Restaurant review: The Percy (closed)
Joseph Malik cooks up a hearty storm in the Leithier suburbs
**The Percy is now closed**
Having built a very well-deserved reputation as head chef at Leith-and-thereabouts bar establishments Joseph Pearce, Lioness of Leith and the Safari Lounge, Joseph Malik has gone it alone with his own place in the former trattoria in the side room of Easter Road’s Persevere bar.
Almost certainly the only chef in Scotland to have released music on the seminal Mo’ Wax label, Malik’s approach is idiosyncratic but perfectionist. The food is hearty and unthreatening to regular diners, but still offers a pleasing discussion point for food lovers: for example, a starter of tempura-battered mussel popcorn that carefully doesn't lose the flavour of the main ingredient, while a simple piece of black pudding is afforded some great flavour combinations when served with homemade brandy apple jam, pickled vegetables and fresh berries.
The distinctive ambience of the dining room (high, corniced Victorian pub ceiling and specially commissioned art work) is as singular as the 'love letter to Leith' menu which eulogises local heroes; for example, dishes named in honour of Richard Demarco and former Port O’Leith landlady Mary Moriarty, a football-themed plate of thick pork ribs with cabbage and ‘Hibernian’ mash (caution is required with the hot sauce here) and a daily-changing cake from Albert Street’s Sicilian bakery.
Wary diners (and even Hearts fans) needn’t fear gimmickry – this is food created with skill, love and local knowledge. Weekend brunches and roasts are also available, along with bairns portions.
Ave. price two-course meal: £15 (dinner)