Café Marlayne

Café Marlayne
76 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN
  • 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 £10.50 (set lunch); £19.50 (evening meal)
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French bistro in the heart of town with a bit of a bohemian, speakeasy kind of vibe.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

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: French café music
  • Capacity: 30
  • Largest group: 30
  • Open since: 2000
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 11
  • House wine: £18 per bottle