Category Archives: Food
Our recorder group branched out again the other week and tried another new place in Newington (Edinburgh) – Tanjore. I checked the menu online and couldn’t wait to go and eat there. It came with a recommendation from an Indian friend – a good start! We always have to be quick, but I enjoyed what I had and was soon back for a more leisurely full 3 course meal with Andy. Total price for two people for 3 courses, plus lassi and tea – £35. Bargain!
This is South Indian cooking, so it is quite different from the usual Indian restaurant fare. So far, I’ve sampled the Tanjore Special Dosai and the Kothu Parotta with egg. The first is a big pancake stuffed with mild curry and served with delicious sauces (tomato, coconut, mint), a sambar and podi. Podi is a tasty spice and oil mix – a bit like dukkah – if you’ve ever had that!
The Kothu Parotta was totally different from anything I’ve had before. It was chewy little pieces of parotta (a type of bread) with tomatoes, spices and eggs served with sauces.
We also tried new things for the starters – paniyaram (little savoury cake things – also available in a sweet version for dessert) and vadai (lentil doughnuts!).
After we had finished our main course we saw a huge puffed thing going to another table. Turns out it was “channa batura” – I’ll be having that next time!
Early on a Tuesday it was very quiet and the waiter was just a little too attentive. However, we were served quickly :-). On a Saturday evening there was a steady flow of people and the room was filled with chattering diners. Our waiter was very friendly and did a good job.
Tanjore is BYOB and cash only.
I can’t really do justice to the food with my descriptions and there are all sorts of other tempting dishes that I’ve never heard of before on the menu. My advice? Just go there and try it for yourself!
Tanjore South Indian Restuarant
6-8 Clerk Street,
Tel: 0131 478 6518
It’s been ages since I’ve done any ‘eating places’ reviews and now I have two at once!
For ages Andy has been saying “can we go to my mate Jonny’s pub?” Last weekend it finally happened. I had been ill all week and this was my first proper trip out of the house! Although I had a sore head walking there, by the time food was served and I was merrily chomping through my tasty meal, I felt about a hundred times better :-).
This place was really busy even at 2pm, and I can tell why. We both had the tomato and fennel soup to start with … yummy. Andy then had a veggie breakfast served on a metal platter thing with a hot handle. It looked great. I had something called an ‘Amazing Grazer’. After generously donating all the bits of lettuce to Andy, I was very happy with what was a mixed plate of bulghar wheat salad with pomegranate seeds, veggie pâtés, toast and hot halloumi. I couldn’t resist a fudge brownie and ice cream for afters. The drinks went down well too – homemade ginger beer and ‘rooibois cappucino’ which came with a frothy top and honey.
I was left intrigued by preparations for a madhatter’s tea party on the table next to ours, and the concept of cocktails served in teapots …. I should also mention that the toilets had great character and were definitely worth two trips :D. I can’t believe this has been just down the road all this time and I only just discovered it. Must go back soon!
Roseleaf: 23/24 Sandport Place, Edinburgh, EH6 6EW
Tel: 0131 476 5268, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Café Nom de Plume
My recorder group has relocated from Southside to the Northside for the month of January. The great thing about this is the opportunity to sample new pre-playing eating places! However, we’ve only made it to one place and have kept going back.
Nom de Plume is near the bottom of Broughton Street. I’ve seen it many times and never been in before. I was pleasantly surprised though! I love the atmosphere; warm, cosy and inviting. The menu is also good, with not only several vegetarian options, but as many again vegan! So far I’ve tried the French onion soup and a chickpea curry. The hot mulled ginger wine did wonders for my sore throat last week :-).
This place meets all of our Tuesday night criteria, namely: veggie options, nice ambience, quick, good value, decent food.
Next week I am going to save a special hole for veggie mince in a giant Yorkshire pudding!
Café Nom de Plume: 60 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SA
Tel: 0131 556 5758
Last week during our Italian class, we had to talk about what typical things we would offer guests to our house.
One girl suggested ‘biscotti alla canella’ (cinnamon biscuits). Malcolm next to me went for ‘biscotti alla mandorla’ (almond biscuits). Now, I love biscuits, which is why I almost never buy them because they would get eaten too quickly and they are not full of healthy things, like cabbage is (which I was eating at dinnertime today, in a cider, cream and mustard sauce with butterbeans, leeks and thyme, served with stove-top butternut squash scones … but I digress).
So I chipped in ‘mi piacciono molto i biscotti al zenzero’ (I really like ginger biscuits). I didn’t get round to explaining they have to be the ones with big chunks of stem ginger in them.
Next thing, I’m being asked by the lovely Carlo (our stand-in teacher for the week); ‘se veniamo a casa tua stasera, ci serviresti i biscotti al zenzero?’ (if we were to come to your house tonight, would you serve us ginger biscuits?). Unfortunately, no, I have no ginger biscuits in the house (see above). But, luckily, I have something else very special. ‘Non, ma offrirei il cioccolato alla sale. Solo cioccolato che è fatto di 70% cacao, minimo’.
Salty dark chocolate. Ranks up there only with soft salty caramel wrapped in dark chocolate. I’ll also eat dark chocolate with chilli, lime, spices or orange. But it has to be dark.
According to Carlo, I’m very ‘cutting edge’, but I have to admit I was introduced to these delights by someone else, to whom I am forever grateful!
* Apologies for any language gaffes. It’s so much easier to hide mistakes when it’s not written down!
I love a good sweetie, or two or three. So when we were passing by Sallie Moonbeam’s traditional sweet shop in Glossop today I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to stick to the same things I always go for (liquorice satins and herbal tablets – mmm, both yummy), because then I’ll never know what I might be missing!
After browsing the shelves, this is what I went for:
In fact, one of these was a safe bet, as I’ve had them occasionally before. One of them was edible, if a little strange – chewy chilli cherry liquorice anyone?
The other was just about the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten – it caused one lady passing in the street much amusement as we both pulled faces and loudly exclaimed our verdict. The dusty coating was bad, but then I thought it was getting slightly better … until I gave it a good crunch to speed up the process. Big mistake! My tastebuds were hit with something salty and liquid that I can’t really describe. It was so awful I had to spit it all out (something I never do!) and fish out a peanut butter brittle chaser as fast as I could 😀
If you want one, just let me know, there’s a half a bag left over!
This review is for the Tapa Coffeehouse on Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow.
I visited Tapa for the first time last weekend and loved it! Having got out of bed early enough to get over there from Edinburgh in time for Sunday brunch with a local friend at 10.30, I was not disappointed. I had the mushroom and spinach eggs Benedict, followed by French toast with maple syrup and banana, accompanied by a very good cup of coffee and then a fantastic chai tea. My friend had the full veggie breakfast.
My only regret was that I couldn’t stay even longer and move onto the fantastic sounding soups (beetroot and tomato or butternut squash and coconut), inventive sandwiches, ‘real’ bread from their own bakery and an array of good looking cakes. The puy lentil and pine nut burger was also crying out to be tasted, so I think I’ll be back soon.
A relaxed and friendly atmosphere prevailed, with attentive service (though we were nearly undercharged by half – since the food was so good we made sure that was corrected!). If it looks busy when you get there, you should know there are also tables hidden downstairs.
I can’t believe I didn’t know this café /deli existed before now! I went for my first visit at the weekend and was bowled over.
Vegetarian options abound. This time, my partner and I had the fantastic bean enchilada on toasted flatbread (one of the two special main courses) and a mushroom, gruyere and spinach crêpe. Both came with a selection of the salads which were definitely not your usual limp lettuce. On offer were: quinoa and green bean, beetroot and egg, carrot and pumpkin seeds and fennel, courgette and pea. Servings were generous so we both got a full plate of food for only about £7 each. Bargain!
It took us a long time to choose our lunch and we’ll have to go back to sample some of the other items on the menu, including; adventurous baguette fillings, soup of the day (salsify and potato when we were there), a vegetable ramen noodle soup, flatbread pizzas with a choice of toppings, a daily tart or tortilla and a veggie breakfast. You could also order a full plate of just the salads, which change regularly (even whilst we were there, in fact!). A look at the twitter feed on their website will give you a taste for what has been on offer recently.
To finish off our meal we had a large slice of freshly baked cake, plus homemade granola with Greek yoghurt and fruit compote. The latter was strictly part of the brunch menu but I fancied it for pudding!
There was an informal atmosphere and you order at the counter when you’re ready, or you can go for the takeaway option. It is also now open until 7.30 pm if you want an early evening meal. Finally, a nice touch was the fact that every customer was asked if they had enjoyed their food when they paid, and the lady seemed genuinely interested in the answer! Highly recommended.