Food '& Drink

Eat out, drink up

Few expenses have been spared on

Edinburgh’s bar/restaurant/club OPAL LOUNGE is selling sanctuary Words: Barry Shelby

he gets tne feetrng that for: expenses ‘.'.'er‘e spared hy Montpelrer's

l, r'rrrted ‘.'.'llll thrs nev.’ ‘.'entur'e. 'l'her‘e's the promotronal CDROM wrr‘tual

tour that ar‘rrxed '.'.rrth the launch party rnx'rtes. the hurl oak veneers. har’ tops of polrshed Irrrrestone and other rrrater'rals :n a modern. surrrptuous space.

Opal l ounge rs perhaps the culrnrnatron of the l-.drnl)urgh group's arnhrtron If::t-o.'.rrng Indrgo Yard. Favor'rt. chk's et all and Justrfres the 5‘2an |ll‘.'(}f3l(3(l In the spr‘a‘.'.rlrng 8000 souar'e foot venue. ‘.'./hrch rs a cafe. har. restaurant. and late lr<:errsed clu'n. to hoot.

'\.'.’e nave 'ceen ‘.'.’crkrng on the George Street srte for the past three years] says Montpelrer‘s rr‘vanagrng director Davrd \"thhers. 'lvery aspect from the cutting edge interior design to our fusron street food menu has been carefully thotrght ( :r and planned. Our arm rs to estahlrsh Opal Lounge as a crt‘x, centre desfrrfatron frke no other'.'

()pa rs suotrtled: ‘/\ refuge for modern Irvrngf That sanctuan,‘ starts at slrdrng glass doors winch a’:io~.'.«' the sun's rays to stream rnto the first room. Its chocolate leather upholstered benches and hean hags are casually rearranged to surt groups. '.'.r":rte alcoves have 'oucket seats. A haserrrent space throughout. Opals artrt'rcrai Eg‘ntrng .5; key: a narretg,’ of frhre optrcs are deployed such as wall strrps h, hootlzs rn t're marn bar that seem to change rntensrty as well as colour.

()nai has tour drstrnct spaces and the desrgn by Malcolm Fraser Archrtects rs rrtearut to gave the venue flexrhrlrty. for example. the rear har x'xrth rts own set of foriets can oe roped off for pr'rvate parties or used as a locatron for post—x'ror‘k troolng l), com ranres ‘.'.'rshrng some seclusron. lhe rnrddle r‘oorrr. ‘.'.’rth Its DJ stand. hzdrlen acoustrc tries and rough-hewn or‘rgrnal trrnher prllars juxtaposed '.'.'rll‘. glrtter‘ixrlis .s ostensrhly the dancefloor. furthest from the front doors. the ‘sunke'r tetr'rge' '.'.’rtl‘. rts recessed tahles and crrrnson r.'./a|l looks best for drnrng.

As l‘:".terl rn \.I'.’rthers' staternent. much of the food rs Influenced by the ()r'rent. lhe rr=er1u for ll‘t: launch includes ‘lrrtes' lrke Asran peppered tuna wrth soy trr'essrnrg or spring orzron pancakes; noodle how s such ; s steamed lemon grass cnrckert .'.'rtlt Asian greens or sprnach and tofu mrso: as well as pastas. salads and f)£1ll(l'.'.’i~’,‘lt():;.

()pal .vrll hor'r'r Rick's cocktarl culture: content;>or‘ar‘y concoctrons z'xrth f.‘r£lf:f37(; roots and seasonal Influences are planned as ‘.'.'e|l as trrrreless drinks. sire r as the rrrar‘trnr. And if g,ou're more rnclrned tox'xards healthrer optrons. fr'urt ar‘d peg snrootnres arid rtrrces are avarlahle.

I ()pa/ / ounge. "r ia ()eorge .‘Jtreet, [.t/rrrlM/Ig/r. ()13/ 3’6 [’9/5).

Eclectic company

Side dishes

An extra helping of news . . .

I HAS MICK JAGGER BEEN spotted at Edinburgh’s Human Be-ln? Not only the lippy one, but John Leslie, Honor Fraser, Kate Winslet and Lord Lovat (who he?) have also dropped in, according to a new survey of pubs and clubs called the CrushGuide. Published by Black Book, this tome to going out primarily focuses on London but it deigns to deliver ratings and reviews on ten venues in Edinburgh and another ten in Glasgow.

Celebrity sightings (Prince Billy and Hibs players at Beluga Bar) are just one of the CrushGuide’s features. More prominently showcased are its ratings on the wealth of clientele (‘big spenders’), how attractive they are (‘eye candy’) and your chances of pulling one (‘getting lucky’).

How do our humble establishments fare? On a one to five score (five being best), Glasgow’s Groucho Saint Jude’s does well with eye candy and big spenders (4/5 each) but lamentably, according to CrushGuide, you’re not likely see them beside you the next morning (getting lucky a mere 1/5). If this book is to be believed, sex in the city of Glasgow seems rarely a matter of fortune; half of the bars only score two or less.

In the capital, only two venues are a bit limp (2/5) when it comes to pulling potential. Rick’s is the overall victor with four solid points in all three categories. The guide tells us that Rick’s clientele is mainly ‘gawping gents, happy spending their inheritances on tanned, toned and teasing Amazonian lovelies who flutter their eyelashes in time to the music.’

I Crus/rGu/de is priced £9.95; www. (th lS/lng/UQ. com

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