Favourite restaurants we have known.
Whether you are visiting Edinburgh for the first time or you have lived here all your life, choosing a restaurant can be a hit and miss affair. It's either a case of returning to one of a few favourite haunts or of arming yourselfwith a pin and The Yellow Pages. After due consideration and employing years of well-worn experience The List has come up with a selection of Edinburgh’s best. Believing that variety is the spice of life, restaurants have been chosen for their quality, value and individuality, with a spectrum which stretches from here to the Far East.
I Bells Dlner 7 St Stephen’s Street. 225 8116. Every day 6—1 1pm; Sat noon—11pm. Average £6 per head. A simple hamburger joint without a fast-food mentality, which serves great homemade burgers under a variety of toppings, such as a creamed Roquefort, or huge lumps of garlic butter. There are vegetarian versions as well as steaks and naughty puddings. Very relaxed and informal.
I Viva Mexico 10 Anchor Close , Cockburn, 226 5145. Mon—Sat noon—2.30, 6.30—10.30pm; Sun 6.30—10.30pm. Average £7-£8 per head. Of Edinburgh’s Mexican restaurants, Viva Mexico is the most consistent and authentic. Pleasant surroundings, irresistible cocktails (try the jug of margarita) and very reasonable prices make it a fun, filling and spicey night out.
I Chan’s Restaurant 1 Forth Street, 556 7118. Wed—Mon 5.30—midnight; Fri noon—2pm. Average price per head £7—£10.Chan‘s vegetarian selection is enough to convert the staunchest carnivore, at least for the night, though there is plenty to cater for the meat and fish eater. The menu has recently been extended and revised to include mock abalone (a vegetarian version of the shellfish, said to be delicious) and old favourites like deep-fried cucumber with satay sauce or three-mushroom hot pot. It really is value for money with fine, often imaginatively sumptuous cuisine.
I The Bamboo Garden 57a Frederick Street, 225 2382. Open every day, noon—midnight. Average price £9—£12. You can tell The Bamboo Garden must be good by the number of Chinese people who recommend it. You will find top Cantonese cuisine, cooked by former chefs of glamorous restaurants, in smart surroundings, served by pleasant staff who will bring you hot towels at
the end of your meal. On a Sunday afternoon the tradition is to buy a few Dim Sum (about £1 .50 a go) which are carefully prepared starter sized dishes like prawn-stuffed dumplings, to share amongst a party. It works out as an outrageously cheap and delicious Sunday lunch.
I Cavalry Club 3 Atholl Place, 228 3282. Every day noon—2.30, 5.30—11.30pm. Average £10—£15 per head. Definately at the posher end of the market, the Cavalry Club still bears signs of the colonial era, with traditionally clad, formal waiters. The European inﬂuenced cuisine is of top quality, and you’ll certainly dine in style.
I Kalpna 2/3 St Patrick’s Square, 667 9890. Mon—Sat noon—3pm, 5—11pm; Sun 5—10pm. Average £7 per head. The Kalpna‘s menu is strictly vegetarian. prepared by vegetable and fruit enthusiasts. It has rightly received much attention for its ﬂavoursome, rich food, which, ifon the upper end of the price scale, is carefully concocted using traditional methods. Everything is home made, from the cheese curd to the kulfi (Indian ice cream). What with its tasteful decor and smoking ban, the Kalpna is a haven for earthy types, though it should be experienced by all lovers ofcuisine.
I Shamiana l4 Brougham Street, 228 2265. Every day 6—11.30pm. Average £10 per head. This paved
and tiled restaurant was once a dairy. Specralismg in North Indian and
Kashmiri cuisine, The Shamiana is consistent and good. Try the mango chutney or the vegetarian kofta.
I Kris 110 Raeburn Place, 315 2220. Mon—Sat 6—1 1pm. £15.50 set menu; average £13 per head. Extremely pleasant surroundings, authentic Malaysian cuisine and real Malaysian (Tiger) beer, are three things which make Kris’s the best Malay restaurant in town, possibly in
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Scotland. They don’t swamp all their dishes in coconut, and are not afraid to spice liberally. Try the satay dishes (skewers of pork, beef or chicken with a spicy peanut sauce) or the rendang (spicy beef in coconut), and you will hopefully not mind the size of the bill.
I Phlllpplne Islands 36 Broughton Street, 556 8240. Mon-Sat
6.30—1 1pm. Set menu £10.50, average a la carte £13. Despite its pink and fluffy decor, you’ll get authentic cuisine, which arrives in large earthenware pots warmed by candlepower. Although the menu is a little restricted and on the pricey side, most dishes, cooked by Filipino chefs, are generous and wholesome, often sharply spiced and mellowed with coconut.
I Yuml's 10 Melville Place, 226 3579. Mon—Sat 6—10pm. Average £18 per head. A welcome addition to Edinburgh’s ever expanding range of restaurants, Yumi’s is the only Japanese restaurant with a commitment to 100_per cent Japanese cuisine. Having opened three months ago, the restaurant is at the moment sticking to a fairly traditional menu; plenty of sushi (raw fish) and sukiyaki (a kind of Japanese style fondue).
I The Doric 15 Market Street, 225 1084. Mon—Sat noon-2.30pm, 6—10.30pm; Sun 6—9.45pm. Set lunch £8.50, average £10—£12 per head. Both a wine bar and restaurant, this is a very busy venue, much loved by Edinburgh‘s literati. The extensive menu is usually imaginative and good value, with a variety of seafood and influences from all over Europe. I Le Marche Nolr 2—4 Eyre Place, 558 1608. Mon—Fri noon-2.30pm, Mon—Thurs 7—10.30pm; Fri and Sat 7—10.30pm; Sun 7-10pm. Set menu £14.50 or £20 (lunch £9 or£13). This rather intimate French restaurant has many followers who admire the classic, quality cuisine and thoughtful wine list. The rather
formal decor is mellowed by relaxed
staff and the personal touch of its owner, who will willingly translate an awesome-looking French menu. I Pierre Vlctolre 8 Union Street, 557 8451. Mon—Sat noon—3pm, 6—11pm. 10 Victoria Street, 225 1721. Every day noon—3pm, 6pm-1am. Average £11 per head. Last year Pierre Victoire extended his glorious, Gallic empire to the top of Leith Walk, and has thankfully lost none of the exquisite, amazingly good value cuisine in the process. A set three course lunch at PV’s is a ridiculous £4.90 and will include such mouth-watering delights as stir fry crayfish in ginger, or mussels in Pernod butter. Complemented by relaxed, informal surroundings and serviced by a largely French staff, PV’s is easily the best French restaurant in its price bracket. Immensely popular with Edinburgh’s discerning diners, so booking is strongly advised.
I Le Sept 7 Fishmarket Close, 225 5428. Brasserie: Mon—Sat
noon—2. 15pm, 6—11pm; Sun 6—10pm. Average £5—£15 per head. Restaurant: Tue—Sat 6.30—10.30pm. Average £15—£25 per head. Situated in the heart of Festival-land, tucked down a rather French-looking close, Le Sept is a popular and very pleasant double restaurant. On the ground floor you can get huge generously-filled crépes, downstairs is more exclusive, serving largely French-inﬂuenced cuisine.
I The Marrakech 30 London Street, 556 7293. Mon—Sat 6—10pm. Average £10 per head. One of Edinburgh‘s more unusual offerings, The Marrakech serve traditional, Moroccan food. Don‘t be put off by the rather austere entrance through which you will be led several flights down. The cous cous is worth it and their home-baked bread is something else. Everything is strictly home made, and the BYOB policy (no alcohol is served though you can bring whatever you want). makes it useful for economisers.
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