To kick off my Big Five series for August (you can read about the background in this post) I'm going to share with you my 5 favourite places to eat in Edinburgh. I have periodically written "things to do around Edinburgh" type posts, like this day out at the Modern Art Gallery or this review of the National Museum, and I quite enjoy sharing tips about my favourite city so here's some more highlights for you.
Cafe Andaluz, 77B George Street, Edinburgh
This is probably my favourite place to eat in Edinburgh and I've been here several times over the last year for a range of occasions from dinner dates with B to work lunches to pre-night out meals with friends. As it's a tapas restaurant there is a huge range of dishes to choose from so it's ideal for getting a mix of things and sharing. The prices are really reasonable too, and they normally have some sort of offer on too so you can get a bargain (like 3 tapas plus a dessert for £14.95 on Sundays).
My favourites on the menu are the Braised Pork Cheeks and the Honey & Mustard Chicken.
Le Monde, 16 George Street, Edinburgh
This is another one of my go-to restaurants and it's generally where I take my parents out for dinner, or where I take clients for lunch meetings. It's also good for post-work cocktails although it does get really busy at the weekends. The menu is mainly modern british with dishes ranging from steak pie to thai curry to salads, so there's something for everyone (that's generally why I recommend it to friends looking for a restaurant suggestion as there is bound to be something on the menu everyone will like). They also do afternoon tea so my mum is desperate for me to take her there some time soon! Oh and did I mention they have an extensive cocktail menu??
My favourites on the menu are the Sweet Chilli Chicken Ciabatta and the Steak Pie.
Khublai Khans Mongolian Barbecue, 43 Assembly Street, Leith, Edinburgh
This place is great if you're looking for something a bit different, and if you're up for being a bit adventurous (zebra anyone?!). I first visited here for my friend Sams birthday last December and I loved the novelty of building your own meal from scratch. It was also doubly exciting as they have a special tradition for people celebrating their birthday at the restaurant where the birthday boy/girl has to wear mongolian robes and sit on a special chair - ahhh that was entertaining!
My favourite spice recipe is the Gordy's Gourmet and my favourite "exotic" meat is water buffalo/springbok.
Bar Soba, 104 Hanover Street, Edinburgh
When I first saw signs appear in the windows of the empty building opposite my office for a bar selling pan asian street food and cocktails I got VERY excited. "Noodles for lunch!!" was my first thought, followed by "cocktails for lunch!!". A few days afer it opened I took some of my friends along for dinner, and then 2 days later I ended up going there again for lunch with work mates - it's safe to say I quickly became a fan. Service was a bit iffy to start with (one night B and I went there for dinner but after waiting about 20 minutes for drinks to arrive we gave up and went to Chiquitos instead) but it has got a lot better so I put that down to early teething problems. Even when the service wasn't great the food more than made up for it - oh and the cocktails aren't half bad either (they do one called Um Bongo which, funnily enough, tastes like old school Um Bongo!).
My favourites on the menu are the Singapore Noodles and the Chicken Tempura Roti.
A Room in Leith, 1a Dock Place, Leith, Edinburgh
This place is great if you're looking for something slightly fancier than a chain restaurant or a bar, but don't want something too formal/stuffy. B and I went here earlier in the year for a date night and the food was amazing. The location right next to the water at the Shore makes it a nice romantic setting, particularly if it's a nice evening and you can get a table outside or near the window. They also have a sister restaurant (A Room in The West End) on William Street which I haven't visited yet but it's on my to-go list!
The menu changes regularly but I loved the lamb and chocolate tart that I had the last time.
As an aside can I just say that it took FOREVER to trawl through my photo archives to find pictures from these restaurants but I'm impressed I managed to find one from each (even if some I did cheat and screenshot from old "Week in Instagram" posts)....I'm just conforming to that old blogger stereotype of taking a picture of every restaurant meal you ever eat :)