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The best of the new restaurant, café and bar openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh
Glasgow EAT CAFÉ CAFÉS
69 Kilmarnock Road, Southside, G41 3YR, eat-deli.co.uk, 0141 649 6705, £12 (lunch) / £15 (dinner) Clarkston’s excellent eat deli has expanded into Shawlands with eat café, bringing along the owners’ ethical values – many ingredients are locally sourced, sustainable and conform to Soil Association guidelines. It has a bistro feel, with candles and intimacy in the evening, while daytimes are proving lively for anything from breakfast to tea and cakes. Imaginatively created dishes include linguini with braised pork, fennel and tomato ragu. One warning: the cakes are alarmingly sweet – a Bei and Nannini espresso and a custard tart may actually exceed the legal limit of stimulants for operating machinery. PIÑATA
MEXICAN 2 Byres Road, West End, G11 5JY, 0141 357 6465, £8 (lunch) / £15 (dinner) Traditionally a piñata, a toy animal full of surprises, is a party’s centrepiece and Glasgow’s Piñata restaurant feels like a suitable place for a fun night out with friends. The décor has a reliable roll-call of Mexican clichés with donkeys and cactus present and correct. Starters range from a bland tortilla soup to a very tasty sea bream ceviche, and street food options, be they tacos or tostadas or other takes on a tortilla wrapped around spicy meat, provide a fun taster. Several ‘Platos Especiales’ include birria, a slightly spicy, tomatoey lamb stew with coriander rice. Puddings are comfortingly stodgy – a good way to soak up those Mexican beers and tequilas perhaps.
VIVA BRAZIL AMERICAS
87–91 Bothwell Street, City Centre, G2 7HX, vivabrazilrestaurants.com, 0141 204 0240, £13.95 (lunch) / £23.95 (dinner) Vegetarians should avert their eyes when passing this new Brazilian steakhouse lest they glimpse the meat fest in this large, attractive restaurant – more continental brasserie in character, in fact, than South American churrascaria. Viva Brazil offers the rodizio style of service 34 THE LIST 17 Nov–15 Dec 2011
compact but, sensibly, the focus remains on the fish, with the Peacock’s famous fish and chips still available in their traditional three portion sizes. It’s practically perfect, with crisp, light batter, spanking fresh, flaky haddock and chunky chips with the skins still on. Desserts are home-made, with a shared chocolate and orange tart split, sliced and beautifully presented on two plates.
GURKHA CAFÉ NEPALESE 25–27 Cockburn Street, Old Town, EH1 1BP, 0131 225 2832, gurkhacafe.co.uk, £8.50 (set lunch) / £13.50 (dinner) Obvious similarities with North Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine mean that Nepali restaurants in Scotland sometimes offer little more exciting than your common biryanis and kormas. The Gurkha Café doesn’t stray too far from this trend, but one or two Nepalese specialities add a bit of substance to the menu. Many dishes come on slightly frightening sizzlng platters: one such is the ‘Nepalese Super Dish’, with tandoor- charred chunks of lamb or chicken in a real slow-burner of a sauce. The curries here tend toward a sweeter, deeper spice, and highlights like the achari lamb also have a pleasantly sour note that leaves you wanting more.
RONDE CAFÉS 66–68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, EH3 5AZ, 0131 260 9888, rondebike.com, £5 (lunch) There’s a touch now of Copenhagen in Stockbridge, where Ronde serves up coffee and cycling culture in an unusual but alluring way. The coffee menu is scrawled on white tiled walls from a long-previous existence as a butchers’ shop, while bare-wood benches and tables offer a nicely minimalist spot to sip an espresso and leaf through Rouler magazine. The back-half of the cafe and adjoining unit act as a showroom for bikes and kit of breathtaking beauty, grace and (if you’re used to getting your bike from Halfords) price.
Independent write-ups on all the restaurants worth knowing about in Glasgow and Edinburgh are available on our online Eating & Drinking Guide at list.co.uk/food-and-drink Prices shown are for an average two-course meal for one.
It’s an unexpected entry to the Edinburgh international restaurant scene, but David Pollock finds plenty to discover in this tiny new arrival
T he name might not suggest there’s much more to German cooking than sausages ‘n’ sauerkraut, but Edinburgh’s first Deutsch restaurant possesses a menu that might convince you otherwise. With more the air of a shabby chic grassroots café – the toilets are reached through a hatch in the floor, until the promised refurbishment arrives – Frankfurter Eck has local cult success written all over it at the moment. Its raw feel and rickety reclaimed furniture perhaps don’t hint at romance, but the service is warm and the food is its own hearty reward, including a dense but fresh Franconia potato soup with slivers of ham and a big burst of parsley, and sauerbraten – a rich, sticky beef pot roast marinated in red wine. Sides of German egg noodles and potato dumplings are lovingly made by chef Joseph Kuouh every day, while more typical pork schnitzel and bratwurst appear, as well as the currywurst, the German equivalent of a doner kebab. These are all heartily home- cooked dishes, much like an all-day breakfast and the apple strudel which proudly tops the dessert menu, though overall vegetarians might feel there’s not much to tempt them in. Takeaway is an option for anyone who finds the compact dining room a bit Spartan.
62 Elm Row, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH7 4AQ
0131 629 5784, frankfurtereck.com Ave. price two-course meal: £10 (lunch / dinner)
whereby waiters appear tableside with skewers laden with 15 meat cuts from the huge open grill. Meats, ranging from bacon-wrapped chicken and lamb to parmesan pork and various beef cuts, are the main event and are generally good, some more impressive than others, and they won’t stop coming until you flip your disc to red. An all-in price gives the ‘full rodizio’ including a help- yourself buffet. It’s a fun – if filling – experience, particularly after a couple of excellent caipirinhas, though likely to appeal most to large groups and parties.
Edinburgh The Peacock Inn SCOTTISH 100 Lindsay Road, Newhaven, EH6 4TZ, 0131 552 5522, famouspeacockinn.co.uk, £15 (lunch /dinner) After a fire and a long period of refurbishment, the venerable Peacock Inn is firmly back in business. The new incarnation is pretty swanky, cool and airy, with subtle tartans and comfy (if inexplicably low) seating. The menu is