Don’t go and think we only went to Edinburgh to eat. We did quite a bit indeed, and I will happily share all our adventures. But of course I am focusing on the good foodie spots, because I know you will be interested in this if you are following my blog!
After having spent all our first day in the centre of Edinburgh, we decided to explore the outskirts of the city on our second day. We started by a walk in the old seaport of Leith. Leith was Edinburgh’s commercial port for centuries, but it was abandoned following WW2. Apparenlty it is now undergoing a certain revival. Even if we could see the place was not as beautiful as it once must have been, the original waterfront (The Shore) is very cute.
We stopped for lunch at The Fisher’s Bistro, a cosy little restaurant on the waterfront, which has the reputation of serving the best seafood in Edinburgh. We ordered the seafood platter, mussels and a fish soup, with a bottle of sauvignon blanc. It was all delicious, and we had a very considerate waiter, who made the experience even more enjoyable. He recommended we take a digestive walk along the Water of Leith, which we did.
We went to Stockbridge market first, and from there followed his recommendation, following the river to Dean Village and then the Museum of Modern Art. It was a lovely walk, and even though we were still in Edinburgh, it felt like we were in the middle of the countryside.
For the evening we had booked a trendy bistro in town called The Dogs. In a few words, it is a dog-themed gastro-pub, championing English and Scottish food, and using less common cuts of meat and fish for its original yet simple recipes. I would have loved to show some pictures of our menu as it was truly incredible, but the candle-lit atmosphere did not enable me to take pictures that convey the deliciousness of our dishes. I hope words will do the trick for this time! As a starter we tasted a pan fried pigeon breast with a citrus fruit salad, roasted pine nut and pommegranate sauce. We then made a point of trying a different main each: J had a vegetarian haggis in puff pastry, D had braised ox cheek with dark chocolate sauce and horseradish mash, and I enjoyed a rabbit and brandy casserole, with rosemary and garlic roast potatoes. We shared a bottle of montepulciano and a lemon posset as a dessert. After that we truly felt replete, for lack of a less formal word. And we had to follow this with a glass of whisky as a digestive.
Our only disappointment is that we were expecting to taste a traditional haggis in this restaurant (as many tourism sites mention they make a really good one), but they don’t make this dish (anymore?). We did not have the occasion to taste the famous haggis during our trip again, which is a bit f a shame.
I am not sure if you are familiar with what haggis actually is, so for the record: Haggis is a Scottish dish made of the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep , combined with oats, suet and other herbs and spices, and then cooked in a casing made of the animal’s stomach. It’s a bit like a big round sausage. Even though I am usually all over low cuts of meat, tasting haggis requires a bit of courage, and I did not want to taste it in any place for fear of being really disappointed (or food poisoned). So in the end we had to make do with a veggie version and bought some haggis flavoured crisps at the airport!