I was late to take my seat at Topolabamba, which as you can see is a cacophony of colour, it definitely channels the Mexican vibes. It started with the train being cancelled – we rushed home to collect the car to drive to the park and ride to get the bus – we then got caught in the football traffic, Hearts and some other team I couldn’t identify.
By the time we arrived I was a little harassed. Throughout the journey I was weighing up the merits of leaving the car (and having to get up at 6am with Alex to collect it) or missing out on the coconut margaritas which had come highly recommended.
I’m not usually a big drinker, but I had the taste for it and decided to abandon the car and take the hit in the morning. I didn’t regret it. The first of the Passionfruit & Coconut Margaritas slipped down too easily and I was quickly ordering a second – they’re very good, thanks to the Foodinburgh Group member who gave me the heads up. Erin had the Jarritos Mexican Cola.
I’d decided to take my daughter for this one. She’s 12 and, you know, bonding can be a challenge at this age but we both love food. The response to a previous visit to Wahaca (a similar offering) was muted so I wondered how Topolabamba would get on – much better was the answer!
We ordered a selection of dishes to share…
The Shredded Beef Tostadas were an immediate win, soft beef with a shredded lettuce and crema topping on two super crispy bases – this one is an order again. I’d be interested in giving the Lamb and Charred Corn a try next time too.
I’m enjoying anything that involves nacho cheese sauce at the moment. I even dipped some Burger King fries into a plasticky version at Fuerteventura airport recently. Yes, I am a little ashamed. The Classic Queso Fundido here is a classier version made with artisan style Jack cheese and speckled with chorizo. It was very moreish, well worth ordering and good value at £4.95
The Camarones A La Plancha were huge! Two fat juicy Gulf Coast king prawns served in a bubbling chilli butter with a lime and agave syrup on the side. Not cheap at £10, but delicious and a real treat if you like prawns.
Three down, three to go…
I dissuaded Erin from chicken wings (her favourite) as they had the three chilli warning, probably one chilli too many for us. Instead we went for the sweeter Chipotle Honey Ribs. Dry rubbed with a sticky glaze, and a generous portion for £6.25.
More huge prawns in the Pasilla King Prawn Tacos, this time chilli battered served on a Mexican slaw and a soft corn tortilla. Be warned, this packs a bigger punch of heat than expected!
Our final dish was the Chicken Tinga Tacos – three tacos, plenty of topping, and at a very reasonable £4.25, a good option for sharing.
We couldn’t resist a wee dessert and went for the Horchata Ice Cream – a Mexican ice cream flavoured with almonds and rice, it was pretty similar to vanilla, but a nice cooler for the Chilli Chocolate Ice Cream which was the star. A big kick and little drops of chocolate.
I really enjoyed Topolabamba, I think it has a great fun atmosphere and the food is well made and quite delicious. I’ll definitely be back!
Location: 93 Lothian Road, EH3 9AW
Price: £3.95 – £10.45
Good for: Informal, Mexican, sharing food