First Coast has a well-deserved reputation for first class dining. Hidden away on the western edge of the city centre, the venue’s simple, tasty dishes are served in a friendly, relaxed environment.
First Coast is one of a few gems along Dalry Road, a rugged artery stretching out from Edinburgh’s Haymarket station. The facade of the building is unassuming and very standard for a classic Scottish tenement. However, the blue siding and large glass windows are inviting; the smiles of happy diners are probably the best indication that this place is a hit.
Once inside, you quickly realise why reservations are a must – the space, while cosy, is slightly cramped and there is limited seating. The blue theme continues and mirrored walls somewhat successfully attempt to help visualise a larger space. The ethos of simple comes to mind: the clean lines of the furniture, the distinctly un-crowded menu, and the gentle overhead lighting. Staff give patrons the impression that everything is well under control as they efficiently squeeze between the tables, helping guests with the wine list and making suggestions from the menu, which is changed on a regular basis.
Despite a name mentioning coast, the menu covers all the bases: sweet chilli roast tomatoes, baked fillet of hake, or Scottish Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak are just a few of your possible choices. With advice from a friendly member of staff, the selection of the maple glazed pork loin steak is well received. Cooked with precision, the pork was partnered with a glaze to complement it, not to drown it. The sweet potato and onion mash is light and velvety, perfect for enjoying while watching the autumn leaves swirl about outside the windows. Mains range from £8.95 to £16.50.
Dessert’s include a comforting jam roly poly and a toffee and banana oat crumble with ice cream that’s sweet but not overpowering, having somewhat of a honey and caramel flavour. These sweet treats are between £3.50-£4.95.
First Coast focuses on a high-quality, extensive wine list that caters to all budgets, from £9.95 per bottle to almost £25. The menu is friendly to those without a strong nose for wine, with headings such as light, fresh whites and bold, rich reds. The Pinot Grigio – Prima Gusto at £14.95 per bottle is an excellent pair for both fish and meat dishes due to its crisp, clean taste. The staff are happy to recommend a wine once guests have chosen their entrees.
The Last Word
It might be a bit of a trek out to Dalry Rd, especially with the tramworks, but First Coast is worth it. With their down-to-earth Edinburgh feel, a straightforward but powerful menu and lovely wines to be paired, this bistro leaves little to be desired.