The Edinburgh Larder prides itself on bringing the "taste of the country into the heart of the city" through its natural decor full of beautiful wooden furniture and traditional period features as well as through producing delicious seasonal food from local producers.
It's just round the corner from me in Edinburgh and has been on my list of places to visit so I was really pleased when they invited us for supper this week. I've been to the cafe which is situated just off the Royal Mile and serves delicious breakfasts and lunches but the bistro is even better, combining an artisan bakery in the daytime producing great breads and pastries with a cosy, relaxing restaurant in the evening.
They have kept the decor very simple and rustic with big hanging lamps and woven throws. The little booths are perfect for a romantic meal but they also have a bigger dining space through the back which would be great for renting out for a big occasion! They are hosting a big Burns Night supper event this Saturday with talks from their speciality suppliers and if I wasn't hosting a big Come Dine With Me Society Burns Night dinner then I'd be there in a flash.
There's something about restaurants in Edinburgh- they all seem to have a huge sense of respect for Scottish local produce cooked beautifully but simply and presented in a very natural way- the Edinburgh Larder reminded me of the cookery style and approach of another of my favourite Edinburgh restaurants, The Timberyard. It's just my sort of cooking- perfectly cooked fish and meat served alongside hearty broths and seasonal veg but perhaps it wouldn't suit those real meat lovers who are looking for a big steak!
The menu is just the right size and not overwhelming. We started with hot smoked salmon and horseradish pate on homemade toast and pan roasted pigeon breast with spelt, game broth and pickled chanterelle mushrooms.
The rich gamy pigeon was cooked well and went perfectly with the spelt and carrot broth- which still had a good bite to it and a great contrasting texture. The chanterelle mushrooms were an unusually sweet but interesting pairing. Be careful not to fill up on bread beforehand though as the serving was quite big!
The pate had a citrus tang and a clean, fresh taste and was the perfect light starter served alongside their toasted homemade bread.
This was followed by crispy roasted duck leg with caramelised onion, broccoli and mash. Now I'm a big fan of duck and often order it when eating out as I tend not to cook it much at home. All the components of the dish were cooked well however with the generous helping of duck it could have done with a bit more sauce and a little something else to make the dish sing. The mash however was velvety smooth and very moreish!
We also wished we'd ordered some of their infamous beef dripping chips that passed us by to another table- they looked divine!
Even after two courses, we couldn't resist their pudding menu and ordered a pear and cobnut cake to share. I really liked the addition of the pear puree on top and it was served with an oatmeal and marshmallow ice cream that was a appropriate accompaniment.
I wouldn't hesitate into recommend the restaurant but next time I think I'll be a bit more adventurous than choosing my favourite roasted duck and I'll go for one of their fish mains as it was particularly tasty! - I have my eye on their Cullen Skink, a Scottish soup made with smoked haddock.
I also felt the menu was very fairly priced with starters at about £5-7, mains between £12-17 and desserts at £6.50.
They also have set menu options available for lunch and pre-theatre dinner which is a great deal.
I'll definitely be back and hope to visit for one of their big events!