ISHKA is one of the latest additions to Edinburgh’s vibrant restaurant and cocktail scene. I was at the launch party a few weeks back and it was absolutely packed so it looks like it’s going to be very popular.
Located in the business district, opposite the EICC, it’s perfectly placed for post work dinner & drinks and business lunches.
Following the launch party ISHKA has now settled into its surroundings and I was looking forward to returning to try the menu, which is more adventurous than you might expect.
We started off with a couple of drinks, I had a cocktail (obviously), but my friend had decided during that week that she was going teetotal so ordered a grown up soft drink. I’m seeing more of these options now which is great if you’ve decided to go alcohol free, or you’re the designated driver.
From the menu my friend ordered the Asparagus with Homemade Truffle Paneer. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine then you’ll recognise paneer as the fresh cheese you often find in their vegetarian dishes. Just one example of the inventiveness at ISHKA. Beautifully presented and right in season, a great start.
I had the Seared Pigeon Breast served with puy lentils. It was a pleasant dish, although a slate is not my first choice of serving dish when I’m using a knife and fork as I’m always nervous of that scraping sound that sets my teeth on edge. Not sure if I’m alone in this? It did look very pretty though.
I have been selecting more vegetarian dishes recently and once again I was tempted by the meat free option – Pea and Broad Bean Raviolo. This was a really light summery dish that I would definitely order again. The pasta was expertly cooked and the raviolo was sat atop a bed of roast squash swimming in lashings of sage butter – indulgent without being overwhelming. If you’re looking for something a bit more filling then add a side to bulk it out.
We also had the Rump of Lamb – the menu states this dish is served with haggis bon bons, but I can’t see them? I hadn’t noticed at the time so never mentioned it. Don’t worry about the lamb looking overcooked, my friend asked for it that way, each to their own but I would definitely want it rarer and that’s the way it would usually be served.
The Chocolate Brownie dessert was one of the most familiar dishes on the menu and was well executed, served classically with vanilla ice cream.
The inventiveness returned with the Apple Meringue which ended up being a bit sweet for me, although I did appreciate the creativity. All the components on their own were fine, it was just lacking a bit of texture. There were some pistachios but I was definitely looking for some praline or something biscuitty.
I really appreciated that ISHKA hadn’t stuck to the usual formula, it made for an interesting meal, of which the ravioli stood out as the real high point. I would happily recommend ISHKA for an adults only night out.
Location: 83 Morrison Street, Edinburgh
Price: Starters from £6.50, Mains from £14
Good for: Smart food, cocktails and champagne