The Basement Bar and Restaurant
- Telephone 0131 557 0097
- Opening times Daily: noon–1am.
- Seasonal times Festival licence until 3am.
- Bar open Mon–Sun noon–1am
- Food served Sun–Thu 11am–10pm; Fri/Sat 11am–11pm
- Average price £15 (lunch); £15 (evening meal)
- Website www.basement-bar-edinburgh.co.uk
This review is taken from the current (2015) edition.
Surfing the new wave of Mexican cuisine, the good old Basement has had a big facelift since being taken over by Signature Pubs in 2014. Gone are the Hawaiian shirts and nachos, replaced by a wall of suspended plant pots and menu of Mexican dishes that challenges as well as comforts. Sure, there are still burritos and fajitas to be had, but equally there’s ceviche, empanadas, tostadas and fish tacos – surprisingly hard to find in Edinburgh. A huge bowl of seafood chowder is packed with clams, mussels, monkfish, prawns and corn in a piquant creamy broth. The guacamole is a work of performance art, prepared fresh beside your table, adding chilli, garlic and citrus to your personal taste. The lively central bar is home to possibly the biggest range of tequila and mezcal to be found in the city, served as peppy margaritas (straight up, on the rocks or frozen) and the less-common sight of sipping tequilas served with a palate-cleansing sangrita. Far from the slammin' varieties found in most bars, this is tequila for the connoisseur.
- High point: Snagging a table in the snug area
- Low point: Can be too loud for easy conversation at times
- Notable dish: The freshly made guacamole
The Basement Bar and Restaurant is a genuine Edinburgh institution, long favoured by locals and found by savvy travellers. Known for its good quality, imaginative food, carefully chosen drinks list and home-spun cocktails, served by knowledgeable staff in eclectic surroundings. It is advisable to book a table any day of the week as tables always seem to be busy in the separate restaurant area, however the same menu is served in the bar.
Text supplied by third party.
- Private dining: Up to 30 covers
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 1994
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £14.75 per bottle
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