Restaurant review: The Old Bakehouse Restaurant
Tony Singh's latest venture in Pentland foothills offers mixed bag of Scottish Indian fusion food
Spice man Tony Singh, he of the kilt, turban, TV shows and landmark Edinburgh restaurants, has set up base in a quiet corner of Edinburgh’s commuter belt. Justin Tilbury took to the Pentland foothills to discover more
Can it be true? Tony Singh, the man behind such Edinburgh institutions as Roti, Olorosso and Tony’s Table, has left the capital and upped sticks to the Old Bakehouse in West Linton. The team insist that it’s nothing more than an attempt to swap the high costs of a city centre business for a more bucolic, and less financially challenging, environment.
The question is, then, is the trip worth it? In truth, it’s a mixed bag. The low ceilinged dining room, with its briskly modern pine tables, light olive chairs and cool lighting gives the timeworn bakehouse a contemporary air, and the food remains a reliable fusion of locally sourced Scottish ingredients with an Indian inflection. Still available, for example, are the haggis pakora – a little less outré all these years on, but still a rich, unctuous bite of Campbell’s haggis, warm spices and crisp batter served with contrasting dips of fragrant tamarind and minty citrus.
Mains continue this theme, although gathering in scale, with the salmon Punjabi filling an already oversized plate. Happily, it’s a perfectly cooked piece of salmon – flaking easily and stickily soft. The punjabi sauce provides a sharp, punchy accompaniment, but is a little on the bitter side. A more effective piece of fusion is the Banghra Burger – chargrilled lamb, buttery aloo tikki, tangy pickled onions and rich, crispy scrumpets (slow cooked lamb, breaded and deep fried). Arriving impaled on a steak knife, this mammoth burger is actually a surprisingly delicately combination of smoky, tender lamb contrasted with the citrus tang of the dressing and accompaniments.
If all of the preceding dishes seem a little rich for your tastes, then look away now, as the desserts follow a similarly indulgent theme. The banana, ginger and sticky toffee breads with butterscotch sauce are a truly magnificent finish to proceedings. The breads are distinctively flavoured, and sit happily in between a small lake of salty, toffee sauce and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re passing, it’s well worth the detour for an undeniably pleasurable feast but, at this stage, the Old Bakehouse isn’t quite destination dining.
+ The cosy bar with its range of rare whiskies
- You're probably driving