Back with the Blondes

It had been far too long since my last lunch date with these blonde bombshells.

image

Reunited for a rare Friday off work, our foodie destination of choice was Rollo in Stockbridge.

The menu at Rollo is a mix of bite sized dishes, ‘bowls’ and ‘plates’ – perfect for a long, lazy lunch. We were surprised to find the place absolutely rammed on a Friday lunchtime, make sure you book.

Despite being incredibly busy, the staff were so attentive and friendly, instantly making us feel very welcome.

To start we choose a selection of bites; haggis balls with an whisky marmalade, crispy tempura prawns and deep fried aubergine pakora style bites. Each delicious plate came with a selection of yummy spreads and dips.

image

image

image

We all agreed that the haggis balls were a winner. The marmalade was a nice change to chilli or HP sauce that usually accompanies them, and at our table if you blinked you would have missed them!

image

The prawns were juicy and crispy, served with a delightfully bright and tasty beetroot tapenade and Asian style cucumber slices which created a lovely, light, refreshing starter.

image

Sticking with the summer theme, I chose a sticky lamb salad bowl with rocket, roasted red peppers, mint and feta. The lamb was slow cooked and lean and simply melted away. The lemon dressing was full of flavour and zing.

image

The other blondes around the table enjoyed a spicy, thai green chicken curry bowl and a slow cooked fillet of beef with rocket and parmesan which was cooked to perfection. The sides did not disappoint either – chunky potato fries, garlic mash (extremely moorish!) and a bowl of steamed rice to go with the curry.

image

image

As we finished off our fizz and ordered coffee, we sat in our window seat chatting for another hour or so and put the world to rights! There was no rush to move on – an important detail when choosing a lazy lunch venue!

On Friday we were experiencing a good old Scottish summer’s day with all four seasons making an appear so we weren’t brave enough to sit outside, however if the sun is shining when you visit I reccomend making the most of the suntrap out front.

All in we were £30 each which felt reasonable for the brilliant level of service and delicious variety of dishes we enjoyed. With a move to the North side of town imminent, I am looking forward to more trips to Rollo over the summer months.

Click to add a blog post for Rollo on Zomato

More Sunshine, More Wine!

wpid-20150405_144231.jpg

Spring has arrived in Edinburgh and we spent every moment of the Easter weekend soaking it up. Our spot of choice – The Magnum on Albany Street. The few tables available on the street outside are an amazing sun-trap, and we were lucky to snap one up for lunch.

The Magnum is a great little New Town pub and the menu is slightly fancier than you might expect from a such a relaxed venue. It’s also great value for money with 3 courses coming in at £14.95 – lunch or dinner.

To kick start the afternoon we tucked into a bottle of Chocolate Box wine (actually ordered by accident and slightly more expensive than we bargained for, but very enjoyable none the less) and ordered our starters.

wpid-20150405_141400.jpg

wpid-20150405_141919.jpg

I opted for the courgette and smoked cheddar frittata, served with saffron yogurt and cherry tomatoes. I could take or leave the frittata if I’m honest, but Mr F&P’s smoked salmon bruschetta was absolutely delicious and with the sun beating down we could dream we were sitting somewhere in along the Almafi Coast, enjoying up some real Italian cooking!

wpid-20150405_141339.jpg

wpid-20150405_141349.jpg

More sunshine, more wine, and onto our mains which included a perfectly poached fillet of coley served with a raisin puree on a bed of roast potatoes and green beans. The seasoning was just right, and the potatoes were booked in a indulgent amount of garlic and salt, making them extremely moorish.

wpid-20150405_143059.jpg

wpid-20150405_143055.jpg

Our table also ordered a plate of fish and chips, one of the more traditional pub dishes on the menu, and it was enjoyed every bit as much as the poached coley.

Dessert did not disappoint. Two scoops of ice cream were just what I felt in the mood for on such a sunny afternoon. One vanilla and one butterscotch and caramel, it was a bit of a race to eat them before they melted – but of course I had help. I’m pleased to say we devoured the ice cream and won.

wpid-20150405_150858.jpg

wpid-20150405_150906.jpg

The cranachan cheesecake was oaty and creamy with a good biscuit base, but the most interesting dessert by far was the butternut squash tart with blood orange sobert. A really colourful and different pudding which went down a treat.

wpid-20150405_150854.jpg

wpid-20150405_150848.jpg

Roughly four and bit hours later, with full bellies, slightly red foreheads and odd sunglass marks, the sun finally crept behind the New Town buildings and we scampered across to Spit/Fire, a new pub across the road from The Magnum which is definitely worth a visit. The rotisserie menu upstairs looked incredible, and the plates coming out from the kitchen smelt even better – another place to explore next time the sun comes out to play.

Click to add a blog post for The Magnum Bar & Restaurant on Zomato

STEAK Edinburgh

Steak Edinburgh at No.12 Picardy Place
Steak Edinburgh at No.12 Picardy Place

I am a big fan of Sunday lunch, and on a windy, rainy, Edinburgh day I can think of few things better than sitting down to a tasty, three course feast. As luck would have it, it was a east coast day just like that when I ventured to Steak, the restaurant belonging to No. 12 Picardy Place at the top of Leith Walk.

The restaurant is headed up by Chef Jason Wight and does exactly what it says on the tin. Their tagline, “where beauty meets the beast” is quite true. On entering you are given a glimpse of the quirky, boutique style hotel at Picardy Place, and at the end of a dark, luxurious entrance hall you find Steak. The restaurant space is dramatic to say the least – a large, completely open hall, finished with beautiful traditional cornicing. Stylish cast iron rods are suspended mid air by chunky ropes and these fill the vast space above the tables to the high ceiling.

Interior at Steak

On the wall as you go in there is a chalk board with a detailed drawing of “the beast”, explaining exactly where all the different cuts of meat come from on the animal. Some people will love this, others will hate it, but I thought it was quirky and if I’m honest, helpful!

Steak Board

The lunch menu is, quite frankly, amazing value for money. Two courses for £9.95, an additional £3.50 for a glass of house white or red, and a desert for £3.50 on top of that. And just wait till you hear what was on the menu…

After ordering we were offered warm rye, soda or cheese and bacon bread – the third one there was moorishly tasty. To start I enjoyed an apple and walnut salad with blue cheese whilst my other half (that’s other, not better :D) had the chicken and leek terrine. The salad was delicious, little shavings of apple and these lovely pieces of caramelised walnuts, both of which worked really well with the blue cheese. I am told the terrine was “a solid choice”.

Apple and walnut salad with blue cheese
Apple and walnut salad with blue cheese
Chicken and Leek Terrine
Chicken and Leek Terrine

On to the main course, and the star of the show – rump steak frites with béarnaise sauce. I like mine cooked medium, and my other half medium rare. Both were cooked to perfection. The steaks had a lovely charred finish and mine was perfectly pink in the middle, the juices from the meat spilled out onto the plate as I cut into it. The béarnaise sauce was not as garlicky as I expected, but tasty all the same. Alongside the crispy chips I tried a side of the parsnip macaroni cheese. In my mind steak and macaroni cheese is a brilliant combination and I never pass up the opportunity to have it. My other half added a surf and turf element to his main by trying the side of cauliflower and shrimp. This was not a combination I’ve thought of before, but I can assure you it went down a treat and will be replicated soon as home I’m sure!

Steak frite with a bearnaise sauce
Steak frites with a bearnaise sauce
Shirmp and cauliflower & parsnip macaroni cheese
Shirmp and cauliflower & parsnip macaroni cheese

We probably didn’t need anything else but decided to go for it anyway. I tucked into a peanut butter smore with hot chocolate sauce (*admission* I chose this one from the a la carte menu, the lunch menu included peach cobbler). You’ve got to have a sweet tooth to enjoy this dessert, and for chocolate lovers like me it was fantastic. The marshmallow in the middle honestly tasted like it had been toasted over an open fire, and the hot chocolate sauce was delicious with the cold peanut butter filling.

Peanut butter smore with hot chocolate sauce
Peanut butter smore with hot chocolate sauce

All in all, quite a delicious experience. Once you add on a couple sides, desert and a glass of wine, the bill comes in at about £20 a head.

**AMENDED POST**

I had originally thought this fab lunch deal was only available from 12.-12.30pm, and that was my only niggle, but I must need my eyes tested as you can enjoy this offer right up until 2.30pm! Apologies Steak for misreading the menu, but JOY to all other steak goers – two more hours of foodie delight 🙂

The Pantry

The Pantry, Circle Place, Edinburgh

Until last weekend I have often passed The Pantry on Circus Place on the way to Stockbridge and thought, due to the steamed up windows and packed tables, it looks like the type of cafe I could happily enjoy some food, a large pot of tea and have a good natter! After a lunchtime visit on a particularly blustery Edinburgh afternoon I am pleased to report it was exactly that. Inside there is a lot of exposed wood and tartan pillows on benches and the walls are littered with cute sayings and interesting posters – the type of posters in frames I lust after on Not On The High Street.

It’s always great to see independent cafés full at the weekends, and my friend and I were lucky to get a table as soon as we walked in. If you’ve read my blog before you might have picked up that I’m a bit of brunch fiend. Usually when confronted the option for an all-day breakfast, I find it hard to deviate from eggs or pancakes, however The Pantry menu had me fully engrossed in the sandwich options. I went for pulled pork sub with homemade slaw and home cut chips, and my friend had the roast beef on rye bread.

Pulled Pork Sub with homemade slaw
Melt in your mouth pulled pork sub!

Our chatter stopped for a full five minutes when the food arrived – always a good sign! The pulled pork was melt in my mouth delicious and the fresh sub was packed with salad leaves and a lovely bbq relish on the bottom which had quite a kick. The star of the plate was the home cut chips, they were so light and crispy I could have eaten a whole plate full. On to my friend’s plate – she said the roast beef on rye was not at all dry (she worried after ordering it might be) and like the pork, melted away.

Pulled pork sub with homemade slaw and chips
Pulled pork sub with homemade slaw and chips
Roast Beef on Rye Bread
Roast Beef on Rye Bread

What would have made it *absolutely perfect* was if there had been some mayo to dunk the chips into. There was mustard mayo on offer (it came with the roast beef), but for the non-ketchup lovers out there, how good is mayo with your chips?! Perhaps that’s just my mayo addiction coming through there. That aside, there were lots of interesting options on the menu, and you really could have had breakfast, lunch or even an early dinner. I’d happily sum The Pantry as one of those places where there is something for everyone.