I’ve been to No.1 The Grange three times now, and I still have no idea where I am when I’m there. The husband tends to drive and it’s not an area of the city I’m that familiar with. It would be worth you finding out though, because No.1 The Grange deserves a visit!
Set on the corner of a crossroads ‘somewhere’ in Edinburgh, the windows are adorned with twinkly lights and inside there’s a warm welcome and several areas to suit whether you’re drinking or dining. We were reserved a booth by the window where we could watch the cars go by, not very romantic you might think, but with fresh flowers, candlelight and the blur of the headlamps outside, it felt surprisingly romantic.
Alex started with the Smoked Fish Chowder served with a garlic aioli and crusty bread. This was a large portion packed with fish and potatoes, it would easily be generous enough as a lighter supper. The chowder had good flavour and the garlic aioli added a welcome ping of flavour.
I had the Mushrooms on Toast – these were served in a light white wine sauce with a generous helping of melted camembert, alongside was a well dressed salad and a savoury granola. This was a dish elevated by the extra details.
Rabbit is not often seen on a pub menu, especially not one calling itself a gastropub (yet!) – although the food is certainly good enough to qualify for that status. Rolled Rabbit Saddle in Bacon was served alongside some Confit Rabbit Leg Croquettes which ended up stealing the show. The jus did get a little overwhelming for us and probably would be better served on the side, other than that, a very accomplished piece of cookery.
After discovering that the chef previously worked at Frontier – an American restaurant which served THE best pork (now unfortunately closed down), I was clear from the outset that I would be dining on pork.
Having been in to meet the chef earlier in the week, I knew that the Pork Belly and Glazed Ribs dish had been developed from the Meat Platter at Frontier, one of my favourite dishes of 2016. The pork belly had a deep and smoky flavour, any trace of fat had completely melted away. The ribs were a hit of umami, rich and sticky. The meat components of the dish were faultless. The sides of salt baked potato and spring greens were a little less inspiring, baked potatoes only work for me when they are fresh out the oven with a very crispy skin. I’d have preferred a colcannon or something like that with it. I am picking holes here though, this is a dish that you want to try. I’m just praying chef doesn’t move on any time soon because it’s one I want to eat again.
Danny, one of the owners, was keen for us to try a new vegan dish they’d added to the menu – Hoisin Jackfruit and Pak Choi Steamed Buns. The jackfruit has the texture of pulled pork, and I was surprised to find how substantial this dish felt despite it being ‘just fruit’. An exciting vegan dish can be a difficult thing to come across, especially in a pub, this was another piece of really passionate cookery that I’m sure will be well received by vegans and meat eaters alike.
Onto desserts, and first up was a Rum and Coconut Panna Cotta with a Mango and Chilli Salsa. This was well presented with a good balance between sweet and sharp. My only minor niggle was that the panna cotta had a bit too much gelatin, it was just a little too firm.
I usually body swerve the trio of ice cream that is almost standard on a menu. There’s one exception to the rule, and that’s if it states they are homemade. I’m also looking for unusual flavours. No.1 The Grange met the criteria and so we ordered a trio of – Matcha Latte, Black Sesame and Cinnamon Orange & Brown Butter. We were not disappointed, I highly recommend you try them!
No.1 The Grange is somewhere that could be described as ‘punching above its weight’, not only on the food, but we noticed a few other little things. Firstly, children are welcomed, not just as a by-product of accepting adult diners, but in their own right. We noticed a couple of children (very well behaved ones, I should add) that were enjoying their experience and had been offered a colouring book etc. Secondly, I didn’t catch the name of the other bartender/waiter, but he was very good at his job, even speaking in French to a couple of French guests that evening – a nice touch we thought.
No.1 The Grange has a solid team, and all the ingredients to be a real success – you just need to find it!
No.1 The Grange
Location: Grange Road, Edinburgh
Price: Mains £9 – £15
Good for: Excellent homemade dishes at great value prices