It’s lovely to walk into a new restaurant/bar and it’s already busy. It’s already a hit in the neighbourhood – all the cool kids hang out there but it also emanates a cool confidence that’s neither big headed nor arrogant, just a sense of it knows what it is and it knows how to deliver it.
I’m talking about Damm27, the latest bar/bistro to open in Newington, Edinburgh.
They’ve transformed the old man boozer into a very modern, sleek, funky, contemporary space; stripping back and exposing bare walls then covering them in gold leaf ghostwriting; installing beautiful new tiled floors and mixing up the seating with high tables and chairs and booth, banquette and freestanding seating too.
Speaking to Andy McCartney, the owner, whilst he took us through the menu, I asked why is it called Damm27? The reason is that he wanted the name to reflect the very European menu that they have on offer and ‘Damm’ felt like the right word. They are based at 27 Causewayside and so Damm27 was born.
We had to start off with olives, smoked almonds and a beer. They do however have some fabulous cocktails but that’s for another visit.
The menu will take you all over Europe from France with Coq Au Vin Blanc and Ham Hock and Gruyere Croquettes to Austria with Chicken Schnitzel to Spain and Andalucian Mussel Pots.
The menu all sounds mouthwatering, so we decided to let Andy lead the way. First up, Bouillabaisse served with rustic bread, rouille and gruyere.
Wow for under £10 this is a steal. A delightful heavy base steel pot delivers an abundance of fruits of the sea. This wee pot is jammed packed full to the brimm of prawns, calamari, mussels, thick chunks of fish and a superb deep, rich, umami bisque.
I really wanted chicken and couldn’t resist the sound of the The Kaiser Burger – Chicken Schnitzel with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and pickle served with a side of fries.
Some serious stacking happening here that will fill even the hungriest of guests. Chicken Schnitzel was crispy perfection with succulent well seasoned chunky chicken breasts in the middle. Sauerkraut and the pickle added the crunch and the tang.
I’d like to say that this was the only reason I came here but I’m going to say it’s one of the many reasons to go back. Eat this Bone Marrow Mac n Cheese and you will hear the mac n cheese angels sing!
It’s got the pasta which is al dente and smothered in cheese sauce. It’s got the cheese and the cheese strings to rival any cheese string. It’s got the x factor with the sumptuous beef stock from the bone marrow. Throw these all together in one dish – Mac n Cheese Heaven (it does exist at Damm27)
Damm27 mac n cheese - YouTube
At this point we were bursting at the seams and totally gutted that we couldn’t eat our way through the menu. All the desserts hit my dessert button and if I had had to choose, I’d still be sitting there or would have had to order them all.
What would you choose? Crème brûlée cheesecake with candied orange (V) OR the Sticky toffee pear pudding with pistachio ice cream (V) OR the Champagne sorbet with rhubarb sherbet and gin gel (V/GF). Difficult isn’t it?
I really think I need to go back. Soon and possibly again and again and again.
I highly recommend Damm27. Please do give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed!
You can ring my bell, ring my bell! The only song I want to sing when entering the all new speakeasy, Camera in Newington. It does come with its own bell so who can resist even if you aren’t an Anita Ward fan.
Camera ~ ring my bell - YouTube
You will recognise the space, it use to be the event space for Diablo Loco, a year or so ago; before Sonder took it over and converted this space into a hidden bar.
The make over of the space is lovely. It’s gone from dark and dingy to atmospheric, spacious and quite romantic. The colour scheme is muted but with a lovely mixture of table and chairs seating, to stools and comfortable sofa type seating.
It has a maximum capacity of around 30-35 people and when it’s full the staff are happy to tell you so and ask you to come back later. I like this. It means that the space never gets cramped or overcrowded and those that are already there can thoroughly enjoy their experience.
Camera has lovely selection of beers and wines but it’s really the cocktails you want to be coming here for.
Classic cocktails will always be available but Camera focus on using local ingredients and creativity, experimenting with tastes, textures and smells. They have the Market Menu, which is a range of cocktails that continuously pushes the boundaries of what a cocktail should be and evokes memories. On the night, cocktails with names of Grass, Smoked Berries and Lime where on the blackboard menu.
From the cocktail menu :
Cocktail Number 3. Old Tom Gin, Lemongrass, Grapefruit and Sparkling Wine. A great way to kick off the night. Tangy bursting with citrus flavours but nice n fizzy like a fruit Prosecco.
Cocktail Number 2 – Spiced Rum, Pineapple and Anise. A touch like an Old Fashioned but with rum. Boozy, rich and sweet.
From the market menu:
(B)ananas – Jamaican Rum, Mezcal, Coconut and Pineapple. I loved this. It was like a Yop Yoghurt, thick and creamy but packed a rum punch. The coconut and the tequila most certainly shone through.
Cocktail Number 1 – Aelder Elixir, Apple and Thyme Liqueur. Thoroughly delicious and agree with the staff that it tastes like Robinsons diluting juice. Tangy, fruity and more-ish.
We also got to try one of the new cocktails about to make it onto the Market Menu – Liquorice Allsorts. Believe me, this is liquid liquorice allsorts – perhaps more the soft squiggey one with all the hundreds and thousands on it, but wow, this will take you back to when you were 10!
A hidden gem that is soon to be exposed and hidden no longer. A fantastic night where you can genuinely chill out, relax, chat and enjoy with mates or loved ones. The staff are knowledgable, engaging and passionate about what they do.
Around the world more and more of us are becoming vegan or vegetarian with a quarter of UK dinners now having no meat or fish.
This week – May 13 to 19 – is National Vegetarian Week and across Vittoria Group restaurants in Edinburgh the team are joining the cause by offering delicious, sustainable Vegetarian specials that will draw the capitals foodies’ attention to the growing trend.
The popular restaurant group are encouraging meat-free diners all over the city to be part of it from Bertie’s Restaurant and Bar on Victoria Street to La Favorita Pizzeria on Leith Walk – as they cater to an ever diversifying crowd.
Dishes available across the groups restaurant portfolio include Vegan Fish & Chips at Bertie’s Restaurant and Bar; a thick slice of Aubergine, wrapped in seaweed and deep fried in batter, served with twice cooked chips and vegan tartare sauce.
At fine dining venue Divino Enoteca in Edinburgh’s Old Town guests can enjoy Zucchina Ripiena Al Forno – Soft Courgette stuffed with a sauté of Vegetable and Buffalo Mozzarella, served with Baked Red onion, with a Pea and Mint sauce.
Meanwhile on Leith Walk at La Favorita Restaurant and with La Favorita Delivered meat free-lovers will revel in a Fire & Smoke Pizza – Fire roasted Peppers, Smoked Mozzarella, Green olives, red onion, jalapeños, red chilli peppers & gorgonzola on a tomato base topped with fresh Rocket and Parmesan.
At Taste of Italy diners can savor on a Roma Panini – Melted mozzarella, sliced vine tomatoes & basil pesto drizzled with Olive Oil.
At the newly refurbished Vittoria on the Bridge and the Italian restaurant groups neighbourhood site, Vittoria on the Walk guests can dig into a Stuffed Vegan Aubergine – Half Aubergine filled with confit aubergine, tomato, pepper & olives & glazed with vegan cheese on a bed of cherry tomato sauce & french beans.
Vittoria Group Chairman, Tony Crolla said: “Within our restaurants, we are seeing an increase with veganism, vegetarianism and people just looking to widen their own food experience with meat free meals. These dishes we have introduced are not only available for National Vegetarian Week but will be a firm fixture on our menus and hopefully position our restaurants amongst Edinburgh’s most vegetarian-friendly eateries.”
To help celebrate National Vegetarian Week visit www.vittoriagroup.co.uk for further details and to view Vittoria Group restaurant locations and menus.
Harvey Nichols Edinburgh is delighted to announce a new themed dinner in their Supper Club
series, which will focus purely on cheese.
The four course dinner will be hosted by I.J. Mellis – the Edinburgh-based premium, artisan
cheesemonger, which has a longstanding heritage within the British cheese industry. Combining the renowned expertise and industry insights from I.J. Mellis with the passion and high-calibre cooking of the Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant, the dinner will explore the many culinary variations of cheese. From Loch Arthur cheese gougères to Gorgonzola and goat’s milk ice cream, this event promises to showcase the true versatility of this single ingredient.
SAY CHEESE Wednesday 19th June 7pm Forth Floor Restaurant Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh Tickets £50 per person (Includes a drink on arrival)
To celebrate this year’s World Whisky Day on Saturday, 18 May, The Ivy on the Square is inviting guests to enjoy a series of limited-edition whisky liqueur cocktails. The special menu, which has been created in collaboration with award-winning malt whisky liqueur Bruadar, will be available at the Edinburgh restaurant from Monday, 13 to Monday, 20 May.
Cocktail connoisseurs can sip three different Bruadar-based cocktails, ranging from fresh and fruity to fragrant and zesty, at The Ivy on the Square’s luxurious bar.
The Gaelic Dream (£8.50) combines Bruadar with raspberry puree, coconut milk, lemon juice, lime juice and lavender syrup for a deliciously sweet, smooth way to enjoy Scotland’s national drink this World Whisky Day.
Those who prefer things a little more sweet and sour can try the Sloe and Smooth (£8.75), a twist on a classic gin fizz which highlights the unique flavours of Bruadar by pairing it with Plymouth sloe gin, lime juice and egg white.
Rounding off the limited-edition World Whisky Day cocktail menu is the Ruby Malt (£8.50), a refreshing blend of Bruadar, Martini Rubino vermouth, lemon juice, orange marmalade, orange bitters and ginger ale.
Bruadar,a unique malt whisky liqueur infused with the flavours of honey and sloe berries, is created in the heart of Perthshire by Morrison & Mackay Ltd. With sweet and subtle flavours, the liqueur is perfect for all whisky drinkers – whether enjoyed on the rocks or as part of a creative cocktail. Bruadar recently picked up the silver award in the 2019 World Liqueur Awards.
Jon Niemi, head bar manager at The Ivy on the Square, comments: “It’s always exciting to try and come up with something special for World Whisky Day, and I think the menu we’ve created this year is the perfect way to celebrate. The unique flavour of Bruadar means these cocktails are sure to be enjoyed by both whisky connoisseurs and those who are new to the spirit.”
Niel Hendriksz, from Morrison & Mackay Ltd, says: “We’re delighted to be working with The Ivy on the Square to mark this year’s World Whisky Day with a range of delicious limited-edition Bruadar cocktails. These creative concoctions highlight the exceptional flavours of our single malt liqueur, proving that whisky is one of the most versatile drinks there is.”
The Ivy on the Square, 6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD
Scrolling through the images below, you can only think of one thing ~ Spring is most definitely here and that Summer is on its way.
Since December 2018, Chef Shaun Woodhouse has been in charge of the kitchen and his first challenge was overhauling the One Square Bar and Brasserie menus.
Shaun has always been inspired by home cooking and fresh produce and this is really shining
through in the new menus he and his team have created for One Square Brasserie. A firm
believer in simplicity, Shaun has changed the One Square menus to showcase the best produce that Scotland has to offer.
You can expect exceptional flavours on the new lunch and dinner menu such as Pork shank on
fermented cabbage and Granny Smith apple, this dish was created to share and
recommended to be served with Heritage potato mash and chives and Roasted honey and salt
A new vegan menu has also been implemented with plenty of choice (featuring a
sublime aubergine falafel and curried onion burger with guacamole and dill gherkin
served on a vegan bun), and the team are always happy to modify dishes to suit all other
The menu reflects the seasonality and a definite nod to Scottish ingredients.
British asparagus, heritage potato and Parmesan puree with seasonal truffle and crispy chicken skin
An absolute triumph of a dish. The asparagus, as the diva of the show, most certainly took centre stage in this dish; fresh, vivid green and still crunchy, served with an almost whip like potato and cheese puree, was superb. The chicken skin added that extra taste dimension. This was lick the plate delicious!
Avocado, green beans, red chicory, pear and blue cheese aioli.
One for the vegetarians, and another exceptional plate of ingredients that bounce off each other creating perfect harmonious mouthfuls. The colours are tremendous and you will want to just dive straight in.
A vegetarian mains course of Papardelle Pasta with roasted butternut and spinach.
Very fresh and light, although it did require quite a bit of seasoning. Butternut was cooked well providing the little sweet nuggets of flavour amongst the metallic flavour of the spinach.
Smoked and marinated Jacob’s Ladder beef short rib (280g) and served with red watercress, beer salt and dried onion with a red wine juz.
The rich beefiness from this short rib was insane. It was ever so slightly dry in the middle but I soon smothered it in the red wine jus and never thought about it again. The red watercress, beer salt and dried onion salad was fabulous and provided such a great texture contrast. Loved it.
Sweet Potato Fries. Delicious
Roasted honey and salt carrots. Delicious.
Green beans with toasted almonds. Delicious.
Apple Tarte Tatin with clotted cream, ice cream and custard foam. The tarte was light and crispy with no soggy bottom. The apples beautifully caramelised and sweet.
Coconut cheesecake and compressed apple with bergamot sorbet. Superb flavour combinations that help create sunshine on a plate.
Chef has most certainly worked hard here to create and produce some wonderful seasonal dishes that were hard to fault. Ideal plates of food that would put a smile on anyone’s face and lift your spirits. We loved it and highly recommend One Square.
One Square, 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh, SC EH3 9SR. Tel : 0131 2216422
The Radhuni is giving diners an extra reason to sample vegetarian food by cutting prices.
Indian-Bangladeshi restaurant The Radhuni in Loanhead on the outskirts of Edinburgh is reducing prices on its new vegetarian menu by 15% between next Tuesday and Thursday during UK Vegetarian Week.
According to their Managing Director partner, Habibur Khan, vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular throughout Britain. The Radhuni has a wide selection of non-meat dishes on their menu and they’re launching their new menu during Vegetarian Week and slashing prices for three days is their way of encouraging customers to sample something new.
Last month The Radhuni was voted the best curry restaurant in the Edinburgh area in the Scottish Curry Awards and in 2018 its chef was named Scotland’s Curry Chef of the Year.
UK Vegetarian Week runs from 13-19 May.
Here’s some recipes courtesy of the Radhuni for you to try at home.
Slaw (Indian Salad)
· 1 tbp sunflower oil
· 1 tbsp black mustard seed
· 1 tbsp cumin seeds
· ½ white cabbage, finely shredded or coarsely grated
· 1 red onion, finely sliced
· 1 green chilli, chopped
· Fresh lemon slices
Heat the oil in a frying pan and warm the mustard and cumin seeds until they sizzle and crackle, then remove from the heat. Combine everything together in a mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt and serve. (Can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge).
Broccoli Bazi (Side dish)
· 400g broccoli divided into florets
· 2tbsp cooking oil
· 3 tbsp garam masala
· Chopped onions
· Chopped green & red peppers
Heat the oven to 200°c, 400°f or gas mark 6. Put the broccoli in a large bowl, drizzle over the oil and sprinkle over the garam masala. Toss the mixture thoroughly so the broccoli is evenly coated. Tip into an oven tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until tender and the edges are crisp.While the broccoli is cooking heat a frying pan and gently toast the onions and peppers until they are golden. Once the broccoli is cooked tip it onto the frying pan with the onions and peppers for 2 minutes.
Niramish Biryani (Main course)
· 2 tbsp cooking oil
· 1 onion (sliced)
· 1 green chilli (chopped)
· 1 garlic clove (grated)
· 2 tbsp garam masala
· 1 tbsp tumeric powder
· 2 carrots (thinly sliced)
· 1 x 100g Brown rice
· Add coriander to serve
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, tip in the onion with a big pinch of salt and fry until softened for around 5 mins, then add the chilli and crush in the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Stir in the spices with a splash of water and cook for a couple of mins before adding the carrots and stir well to coat in all the spices and flavours. Tip in the rice, then use the back of your spoon to break up any clumps of rice and combine with the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook over a high heat for 5 mins (it’s nice if a bit of rice catches on the base to give a bit of texture to the dish). Scatter over the coriander and serve straight from the pan
Award winning Cantonese restaurant Lychee Oriental in Glasgow has revealed its new look following a refurbishment project.
Featuring interiors inspired by the restaurants and ‘coffee houses‘ of Chongqing in southwestern China, the new-look restaurant brings the oriental glamour and decadence of ‘China’s Hot Pot’ region to Mitchell Street in Glasgow.
The cosmopolitan space located in the heart of Glasgow’s shopping district features a sumptuous dining room with monochromatic taupe and creme furnishings, low ceilings, plush dining chairs and modern lighting fixtures. These have been matched with a new colour scheme and soft furnishings breathing fresh life into one of Scotland’s most celebrated Chinese restaurants.
Jimmy Lee, Head Chef at Lychee Oriental, said: “We didn’t want to radically change the fabric of the restaurant or the spirit of Lychee’s dining experience. Instead, we wanted to enhance the lively atmosphere and energy that our space has become known for. Lychee Oriental has an amazing support network around us and we hope that all of our guests, both regulars and first-timers love our transformation.”
Blending traditional and contemporary Chinese culture, the 70-cover restaurant has also introduced some new dishes to a menu that combines traditional flavours with modern cooking techniques.
Favourites on the ‘A La Carte’ menu include ‘Chargrilled Chicken Satay Skewers‘ and ‘Steamed Dim Sum‘ for starters and ‘Hong Kong Sweet and Sour Prawn‘ and ‘Traditional Chinese Chicken Curry‘ for main. Specialities featured include ‘Monkfish Hotpot with Spicy XO sauce‘, ‘Pulled Aromatic Duck‘ and ‘Japanese Katsu Curry‘.
Diners can book a table now. Open from midday, Monday through to Sunday at 59 Mitchell Street, Glasgow serving lunch and dinner.
We are truly blessed in Scotland. If you live in a city centre, you are never far from the sea, a beach and the countryside and Edinburgh this is no exception. 15 minutes and you’re in Portobello or Granton, 30 minutes and you’re out in East Lothian, Midlothian or down in the Scottish Borders.
We are surrounded buy an abundance of green spaces and country parks, exceptional outdoor visitor attractions and some amazing historical castles and their grounds.
Dalkeith County Park is one of these fabulous green spaces, with 2000 acres to explore and a Palace but its also home to the Restoration Yard – cafe, shop and wellbeing lab.
The Restoration Yard has been open since mid 2016; the cafe is open 7 days a week serving up breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. They also have a once a month Steak Friday when you can visit this magical place after dark and treat yourself to the finest cuts of Buccleuch Beef which is traditionally matured for 28 days.
Restoration Yard has a new Chef at the helm, Colin Halliday, who has worked at the likes of Gleneagles, Caledonian Hotel and was an Executive Chef with Nick Nairn. With this impressive resume, you know the food is going to be great. We went along to sample Steak Night and we weren’t disappointed.
First starter was this vegetarian dish of Truffled Orzo pasta, wild mushrooms and tarragon cream sauce.
A beautiful light Summer serving of silky smooth orzo pasta coated in the slightly garlic, earthy taste from the truffles. A large bowl of home comfort.
Second starter of Quinoa salad with roasted med veg, Hass avocado, salt-baked beetroot and lemon dressing.
The combination of ingredients is simple yet they work ever so well. Nutty quinoa, the earthiness from the beetroot, creaminess of the avocado and the wee pops of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes. On a hot night in the Summer this will be delightful and filling.
Starters done, its steak time!!!
All their Scottish Buccleuch beef steaks are served with roasted cherry vine tomatoes, sauteed Portobello mushrooms and hand-cut chips. You can choose from 8oz Rib Eye, 8oz Sirloin or a 7oz Fillet. Sauces are Peppercorn, The Duke’s Clan Scott Whisky and Cafe de Paris Butter Sauce.
They do however cater for non steak lovers with Honey and Chilli glazed Duck, Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken, Burger, Pan-fried fillet of Seabass and a Chickpea, sweet potato and spinach curry.
We both chose the fillet steaks. Mine was medium rare with peppercorn sauce and Clare’s was medium with the Cafe de Paris Butter Sauce
The steaks were cooked to absolute perfection. They are thick steaks; juicy, tender and succulent. I loved how it was served with the large earthy mushroom, the sweet vine tomatoes and chunky chips. The only thing that would have made this perfect for me would be a fried egg!
Restoration Yard have a nice wine list but as we were both driving it was Fentimans for both of us.
Desserts are a simple affair with some classics on the menu ~ Creme Brulee, selection of Scottish cheeses and this Sticky Toffee Pudding with vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.
Sponge was light and fluffy and very date-y. Loved that there was ample toffee sauce.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Steak Night. The cafe is beautiful, it was busy and bustling and very friendly and helpful staff. Superb venue to share steaks and wine with great friends and family. The next Steak Night is Friday 31st May and the last Friday of every month thereafter.
It’s a bright and happy space to suit the bright and happy demeanour of the staff. DOC Mediterranean makes you smile and the vibrant yellow and blue colours that runs throughout reminds you of sunshine and sea of the Mediterranean.
DOC is split into two sections; a more formal dining area and the more informal dining area where the authentic Neapolitan pizza oven. The outside also has a superb deck area which they hope to have as a beer garden over the Summer.
I love a good olive so we nibbled on these for a while whilst we made up our minds on what to choose from the decent sized menu.
The food is a mix of Italian and Spanish dishes with starters and tapas, A La Carte menu, Pizzas and an Early Bird set menu. It’s quite seafood focused but they do serve up some great vegetarian dishes and happy to accommodate gluten freebies .
Bruschetta with cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil.
Three large thick cut slices well soaked with those gorgeous flavours of olive oil, garlic and the juice from ripe tomatoes. A little tricky to eat as the tomatoes kept falling off; not that this was a hardship. A light fresh way to start the meal.
You can also try out the Tapas like Patatas Bravas (potatoes), Chorizo Al a Sidra (chorizo sausage with apple cider sauce) or perhaps the Huevos Rotos con Pimientos Del Padron (fried egg with chips and ham).
There are very very few places that can cook Calamari well where the squid is nothing like a rubber band, lightly coasted and deep fried under tender.
These calamari rings were good; most certainly not chewy. They were lightly seasoned and if anything I would comment that they need to be thinner but that’s just a personal preference.
The Cozze (mussels) also caught my fancy as did the Antipasti platter.
However this is the dish that everyone should rush to try. This is the Gnocchi Gorgonzola with walnuts and smoked Italian ham. If there are food gods, they would be singing Hallelujah right now! The gnocchi was soft and pillowy and the sauce – ooo the sauce. If you love a blue cheese you will get excited by this dish. There just wasn’t enough on the plate (only cause I could have continued to eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner).
There are several dishes to choose from : pasta like Tagliatelle Ragu; risotto like Paella; and a meat dish like the Pollo Griglia (Chicken).
They produce two types of pizza here : a red one (tomato base) and a white one (mozzarella base). All the classics are available (Marina, Margherita, Calzone) as well as a long list of extra ingredients that you can add (Vegan Mozzarella, Mortadella and Fennel sausage).
We tried the Primaverawhite pizza with cherry tomatoes, parma ham, rocket and Parmesan). The base was thin and bubbled with sufficient toppings. A genuinely lovely pizza.
Mixed Seafood Grill with king prawns, seabass and calamari.
DOC Mediterranean purchase and cook everything fresh, from scratch. The seafood is delicious and its nice to see king prawns that are a decent size rather than small shrimp. Fish was soft and flaky whilst the squid was tender. All well seasoned and presented.
DOC Edinburgh is located in quite a tricky location, on the Drumbrae roundabout with a Chinese restaurant and a McD’s as their direct competition; however if they continue to serve food this good they will sail through the Summer with a full book of reservations.
D.O.C. Mediterranean, 1 Meadow Place Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh Tel : 0131 2857000 www.docbistro.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Silver Spoon 8/10
I was invited by DOC Edinburgh to review their menu. Food and drink were complimentary but the views are very much my own.