Historically, Edinburgh's Infirmary Street was somewhere you might head for some healing, so it's with a touch of pleasant irony that the street is now home for a bar and restaurant dedicated to the country's latest health fad. Come into Oxygen Bar and Grill for a pint, and you may find yourself partaking of a litre — but the unique tipple on tap in this establishment is fresh air. Manager William Reynolds is keen to emphasise the benefits of his unusual draught. ’lt's refreshing and stimulating,’ he explains. In the aftermath of the festive season, a blast of cool air could enliven the most jaded of palates.
You can order oxygen by the canister from a pocket-sized portion to the equivalent of a wine bottle, or you can use the dispensers downstairs which will provide flavours like peppermint and orange. But don't worry — there's more familiar food and drink on offer as well. Oxygen combines a café bar and restaurant with a basement bar.
If, like Ricky Martin you fancy liVing /a vida loca, you’ll be pleased to hear that even on the dreichest of Winter nights, it will be possible to sample a little bit
84 "IE “31' 7—20 Jan 2000
The café menu operates until 6pm and, after that, there is a selection of 'night bites' including olive and mozzarella rolls and steamed pork balls. The clean, bright restaurant serves more substantial fare until 10pm, offering a menu that strives to be GM free with an international outlook. ’We like to think of the food as global, without going to extremes,’ says Reynolds. The result is a light fusion-style menu which includes plenty of Asian flavours. The healthy vibe is underscored by a surprisingly large selection of soft drinks, including mango and passion fruit juices.
The refurbishment of a once-derelict building has
transformed a local eyesore into a plate-glass, cream- walled haven. Designed by the team behind Stockbridge’s Watershed, this establishment is undoubtedly airy with suede banquettes, comfy bucket chairs and muted beige set off against clean cut architecture. The aluminium bar is a masterpiece of minimalism — instead of fussy bottles and traditional optics it is lined with row upon row of canisters. Oxygen - modern, light and uncluttered - refreshes the parts that other bars cannot reach.
21st Century Spain: Siglo
of Spain in chilly Edinburgh, Just opened on the former site of The Green Tree in Edinburgh’s busy Cowgate, Siglo ~ it's Spanish for ’century' — is a massive new bar development over two floors. Owned
l Oxygen Bar and Grill, 3—5 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh,
Breath of fresh air: Oxygen
by Belhaven, the new venture follows on from their successful Czech-themed beer cellar, Pivo Caffe’.
Manager Paul Hackland says Siglo has its sights set high. 'We aim to have the best bar service and facilities and to i bring new people into the Cowgate,’ he says. The venue's commitment to all things Hispanic starts with the decor: a homage to Catalonia's finest architect, Antonio Gaudi. Hackland describes the theme as ’rich colours, slanted angles and squiggly lines.’
The beer includes Cruzcampo and, if you're feeling like reviving old holiday memories, you can purchase Sangria by the jug or Freixenet — Spain's most popular cava — by the bottle. Food includes tapas for light snacking and paella for more serious appetites.
The theme doesn't stop at food and drink, however. Hackland promises regular salsa bands and, for those a little uncertain of the steps, there will be dancing lessons. 'We hope that peOple will feel the passion of Siglo,’ he says. After all, as the adverts remind us, there’s a little bit of Latin spirit in everyone. (Moira Jeffrey)
I Sig/o is at 784 The Cowgate, Edinburgh, 240 2850.
; these drinks — ; it’s sweetie shop time
the taurine that’s present
Spit or swallow
It's all a matter of taste
Maybe it was all that extra energy you put into celebrating this particular Hogmanay, but chances are there's been a cloud hanging over y0ur head since you stumbled over that mountain
of post-party champagne bottles in the
early hours of 2000 The words ‘never again’ are still echomg around the toilet bowl, so the thought of alcohol is about as welcome as an inVitation to
the Harrods sales made out to Mr and
Mrs Hamilton. This issue, The List shifts its glance away from the off-licence shelves and tries out some high-energy
1 drinks designed to Simulate your
Purdey’s Gold Natural
herbal eVident in the
nose, but — like many of
comes to the flavour: a sherbet lemons spritz rolls
over the tongue. No caffeine, but
contains Korean ginseng, prickly ash 3 bark and extra carbohydrates.
i Red Bull
(at 0.40/0 along with 0.3% caffeine), this clubber’s favourite smells and tastes like Cremola Foam. Golden in colour and rather sweet to taste.
Solstis From the makers of Lucozade comes this tin of ’fast stimulation'. Tasting like jelly babies or lemon wine I. . .1 gums, it adds 7’ "'5 «’ natural guarana extracts to the taurine and caffeine. Lipovitan Move from the sweet shop to the flower shop next door. This drink, originally from Japan and boasting Royal Jelly extract, has the odour of freshly cut flowers and a surprisingly day-glo yellow colour. The flavour is much lighter than any of the above — refreshing parma violets with a hint of soap. (Jane Quinn)