Imman- Edinburgh styles better

With another design-led brasserie opening in Edinburgh, it looks as though Glasgow’s domination in the style stakes could soon be challenged. Jonathan Trew ferrets for the focaccia.

While this column aims for an even- handed impartiality and tends to opt for non-damning faint praise before gushing over everything in sight. there are times when respect is due. There is nothing remotely like Indigo Yard in the Central Belt.

This multi-purpose establishment is a cafe. bar and restaurant all rolled into one. It‘s the third and most ambitious project of the Montpeliers Partnership. the people responsible for Montpeliers in Bruntslield and The Iguana on Lothian Street.

The site of the former Mr V‘s in Charlotte Street Lane has been transformed beyond recognition due to the skills of the Gray en Images design learn. The courtyard which used to lead tip to the facade of the previous Italian restaurant has been given a futrrristic glass roofturning it into an interior plaza. The old stone front of the building now leads into a separate dining/wining area on the ground floor. while the upper storey has become a gallery that overlooks the action on the indoor courtyard. A second menanine bridges out from the old facade to create yet another distinct space. The overall effect is. paradoxically. one of a large open area with a selection of different levels and areas that beg to be explored.

Each section has its own identity and feeling produced by an innovative use of colours and materials. The stairs up

to the gallery are crowned with the



original wooden frame of the building. This roughness is contrasted with the smoothed and polished wooden planks that form the ceiling elsewhere. The bar in the courtyard backs onto a newly built wall consisting of a collage of new and reclaimed bricks. stones. slates and grilles which form oddly geometric patterns. The seating is a mix and match of booths. country oak tables and. bizarrely. aluminium chairs from the New York State Penitentiary. Stunning as the design of Indigo Yard is. customers obviously cannot keep body and soul together by staring at a well-designed environment. To this end. the establishment is open 8.3(larn— l atn with a daytime menu running until 7pm when a more substantial menu kicks in. If there is any unifying theme to the two menus it's their panglobal nature. Thai spiced prawns trestle in lettucrne. North Africa gets a look in with roasted vegetable couscous salad. the Middle East exerts its influence in the form of marinated chicken. cucumber and mint with olive bread while the Americans lead the way with banana pancakes and butterscotch sauce. Scotland‘s contribution to the world's culinary stage announces itself with dishes like

Bar wall nude tron new and reclaim materials




Indigo Yard: radical design seared-salmon in a tomato and basil vinaigrette or chargrilled steaks with mustard butter and seasoned chips.

Rather than restricting customers to eating certain things at certain times in certain portions. Indigo Yard's menus are designed to allow an unusual freedom of choice. If you want something from the all-day breakfast rrrentr at (i.3()pm then that‘s OK with them. Similarly. should your appetite need blunting a little after work but you can‘t face a full meal then nibble on a snack portion of marinated prawns with- garlic and chili or corn chips with a selection of dips. Needless to say. food is by no means obligatory and if all that's required is a quick double espresso or a post-knocking off time nerve restorative you'll still be welcomed with open arms.

Given the location in the heart of the West End. the owners are expecting office workers to form the bulk oftheir Iunchtirne clientele with a stylish professional crowd making their way there in the evenings.

That's enough enthusing from this quarter. Go and see for yourselves. you won't be disappointed.

[Ht/It'll Yard. 7 (‘Ilurlnllt' Lune. Edinburgh. 22() 5603.

7 Old Fishmar‘ket Close

Monday to Thursday all day

1' rant

Le Sept


lunch and dinner

Friday and Saturday Sundays dinner only telephone 0131 225 5428





G3 6UR 0141-353 3278


I m :0 w w W m 2 n "'1 Vi I 0 2 m -< m I O —‘ 2’ n O r- U 1" O O O


This superb Scottish restaurant has been the recipient of many awards for excellence since being established in l97l. The neWest award is a Michelin Red M. an award never before bestowed on a Glasgow restaurant.



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The List 12-25 Jul I996 91