FOOD & DRINK RECENT OPENINGS
P H O T O :
S A N D Y B U T L E R
A welcome addition to Newhaven’s burgeoning restaurant scene
T he landscape of Newhaven has seen a lot of significant change, especially in its food scene, which has gone from near non-existent to thriving in a short space of time. The latest arrival vying for the custom of locals and cruising tourists alike is Pier Brasserie – a super spot elevated to something even more special with sleek interiors and smart service. The menu is impressive in its breadth and clever in its flavours; for example, confit chicken and macerated apple terrine is a deceptively light starter and strikes a delicate balance. Salads are offered as sides or starters depending on your appetite – the cured beetroot and walnut option packs a punch with minimal ingredients and a vibrant dressing. Naturally, because of the restaurant’s harbour location, the fish dishes come highly recommended. A rich tomato sauce and sweet silverskin onions are the perfect partners for immaculately cooked sea bream, and cod tempura is worth it for the crunchy beef dripping chips alone.
25b Pier Place, Newhaven, Edinburgh, EH6 4LP, pierbrasserie.com £23 (lunch/dinner)
The best of the new restaurant, café and bar openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Prices shown are for an average two-course meal for one.
RAW CAKE CAFE
98 Bellgrove Street, East End, 07478 993883, rawnchy.co.uk, £10 (lunch) Formerly of Maryhill, the Rawnchy team are now cheering up Dennistoun with their colourful raw vegan cakes, plus flavoursome breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas. The Instagram-friendly interior with fairy lights, vintage posters, plants and flowers succeeds in the trick of not making it all too hokey. The food is great too – and reasonably priced. Overnight oats might feature peaches and cream, raspberry coulis and pistachio crumb, while homemade beans on toast have garlic, thyme and chilli through the sauce. The speciality raw vegan cakes are skilled creations – with flavours from chocolate orange and Japanese berries to espresso. It’s rare for a place to have such a personality as Rawnchy’s sunny disposition.
RAMEN RAMEN NOODLE BAR
21 Bath Street, City Centre, makiramen.com, £16.50 (lunch/dinner) With a string of East Coast successes behind it, Maki & Ramen’s formula arrives in Glasgow: namely, keep it simple, colourful and embrace modernity. Multi-coloured Post-it notes adorn the walls, left by customers expressing friendship, love of ramen or both. In a world where venues are at the mercy of feedback,
embracing it is a refreshing idea. And an entertaining read. Minimalist canteen tables and a no-frills broth- based menu express the simplicity of the approach. A cleansing green tea enhances the silky textures of boiled egg plucked from the broth. The tonkatsu ramen would love a little more punch, while the ‘hell’ version generates enough kick to keep chilli heads content.
THE GROW ROOM CBD BAR AT TABAC
10 Mitchell Lane, City Centre, 0141 572 1448, tabacbar.com Tabac has been having a bit of a moment lately, especially at weekends. It’s cool and buzzing – and crazy busy. So the reopening of the ‘speakeasy’ backroom (ex-Panther Milk bar) immediately excites. The Grow Room’s UV lighting and luminous leafy walls make its pitch clear: Glasgow’s first CBD bar. That means three cocktails (Daiquiri, Old Fashioned, Espresso Martini), all made with cannabidiol. There’s a bit of excitement as you queue outside (open Fri/Sat, booking required), until the neon hemp leaf sign lights up and the door opens. If the limited choice and slightly herbaceous flavour finish limit appeal somewhat, the novelty factor and genuinely relaxing effect of the key ingredient make it worth a peek.
OOH MAMI COCKTAIL BAR
7 Bernard Street, Leith, 07483 459436, £15 (dinner)
Ooh Mami is reason enough to brave the Leith tram works. The beautiful Asian-inspired décor feels rustic and refined, matching the pan-Asian food menu. There are up to five new signature cocktails every
week, whose names have caused a stir – the Missing EU Already is equally sweet and sour. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the friendly staff will draw from an interesting reserve of spirits, including a delicious pineapple gin, to craft your beverage according to your taste. Mark our words: Ooh Mami will quickly become the unmissable quirky wee gem for Asian food and cocktail lovers in Leith. BABKA BAKERY
20 Brougham Place, Tollcross, £6.50 (lunch) Tollcross start-up Babka showcases owner Alasdair’s skill and passion for baking bread. A trio of tables snuggle together in a compact room whose walls are filled with paintings from local artists. Cinnamon, poppyseed or chocolate-swirled babka are at their finest as they emerge hot from the oven. The standout among a developing list of bagel fillings sees home- cured salmon matched to traditional pickles and cream cheese. Braided chollah and kimmel rye breads are popular takeaway loaves, alongside guest cakes from a growing network of friendly bakers and hopeful plans to host evening baking masterclasses. DECANTER WINE BAR
183 Bruntsfield Place, Bruntsfield, 0131 446 5359, decanterbruntsfield.co.uk, £22 (lunch/dinner) This pretence-free winery and dinery is determined to keep things far from boring. Italian-Scottish owner Johnny has created a welcoming atmosphere with luxurious leather booths. Stop in for a signature cocktail (The Peacock is their delicious take on the Daiquiri) or put the world to rights over a platter and a reasonably priced bottle from their impressively global wine selection. Staying longer? Crispy sweet potato wellington and tender short rib are the highlights of their thoughtfully presented Scottish food. Those in the know will time their visit for brunch or one of Bruntsfield’s best Sunday roasts.
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
58 THE LIST 1 Apr–31 May 2020