This unusual venue is located in Leith, on Commercial Quay, near Daniel’s Bistro and The Kitchin.
The inside is reminiscent of a wine cellar, with bright colours on the walls which give it a warm feel. There are large wooden tables. This is a place that is better to eat with a large party. The venue also has an open area which is like a conservatory, but is only really useful in the warmer months.
Couples are steered into the conservatory area and bigger groups inside. Although that might be deliberate in order to keep the noise away from diners with intimacy on their mind, it doesn’t work. Once full, the restaurant is noisy and boisterous groups can interfere with levels of enjoyment: it is popular for office nights out and stag and hen groups.
The idea itself is one that can be found in most big cities: starters from around the world. The menu is divided into geographical areas from around the world, but you can order from any section. Dishes arrive on individual dishes and are nicely presented. You can have, for example, pakoras alongside a pot of mussels with white wine and bacon, as well as a dish of sweet and sour chicken. Prices for individual dishes range from £5.20 to £6.90.
The problem is, if you get your order wrong, the experience can be quite strange. Some cuisines simply do not lend themselves to being mixed and matched. This is a good place to experiment, perhaps, but why not just go to a restaurant that specialises in one cuisine?
Try sticking to a genre if dining as a couple. The seafood platter to share costs £26 - you get a large oval shaped dish nicely arranged with enough for two: mini fish and chips, Thai-style wok prawns, smoked salmon and cooked salmon with lemon and salad.
If you are dining with lots of others, one thing to bear in mind is that the starters appear when they are ready – so if you had hoped to eat the one you ordered, if it comes early, you might be out of luck as everybody else digs in! The only way to eat here is to share. Three per person is plenty.
The wine list is acceptable and you will find something to suit most tastes. Their house wine is Australian Chardonnay (white) or Cabernet Grenache (red) – both reasonably priced at £12 and either will suit the wide range of food served here.
The Last Word
Unfortunately, this is the type of venue that you probably wouldn’t visit twice. It definitely has novelty value and is good for large office parties and young people. Clients with slightly more sophisticated palates are unlikely to return.