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83 Hanover Street
New Review
83 Hanover Street ,
Edinburgh,
EH2 1EE
0131 225 4862
Wed-Sun noon - midnight; closed Mon & Tues

While the name of this bright basement restaurant gives no clue, it is where a Chilean, raised in Sweden with a subsequent strong restaurant CV in Scotland, has lovingly put together a clean-lined, comfortable and contemporary home for his family food memories.

Juan and partner Vanessa work with their Scottish chef Ross to produce a variety of small plates full of colour and flavour.  My Chilean friend Pamèla, drafted in specially for this mission, and I fortified ourselves with a pair of pisco cocktails (in generous glasses, a more traditional lemon juice based mix and a San Francisco/Peruvian influenced ‘punch’ version with pineapple juice).  Both hit the spot for two pisco sour fans, leaving us ready for a selection of Ceviche, Calamari and Padrón pepper ‘bites’. 

Small pieces of bass along with soft sweet potato cubes marinated with lime, coriander and plenty of chile pepper made for a bracing and appetising ceviche.  Coriander-flecked lightly-crusted calamari strips were good with their spicy aioli, and no suggestion of rubberiness thanks to the method of soaking in milk prior to preparation.  Our sopaipillas - little deep-fried pumpkin ‘bread’ discs with ‘pebre’ onion salsa - were a little heavy on flour and disappointingly chewy - which we mentioned and they took on board to improve.  A welcome twist of grated grana padano cheese ‘snow’ over charred Padróns softened their smoky fire (and is something I will definitely now do at home when making these fried hot peppers).
 
I was pleased to see an interesting, individually chosen wine list, in this case heavy on more ‘natural’ wines, and enjoyed my ripe Pinot Noir from Aconcagua along with our selection of beef short rib and skirt steak as the main event.  In both cases, the meat was cooked to perfection.  Erring on the side of caution, I went for the slow-cooked short rib to ensure tenderness, and it delivered this along with rich flavour.  But the more interesting aspect of this dish was the traditional cold potato salad it came with - two types of potato (white and purple), with dressed finely-sliced sweet white onion.  Echoing South American origins with this multi-coloured root, the purple potatoes are sourced locally on the East coast.  
 
Meanwhile Pamèla was tackling the skirt steak, a cut I feared might be tough.  Far from it - cooked chef’s way, lightly medium-rare, it had proper beef steak texture yet was very tender and packed with flavour, this time with cumin-based marinade.  What appeared to be avocado purée transpired to be a mix of cauliflower and broccoli and all the more tasty and interesting.  The intention had been to have Juan’s mother's empañada recipe as an ongoing speciality, but on reflection - and my Chilean pal who makes them at home concurred - empanadas (little pasties) take up too much space and mess in preparation so this idea has, for the meantime, been dropped due to kitchen size. 
 
There is a small selection of home made sweets if you can handle it - we managed a few mini-doughnuts in sweet caramelised milk sauce before admitting defeat and arranging to return on a Sunday to try the modern Chilean staple of ‘completos’ - hot dogs!
 
 
 
 

 

 

 


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