Restaurant Review: Salt Café

Restaurant Review: Salt Café

Proper food with a bit of punch from ex-Bonham chef Neil Mulgrew

Donald Reid finds an impressive early-to-late café on Morningside Road brings out the hidden hipster in Edinburgh’s most sedate suburb

Despite the salty-seadog clinker boat, the prominence of North Berwick lobster and other seafood on the menu and some down-to-earth informality, a key inspiration for this new venue is the acronym of Seasonal and Local Thinking. This might be sound enough in concept, but also just a twice-fried, hand-cut chip away from being a tad pretentious. What owners John Hannay and Chris Miles – along with ex-Bonham chef Neil Mulgrew – have created is a confident, approachable venue of robust industrial chic serving proper food with a bit of punch. Eggs benedict with truffle hollandaise is a bellweather dish of sound basics and creative thinking. Head-clearing oysters and ‘anti-fogmatic’ cocktails are available at all times – not common in Morningside cafés – while evening dishes feature crispy mackerel boldly allowed to sink into a wasabi gazpacho, or homemade paneer alongside tenderly crisped cauliflower. Not many places segue from daytime café with substance to comfortable evening venue for drinks, snacks or fuller meals. Save for a slightly raucous soundtrack, Salt achieves it with scarcely a beat missed, the reclaimed gymnasium planks and picture windows mellowing under dimmed filament bulbs as darkness gathers.

Salt Café

54–56 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4BZ

Churchill's hipsterish café and wine bar specialising in all-day brunches, lunches and evening platters of cheese and charcuterie.