Food 8: Drink

Ni V‘.’ (iN’l lAl (IN E LUNT 4 Teviot Place, Edinburgh, 0131 225 2849

According to, a website devoted to the topic, ‘blunt’ in the argot of skateboarding means ‘going up over an object, landing with the tail [of the board, that is] along the edge of the object and the rear two wheels on top of the object. The board should then be pointing in a near vertical position.‘

But then perhaps you knew this. Still, that trick is a veritable ‘ollie‘ compared to launching your own cafe. Twenty-five year old chef Steven Olbert, after working in various kitchens of restaurants as diverse as Est Est Est, the Dome and Tower, says that putting in long hours for his own venture is preferable to grafting for others.

With Blunt he has a modern, simply furnished cafe with large windows that look onto the funnelled traffic of Teviot Place and Bristo Square beyond. The place has quickly proved popular with university students and their profs since opening this spring.

The menu may not break new culinary-ground in the way that Spoon did last year, but Edinburgh-born Olbert’s expertise does show in a ‘root vegetable' soup whose name doesn’t do the dish justice: thick but not stodgy, lightly flavoured and almost Mediterranean tasting. The menu has a host of sandwiches and salads (such as chicken with mango), full breakfasts and burgers (both with vegetarian options), chilli and lasagne, milkshakes and smoothies. Of the latter, the pear, banana and raspberry concoction is particularly recommended. Blunt also serves beer and a rather sophisticated range of plonk from Villeneuve Wines, including Tuatara Bay sauvignon blanc from New Zealand and 3 Lebanese l-lochar Pere & Fils 1999. Knarly, dude. (Barry Shelby)

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Wrne wrrtrng rnrght not seem lrke the ohvrous 1n chorce for a chrck-lrt makeover, hut Krtty Johnson pulls It oft, lrr‘mly armed at women who want to drunk wme rather than study rt. thrs hook srdesteps dr\, academra In favour of practrcal rntormatron lrke a great wrne. the key here Is structure.

Instead of takrng her readers through an rnstructrve ,- _ w‘ course startrng at grape varretres and sorl types.

she has chapter headrngs such as 'Partres'.

‘Shopprng' and 'Behrnd Bars'. Johnson makes the assumptron that her readers are already tamrlrar wrth huyrng land gu/xlrngl wrne. She decrphers Wrne ‘waftle' wrth lrttle reference to wrne-makrng technrgues. locusrng Instead on toprcs such as what wrnes to serve at a drnner' party or to ofler to your rn-Iaws and even top trps to get you through any subsequent hangovers.

Johnson also arrs some grretarrces warters who are trarned to hand the wrne lrst to the male drner. for Instance and offers adwce on how to deal Wrth snoon sommelrers or pompous wrne merchants. It rs retreshrng to hear Johnson talk rn terms of PMS and werght garn, The chapter on wrne drrnkrng and women's health rs excellent lrf cccasronally gurte scam. Those wrth zvrne knowledge mat trnd that Johnson's book lacks depth. But her humour and realrsm make l'l"r.rre.' A l“."orrrarr's Gurde an enjoyable read. rChloe Oakshettr

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A 3 12 Ashton Lane Tel 0141-334 5007

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open 8am till 6pm (10pm during festival)

15 Blackfriars Street Edinburgh EH1 NE 0131 556 6922