Despite an unexpected train cancellation, with help from car, bus and taxi, surprisingly I arrived at The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant out of breath, but only five minutes late.
I had expected it to be fairly quiet during a weekday lunch, but no, it seems every newly retired fifty something was enjoying a leisurely lunch and a bit of culture at the museum. Definitely one to book!
As we snaked our way through the crowded tables to a window seat overlooking Princes Street Gardens (which was in the full throes of Autumn), I wondered if they knew something the rest of us didn’t.
After a bit of negotiation over the menu, we settled on six different dishes to try. I started with a classic combination Goats Cheese & Beetroot. I have to say this was better than most and curated by someone that clearly understands flavour. Provenance is important to the Continis and this shone through throughout the menu. In this dish Ailsa Craig Goats Cheese was paired with beets, courgette from the garden, nuts and seeds, and an orange glaze which made the dish.
The Haggis was equally well executed, crispy bon bons of Findlays of Portobello Haggis with pickled turnip and my favourite whisky turned into a vinegar – Glengoyne 10yo.
You don’t get to fifty without knowing where to get a decent lunch in Edinburgh it seems!
The Roast Ramsay of Carluke Pork Belly lived up to its title. A great quality piece of meat cooked with respect and served with a selection of vegetables and a honey almond crust.
Highland Venison had been minced and turned into a flavoursome burger and served with Mull of Kintyre Cheddar, burgers don’t come more Scottish than this! A nice change from beef, this was a nice addition to the menu.
Desserts had a distinctly Autumn vibe, my pumpkin coloured Polenta Cake matched the fallen leaves outside. The Heatherhill Honey shone through and was balanced outwith a yoghurt garnish (which was billed as yoghurt ice cream, so not sure what happened there).
The obligatory Chocolate Brownie, now featured on nearly all menus, was a crowd pleaser and served in this instance with a butterscotch sauce and banana crumb.
The food at The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant exceeded expectations and the cookery did justice to the specially selected ingredients. Great care has been taken to ensure a tasty seasonal menu that highlighted our great Scottish larder.
The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant
Location: The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Good for: Scottish cuisine with good provenance