Stocks Urban Bistro

I’d visited Stocks Urban Bistro shortly after it opened and found it off to a pretty shaky start. Dishes lacked finesse and the space, which previously traded as the very poor Broadsheet Bistro – and blink and you’ll miss it as Henderson’s – felt like it needed a good bit of time to bed-in. I shared my thoughts with the management and made a note to come back once it looked on a surer footing.

Entrance

What mainly brought me back was the arrival of Jamie Mac’s new cocktail bar, The Black Dahlia, next door to the bistro space. It remains in its pre-launch phase but still offers stylish drinks in matching surroundings, with some lovely views over the city.

Anyhoo, the menu at Stocks looked almost identical to my previous visit which was slightly disheartening, but service had soon promised some tempting specials so I settled down and considered what I wanted to eat.

I opted for the curried haggis scotch egg to start then followed with their main course special of the day which was a 5oz fillet steak atop a truffle risotto.

Starter

Now there’s a well-considered and vocal school of thought that topping risotto with chunky bits of protein is an abomination, but what I suspected was at work here was quite a smart dish choice. I expected its arrival to fill the room with aromatic meaty truffle notes to lure in an appreciative room of menu-reading diners. And so it proved, but we’ll come to that.

The starter was a pleasing opener with a runny-yolked egg packed with lightly curried haggis and surrounded in a crisp crumb. I could have eaten the dish all day long.

The main was indeed an aroma-driven room-pleaser, with wafts of buttery truffle as it was brought to my table. The risotto was a little dense but it was well seasoned and flavour-packed. The steak was cooked to spec and suitably meaty.

Steak and risotto

I rounded things out with an espresso which was very good by restaurant standards.

So overall, I was pleased to find Stocks on finer form and having found its feet. It’s a well located, spacious eatery that has a good chance to become a favourite with a broad auidence, particularly once The Black Dahlia is operating at full tilt. I think the menu still needs some work, but they’re definitely on an upward curve. Give it a look next time you fancy a stylish bite overlooking the city centre.

Scores
Blythe scores Stocks Urban Bistro
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20

I ate: scotch egg, fillet steak with truffle risotto

I drank: red wine, water, espresso

I wore: red wine shirt (no spills)

Total bill: £34.20

Address: 24-26 St Giles Street, Edinburgh EH1 1PT

Written by BKR