The Black Hoof
Apparently it snows pretty regularly in April, but that was of little comfort as I battled the elements on a thoroughly horrid Wednesday. I was determined to reach my lunch destination of choice, though, which was a Spanish deli and tapas bar called The Black Hoof on Dalry Road.
Having been open since November, I’d heard little about it until a flurry of conversations about Spanish food in general resulted in a couple of mentions of the place.
What’s more, I then spotted that the Edinburgh Foody folks had been along for a visit and were warmly enthused by what they found.
Opposite Kebabish and just down from Lazeez, this is a part of town that was my stomping ground for many years but I’m rarely in these parts these days. Even when I passed along here on the 2 bus route my eye didn’t catch The Black Hoof at first.
An informal cafe shop, rather than having a restaurant feel to it, the first thing that you are struck by upon entering is the dazzling array of hams. Jamon Iberico is a much prized beast and they have an impressive selection, alongside other delicacies such as acorn-fed chorizo and lomo.
The welcome was friendly with the chatty counter man owner keen to seat me at the warmest table given my rather bedragled appearance.
Before I’d really settled I spotted that they offered a daily tapas selection for £13.50 so just opted for that rather than waiting for my brain to defrost to further contemplate the menu.
This selection covered a starter of hand-carved jamon with tomato bread and Spanish olives, followed by three daily changing tapas which today were Spanish omelette, calamari and lentil with chorizo. A dessert was also included. This all sounded very promising.
First up were the olives which were impressively good. Really good pa amb tomaquet followed with some delicious slices of jamon.
The omelette was next. It was a simple dish but beautifully seasoned and had an excellent light texture. It’s the best dish of its type I can remember being served in Edinburgh.
The calamari were fresh and tender pieces of squid in quite a dense but satisfying batter. The lentil and chorizo was again simplicity itself but all the more enjoyable for being so.
Things were rounded out with a simple dish of fresh cheese elegantly draped in honey. It was delicious.
So overall, I was highly impressed with The Black Hoof. This is a slightly tricky location for what they’re trying to do, but I think they have a strong chance to build a reputation for top quality fare. Certainly if you’re looking for Jamon Iberico in the city this is the place for you, and I was impressed with all the food I sampled. It’s worth a visit next time you have a hankering for Spanish goodness. Their website is also worth a look for upcoming events and so on.
Blythe scores The Black Hoof
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: jamon, pa amb tomaquet, olives, calamari, tortilla, lentils and chorizo, fresh cheese and honey
I drank: water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £13.50
Address: 171 Dalry Road, Edinburgh EH11 2EB