- Telephone 0131 629 0447
- Opening times Mon–Sat noon–2.30pm; 5.30–10.30pm; Sun 5.30–10.30pm
- Seasonal times During festivals open for lunch noon–2.30pm every day (except Mon)
- Food served Sat/Sun, Tue/Wed 5.30–10.30pm; Thu/Fri noon–2.30pm and 5.30–10.30pm. Closed Mon.
- Average price £8.95 (set lunch); £15.50 (evening meal)
- Website www.bluerapathai.co.uk
Given the number of Thai restaurants operating in Edinburgh at the moment, any new contender is going to have to go out of its way even to be noticed. The owners of the family-run Bluerapa Thai in Haymarket do at least have the advantage of ten years’ experience on the city’s scene, having previously owned Chiang Mai on Dalry Road. These new premises aren’t as well-located, but the food here is of a quality that’s worth seeking out, with a blend of more typical dishes (chicken satay or homemade fishcakes as starters; green curry or Thai style sweet and sour as a main) offset by some distinctive and MSG-free homemade recipes. Traditional Thai salad dishes of yum, laab and nam tok are served in starter-sized portions but can be augmented to a main with some rice, and include a dish of shredded roast duck served with sliced apple, cashew nuts, coriander and mint in a sharp chilli dressing, or a fresh hot and sour salad of beef with diced cucumber and tomato. A main of lightly spiced and succulent drunken king scallop is impressively cooked, while the pan-seared duck delicately blends the bite of red curry marinade with a pleasing sweetness.
Small, sparse and brightly lit, Bluerapa has been plying its trade in the unprepossessing Haymarket byway of Torphichen Place for just under two years. Punters in search of fine dining might consider venturing furthering into town – the food here is more canteen than cuisine and the décor a touch on the sterile side – but with a cohort of loyal regulars, this family-run business has carved out a niche of its own. With sit-in mains from £9.95 per person, rice included in the price and reasonable corkage for BYOB, it’s hard to baulk at the rates, but the quality of ingredients doesn’t always compare to similarly priced establishments. Chicken tastes cheap and spongy; an oversweet red curry stints on the peppers and flavours tend towards the simplistic, constructed perhaps to please the palates of the rugby crowd. Desserts fare better, with generous helpings of coconut ice-cream drenched in syrup and dotted with lychees and several banana-based options. Staff are helpful and patient and there’s a steady trickle of customers availing themselves of the reasonably priced takeaway service.
- High point: Casual atmosphere and cheerful staff
- Low point: The food isn't always up to scratch
- Delivery: £1.50 charge, maximum 5 mile radius
- Provides: Halal options, Children's portions, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Saxophone covers of popular tracks
- Capacity: 25
- Largest group: 25
- Open since: 2011
- BYOB: £2; beer 50p corkage