Honeycomb & Co is located in Bruntsfield, an area I visit often for work, so it’s easy to see over time how the area has developed. I’m pleased to see that it has weathered the economic pressure of the last decade well and the area supports predominantly independent businesses – this is what the local residents demand, and they don’t mind paying for it. Anyone who is capable of delivering an upmarket offering with a level of cool is likely to succeed, Honeycomb & Co is just the latest in a string of cafes and artisan coffee and tea houses to open. The main thoroughfare is a yummy mummy’s heaven where card shops, boutiques, and the aforementioned cafes dominate.
Residing on the corner where Nardini’s use to be, and directly opposite the flat that featured in the Trainspotting sequel, Honeycomb & Co offers modern dining using great ingredients to produce quality food that people want to eat . The team overseeing the project have form, owning and managing a number of other eateries around the city, as such I sat down with reasonably high expectations.
It was a beautiful day outside, and coupled with the fact I was there on launch day, the atmosphere was buzzy (excuse the pun). The bee theme is carried through, tastefully, to the decor and of course through the food. Service as you’d expect was a little nervy given the fact it was their first full service, and impressively, they were fully booked – this is nothing that won’t be ironed out in time.
We settled back and ordered a couple of drinks. I don’t make a habit of drinking in the day but they had a cocktail, ‘Hunny Bee’, featuring honey and thought I really should give it a go (not to mention the requirement of raising a glass to launch day) – any excuse! Alex was far more sensible and had a coffee.
To start we ordered some bread – The Honeycomb & Co. Loaf Tin – a trio of daily baked breads which includes focaccia, leavened flatbread & lavosh served with Gorebridge rapeseed oil & hazelnut dukkah. Whilst tasty, at £3.50, it either felt slightly expensive, or the portion was slightly too small – retire any thoughts of sharing and order one each!
Alex had the Beef Ramen (£9) which had plenty of slow cooked beef brisket and a broth with a deep flavour.
I chose the Rare Roasted Aberdeen Angus Beef (£11) which comes with two salads. The beef was expertly cooked and the salads are where Honeycomb & Co really excels. If you like this style of food, you’ll love Honeycomb & Co.’s take on it.
The prices are a bit more than you might expect at a cafe, but Honeycomb & Co feels a bit more special than that, and the quality of food beats most of the competition in its category – if you don’t mind paying for quality, the prices probably won’t bother you.
Dessert felt indulgent at lunch time, but as I say, this felt a bit more special so we opted for Chocolate & Peanut – a dark chocolate & Arran sea-salted fondant peanut ripple gelato & caramelised peanuts. My god it was good, possibly the best fondant dessert I’ve ever had.
We finished with a homemade sorbet, a nice nod to Nardini’s. We chose the Pomegranate & Raspberry and it was everything I hoped it would be. You can buy sorbet to take away (one scoop £2, two scoops £3), and I highly recommend you treat yourself this summer.
Honeycomb & Co nails it, and when I’m looking to go out for a nice lunch I will definitely be back and I’ll certainly have the full three courses. The food is up there with the best I’ve had in Edinburgh and this is a welcome addition to Bruntsfield that’s likely to be a huge success – if you want to go, I’d book if I were you!
Honeycomb & Co
Location: 1 Merchiston Place
Price: Starters £3.50 – £6.50, Mains £9 – £11, Desserts £4.50 – £6.50
Good for: High quality dishes for all dietary requirements, excellent salads and sorbets