Chez Mal Leith
- Telephone 0131 468 5000
- Opening times 9am–1am
- Bar open Sun–Thu 9am–midnight; Fri–Sat 9am–1am.
- Food served Mon–Fri 7–10am, noon–2.30pm, 6–10.15pm; Sat 8–11am, noon–2.30pm, 6–10.15pm; Sun 8–11am, noon–4pm, 6–10.15pm.
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Thu 6–10.15pm; Fri/Sat 6–7pm
- Pre-theatre price £19.95 (Prix Fixe menu)
- Website www.malmaison.com
Attached to the Malmaison Hotel in an enviable waterside position, this is a classic French-inspired bistro with a focus on seafood.
A favourite with passing tourists, hotel guests and locals since the early days of Leith’s revival, Chez Mal continues to flourish. It boasts a fine location with views over the water and is a tranquil place to enjoy outdoor dining when the weather allows. If conditions are less kind, indoors is also relaxed, with exposed brick walls, colourful sea-related images and glass-fronted wine cabinets. The décor is reminiscent of a traditional bistro, and the food adds to this feeling. Alongside the eclectic à la carte offering is a good value fixed-price menu that changes seasonally. Traditional starters include eggs meurette, a delicious version of the French regional favourite, featuring two perfectly poached eggs with a rich sauce enhanced by pancetta, mushroom and onion. Among the similarly well-executed mains is a confit duck leg that falls from the bone, perfectly partnered by Toulouse sausage and tomato-infused coco beans. The tradition continues with desserts which include wine-poached pear served with a vanilla panacotta that has the perfect wobble.
- Private dining: 4 rooms, capacity 8–65 people
- No. overnight rooms: 100
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Live entertainment: Live music in the bar occasionally
- Capacity: 64 (40 outdoors)
- Largest group: 44
- Open since: 1994
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 27
- House wine: £20 per bottle