- Telephone 0131 226 2230
- Seasonal times Extended in the Edinburgh Festival
- Food served Mon–Fri noon–3pm, 6–10pm; Sat noon–10pm; Sun noon–3pm, 6–10pm.
- Average price £10.90 (set lunch); £18.80 (evening meal)
- Website www.cafemarlayne.com
Buzzing little restaurant with casual French style just off the beaten track.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
On this cobbled side street parallel to the establishment and old money of George Street, Cafe Marlayne brings a bit of a bohemian vibe to the table in the heart of town. Low ceilinged, with chandeliers, exotic jungle-themed wallpaper and an inviting – if intimate – confusion of tables, it's a speakeasy kind of a restaurant. Thai fishcakes kick things off with judicious spiciness, their lemongrass-fragranced succulence accompanied by sweet mango; or alternatively, a warm salad of caramelised figs offsets its sweetness with the creamy sharpness of goat’s cheese and orange. The main courses pale a little by comparison, but a standout is the cod fillet, which finds a delicate marriage with a light pistachio and pine nut crust. Desserts offer up an exemplary crème brûlée that is an exemplar of the form – all sweet creaminess and brittle, chewy caramelisation – and a deliciously rich, buttery and salty sticky toffee pudding that will send you stumbling off home over the cobbles with a slightly dazed feeling of contentment.
- High point: Very reasonably priced for its location
- Low point: Get there early – it fills up fast in the evening
- Notable dish: Cod fillet with pistachio and pine nut crust, wild rocket and parsley vichyssoise
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Quiet background music
- Capacity: 30
- Largest group: 30
- Open since: 2000
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 11
- House wine: £18 per bottle