75 St Leonard's Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QR
  • Telephone 0131 668 2917
  • Seasonal times Hours usually extended during Festival and festive period
  • Food served Mon 6–9pm; Tue–Sat noon–2.30pm, 6–10pm; Sun noon–2.30pm, 6–9pm.
  • Average price £12.90 (set lunch); £21 (evening meal)
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Photo of Blonde
in association with
Birra Moretti

Wonderful neighbourhood bistro that knows its own mind and has a dedicated following of locals and foodies

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016/17 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.

Hold onto your hats. This unpretentious pair of former shops in St Leonard's Street with its mismatched chairs and guddle of tables hides a blonde with ambition. The cooking is bold and bright, and the menu studded with the sort of tantalising flavours that require much trans-table fork swapping and promises of a return visit to prevent unseemly squabbling. Rich black pudding and pork belly croquettes get a necessary shot of sweet and sharp from a dod of deliciousness that enquiry reveals to be carrot jam. A gently melting quenelle of aubergine ricotta spiked with jalapeno provides creaminess for a spelt and lentil salad topped with crisply fried halloumi. Confit duck leg is properly unctuous, sauced with a pink peppercorn gravy, jostling with mushrooms and bacon. You’ll think you don’t have space for dessert, but with the likes of flourless chocolate cake or steamed date and pecan pudding on offer, resistance is likely to be futile. Just loosen your belt, refill your glass (decent wine at good prices is a highlight and a house speciality) and plan the return visit.

  • High point: Magic on a plate
  • Low point: Prominently sited 'Gents'
  • Notable dish: Dukkah-flavoured breast of chicken with salad of sweet potato, green bean, feta and sunblushed tomato
  • Private dining: 12-14
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: jazz
  • Capacity: 70
  • Largest group: 70
  • Open since: 2000
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 12
  • House wine: £15.50 per bottle

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