Sunday, 28 February 2010

Monster Mash, Edinburgh

Monster Mash is something different. If home-cooked, simple, tasty British food with very affordable pricing is what you're after, then this is your place.
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, ‘top nosh at half the cost’.
Their menu has got it all: steak pies, fish and chips, haggis, shepherds pie, burgers and even macaroni and cheese. And finally: sausages, mash and gravy...
I had two monster sausages (classic herby pork, medium cut, smooth sausage from Crombies), mustard mash, onion gravy and a side order of peas and sweetcorn. And my choice of drink was of course a can of Irn Bru. The food was, as always, scrumptious.
Their decor is just fantastically quirky, 50's retro cafe-style, with old tables and chairs, chipped enamel dishes, tomato shaped ketchup bottles and mish mash plates.
I wish that a day would come that I could manage to have dessert here after main course. Does apple crumble, knickerbocker glory, steamed sponge pudding or deep fried ice cream not sound tempting?
enormous portions

welcoming, relaxed atmosphere

superb concept

 4 a Forrest Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2QN - 0131 225 7069
Monster Mash on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Stac Polly, Edinburgh

Stac polly is a trio of well-known restaurants in Edinburgh serving traditional Scottish food, first one opened in 1990 on Dublin street.
We had booked a table on their Grindlay street restaurant for dinner, on valentine's day. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I had heard many different stories of their so-so food, slow service and non-existing heating.
Amuse-bouche, vodka and martini jelly started off our meal...
and was followed by baked filo pastry parcels of finest haggis served with sweet plum and red wine sauce that was quite strong for my taste, but still an enjoyable dish.
Pan-fried supreme of salmon, fresh pea and mascarpone cake and wild mushroom sauce was a comforting combination of flavours, fish perfectly cooked.
Chocolate fudge cake and creme caramel ice cream served with coffee syrup was the course that tipped me over the edge. Yes, once again, I ate too much. So much, in fact, that I had trouble sleeping that night...
It was a very satisfying meal all in all and I would go back, for sure. Any complaints? They could probably turn up their heating a notch as I found it quite nippy and Mr Lovable's steak was not cooked the way he wanted. Other than that, what a lovely restaurant.
perfectly paced service

real scottish restaurant

old fashioned feel

8-10 Grindlay street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AS - 0131 229 5405
Stac Polly (Grindlay St.) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 13 February 2010

eteaket, Edinburgh

'We want to make tea sexy again: we're going to start by letting it out the bag so it can do its thing', it says on eteaket's website.
Eteaket is a tea boutique/cafe off Edinburgh's busy George street with an impressive selection of teas, scrumptious cakes, sandwiches and light meals. They also sell teas, books, gifts and pretty much everything you can imagine to do with tea.
On a chilly Friday afternoon I popped in to have a bloomer sandwich with salami, rocket, mayo and olive tapenade with a bowl of homemade minestrone soup, and a cup of the sweetest, tastiest chai latte that I have ever had anywhere.
This is a place that was clearly a labour of love. For the love of excellent tea, cakes and and sitting down somewhere beautiful, warm and welcoming.
When I was paying my bill I asked why was my tea so nice and the young man serving me looked well chuffed to hear that. I then got an explanation how they prepare their tea and ended up going home with a small jar of bollywood dreams chai. The staff in eteaket could not have been trained any better! They seem to genuinely enjoy working in there, be enthusiastic about serving GOOD tea and want to share their knowledge.
helpful, passionate staff

best chai latte ever

seriously cute decor

41 Frederick st, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP - 0131 226 2982
Eteaket on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Kro Piccadilly, Manchester

Kro bars are scattered all around Manchester, owned by the Ruby family who come from the west coast of Jutland in Denmark. First Kro bar opened in 1999 and looks like it's been a success ever since - they now have 6 restaurants in total and offer outside catering service as well.
At lunchtime I was trying to decide where to escape from the snow blizzard and have something small to eat before heading back home to Edinburgh. Kro looked interesting and not too expensive so I stepped in and found the place buzzing with customers.
'Kro caesar salad' with grilled chicken and danish bacon, cos leaves, croutons, boiled egg, parmesan cheese and caesar dressing. Big plate of freshly put together, crunchy salad with lots of "eat me!", juicy chicken was just what I was looking for my lunch that day.
Fast and friendly service, tempting menu and Nordic decor makes me wish that they would one day decide to open one of Kro's in Edinburgh as well.

chairs form Habitat

Scandinavian concept

Bjork playing on the background

One Piccadily Gardens, Manchester, M1 1RG - 0161 244 5765

Kro Piccadilly on Urbanspoon