It’s hard to spot Aurora, you could easily mistake it for ‘just another cafe’ on Great Junction Street – it’s so much more than that though. During the day it does serve brunch and lunch, but in the evening the food veers towards the fine dining end of the spectrum.
The interior is minimalist. Those looking for plush comfort may not appreciate it, but if you’re looking for great quality food at a reasonable price (Foodinburgh Card Holders get an additional 15% off) then this is one for you.
We started with a Smoked Salmon on Blini Amuse Bouche.
I chose the Pork Cheeks with North Berwick Langoustine to start. The pork cheeks were soft and served in a lobster and lemongrass bisque, a star of burnt apple had a mellow flavour that was just enough acid to cut through the richness without killing the delicate flavours. ‘Potato Glass’ gave the dish some crunch. Definitely a dish I’d order again, and at £8, great value.
Alex chose Orkney Scallops with Smoked Anchovies in an Early Grey Burnt Butter. I was impressed with the generous portion size, all served complete with roe. Puffed quinoa was an unusual but tasty garnish. This was the most expensive starter at £8.50, which gives you an idea of the kind of value you can expect.
The menu at Aurora changes often and therefore is kept to just five mains, which makes it a bit easier to choose. When we were there there were mains of cod, duck, gnocchi, lamb, and topfen-palatschinken (a savoury crepe type dish originating from Central/Eastern Europe).
I had the Pistachio Crusted Lamb Rack with Salt Baked Parnips. This was a nice winter to spring dish – the salt baked parsnips were intense with a lovely mix of sweet and salty, and the lapsong pommes puree gave the dish some extra substance. Despite plenty of carbs, we couldn’t resist the Campfire Potatoes!
Alex’s Duck Breast was perfectly cooked and served with a very good sour cherry sauce. I often avoid duck as it’s so easy to get wrong, if I’d known it would be this good, I’d have ordered it myself.
We ordered both desserts, a Chocolate Ganache and an Aurora take on the classic Rum Baba. The former was nice and surprisingly not overly sweet, maybe the popping candy acted as a palate cleanser! The Rum Baba with the addition of candy floss and a sugared mint leaf was a bit too sweet for me, but very boozy, so I struggled on.
I like what Aurora is doing – it’s not in the smart part of town, and it’s a little rough and ready – and that means that it’s really just the food you have to focus on. The food is very good and great value. You should go.
Location: 187 Great Junction Street,Edinburgh EH6 5LQ
Price: Starters £7.50-£8.50, Mains £11 – £13.50
Good for: Great value fine dining style food
Foodinburgh Card Offer – 15% Off Food