The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant
- Telephone 0131 225 1550
- Opening times Mon–Wed & Fri 9am–5pm; Thu 9am–7pm; Sat & Sun 10am–5pm.
- Seasonal times Festival: open until 7pm every day
- Food served Mon–Wed 9am–5.30pm; Thu 9am–7pm; Fri/Sat 9am–5.30pm; Sun 10am–5.30pm.
- Average price £15.95 (set lunch)
- Website www.thescottishcafeandrestaurant.com
This country is blessed with a bountiful backyard – a great resource ripe for a plundering. The Contini family are fully aware of this. Underneath the National Gallery, their pantheon to all things seasonal, sustainable and Scottish is all about great quality local ingredients sourced from small suppliers – all neatly pinpointed on the large map of Scotland propped up at the entrance – as well as from their own plentiful kitchen garden. All pine, pillars and traditional textiles, this bright, airy, split-level restaurant mirrors the sophistication of its food ethos, and there are some real high points on their seasonally changing set-lunch menu. Moreish breaded haggis is nicely complemented by a silky celeriac purée and piquant pickled turnip, while home-smoked pigeon breast perched on a thyme potato rosti is faultlessly cooked, with a sherry vinegar dressing packing a punch. Pan-fried cod sits on a bed of root vegetables, circled by a moat of delicate saffron broth and Lochleven mussels. Afternoon tea and Sunday roast menus are popular alternatives and can, alongside lunch options, be enjoyed outside during warmer months.
- High point: Passion and enthusiasm for well-sourced food, matched quality cooking
- Low point: If only it was open later in the evenings
- Notable dish: Home-smoked Scottish pigeon breast, thyme potato rosti, rocket, sherry vinegar dressing
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Easy listening
- Live entertainment: Occassional ceilidhs (Burns' night, August, Christmas) and harpist accompanying Sunday roast
- Capacity: 280
- Largest group: 250
- Open since: 2009
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
- House wine: £18.95 per bottle