At lunchtime they offer a three course set list, which includes tea or coffee, for a very reasonable sounding £9.95. This is starter/main/dessert type dishes rather than tapas.
I took advice from my effusively friendly and attentive waiter. He recommended the cabbage and potato cake topped with jamon to start, then the cod with chickpeas to follow. The set dessert option was an orange cake with chocolate sauce.
The starter arrived looking quite bonnie. The cabbage and potato cake was in the style of a rosti or a hash brown with a nicely crisp exterior and soft, well-seasoned middle. The ham brought an enjoyably salty meatiness to proceedings.
The main course was even better with a beautifully cooked piece of cod atop soft chickpeas in a lightly aromatic broth. It was splendid.
The cake was pretty good as was the coffee. I accompanied things with a little glass of amontillado sherry, and there was good sundried tomato bread and olive oil to mop up remnants of the savoury dishes.
So overall, I was very impressed with Casa Mara. It struck me as one of the best lunch deals I’ve had in a while given the quality of cooking on show. I’d strongly recommend you give it a go as it’s an excellent showcase of hearty Spanish homestyle cooking delivered with a good deal of flair. I look forward to returning one evening to try further dishes from the menu.
Blythe scores Casa Mara
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: trinxat, bacalao de cuaresma, Mara’s orange sponge cake
I drank: amontillado sherry, coffee
I wore: blue shirt
Total bill: £13.45
Address: 14 Eyre Place, Edinburgh EH3 5EP