I was sad when the plans for Mamasan’s fell apart on at least a couple of occasions during its brief tenure on Bernard Street in Leith. It involved several pals of mine putting in a lot of effort for frustratingly little reward.
From its ashes has arisen Miss Woo’s under the stewardship of one of the original Mamasan’s owners Jason Cormack, he of Bryant & (Cor)Mack fame.
On my way from my abode to Miss Woo’s I ran into yet more pals who were taking a sneak peak at the new business from the team behind Panda & Sons and Hoot the Redeemer. Expect cocktail excellence from Edinburgh bar hero Kyle Jamieson to grace Duke Street in the early summer.
Anyhoo, the offering at Miss Woo’s remains a balance between Asian-inspired cocktails and pan-Asian small plates and street food.
The interior is much as before but the seats have been given a bit of a brighten up and the space feels a little more settled.
The friendly bartender waiter was soon bringing both drinks and food menus as I took a seat in the middle of their dining space.
The cocktail menu is even more puntastic than before. I settled upon the Vegan Seagal which brought together bourbon, orgeat, cherry heering, lemon and plum sake in a sweetly satisfying fluted bevvy.
From the food choices, I opted for their burnt end dirty fries, Mongolian beef bao buns, and vegetable dumplings. These arrived as they were ready.
First up were the fries topped with beef burnt end, pork, bacon, barbecued peach and a porter gravy. The fries were nicely crisp but the burnt ends weren’t all that burnt or crisp and things could have been a good bit dirtier for my tastes. It was a good dish but a work in progress.
The bao buns were pretty good with tender beef and good crisp pickles in the lightly soft buns.
The winning dish was the dumplings. Served simply steamed in the steamer with aromatic dipping sauce in the middle, these were elegant and refined. I enjoyed them a lot.
I had the sense that the drinks list wasn’t as good as before, and the food wasn’t quite to the same standard, but oddly the total offering felt rather more assured, on track and likely to succeed. It was notable that of my dozen or so fellow diners I was the only one drinking a cocktail, so perhaps it’s as a restaurant with cocktails (rather than a cocktail bar with food) that Miss Woo’s will finally find its niche.
So overall, I was pleased to see Miss Woo’s on good form. I enjoyed the dishes I ate and liked the buzzing atmosphere. There are plans for a fresh cocktail offering – still under Mr Cormack’s control – to take over the upstairs bar so it will be interesting to see how that works. For now, give the place a visit for a good selection of pan-Asian dishes in distinctive surroundings.
Blythe scores Miss Woo’s
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
I ate: burnt end fries, veggie gyoza, Mongolian beef bao
I drank: Vegan Seagal, water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £22
Address: 7 Bernard Street, Edinburgh EH6 6PW