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Archive for September, 2012

We had dinner in Sweet Melindas last December (review here).  We enjoyed it and resolved to return and, as my daughter Ali had never been there, we went with her this weekend.  I started with octopus and squid salad and Ali had smoked duck and melon salad. But my wife Anne’s starter of pate looked rather grey and unappetising – it tasted ok but not fantastic.

Octopus and squid salad

Duck and melon salad

We all had fish for main courses – Ali and I had hake and Anne had sea bass. Sweet Melindas specialises in fish and they do it well.

Hake

Sea bass

So – the food was generally good but the service was a bit lacking. Our wine took a while to arrive and we had to remind the waiter when our starters arrived. And they made a total mess of the bill – 3 separate mistakes and an overcharge of about £40. Rectified and the costs of coffees knocked off but it shouldn’t have happened.

As before, 2 courses each plus a bottle of wine (Muscadet sur lie) came to just over £30 each.

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The feted celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has a chain of Italian restaurants and the eponymous Jamie’s Italian has recently opened in Edinburgh.  We haven’t tried it in the evening but I went in for a quick midday lunch with my wife and daughter, when I was between  meetings.

General view of the restaurant

It’s quite a large space in the Assembly Rooms in George Street, decorated in dark red with no natural light (hence photos below are flash). There are tables on two levels with the lower level also including a central food bar, where salads, bruschetta, etc. are prepared. The restaurant was fairly quiet when we went in at 12.30 but by one o’clock it was almost full.

Food bar at 1 o’clock

We all just had a single pasta dish – Wild Rabbit Tagliolini, Sausage Papardelle, and Penne Arrabiata. Mine was the sausage – Italian sausage, which had a pronounced fennel flavouring with red wine and served with ‘crunchy, herby breadcrumbs’. It was good as were the tastes I had of the other dishes.

Wild Rabbit Tagliolini

Sausage Pappardelle

It’s hard to judge somewhere from such a brief experience – the pastas were better than standard Italian average and certainly comparable with those in the better Italian restaurants. They were not overpriced.  The restaurant had a very good atmosphere and friendly and helpful service. Certainly worth an evening visit and a more extensive menu exploration.

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