I’ve been to the Edinburgh Larder, a cafe in Blackfriars Street a couple of times and have always enjoyed the food. I’ve tried to go there more often and it’s a measure of its quality that it was always full.
So, when the same people opened the Edinburgh Larder Bistro in what used to be Howie’s in a basement on Alva St as a bistro, I was keen to try it. I’ve now been there a couple of times – once for lunch and once for dinner and I really enjoyed the food. They focus on local ingredients from Scottish suppliers – but sometimes with a bit of a twist. Our most recent experience was a family birthday dinner – it was a Tuesday night so the resto wasn’t full but there were enough people there to create a good atmosphere.
My starter was brioche with Stornoway black pudding and a quail’s egg – simple but the quality of ingredients meant it was very good indeed. My main was home-smoked pollack, a previously unfashionable fish, with cauliflower and heritage potatoes.
I enjoyed this but I thought the smoking was a wee bit unsubtle – but this may be my changing taste as I’ve recently come to prefer lightly smoked rather than heavily smoked dishes.
I don’t often eat desserts but I’d just finished a big walk across Scotland so needed some calories -rhubarb doughnuts with custard and nut brittle, which was outstanding.
I really admire the way that the Edinburgh Larder focuses on high-quality Scottish suppliers – the food is proper bistro food – simple and unpretentious and I’d thoroughly recommend it. I wish it wasn’t in the basement though – on a summer evening, it’s good to get some daylight.