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The Urban Fox - The Causewayside disruptor
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The Urban Fox
19 – 21 Causewayside,,
Edinburgh,
EH9 1QF
0131 662 6766
Opening hours Monday – Sunday: midday to 10pm

There’s a note lying on the dark wood table. A torn page from a notepad. The sloped calligraphy includes lemon zest liqueur. Grenadine. Pickering’s gin. Together, these make the weekly cocktail at The Urban Fox, the mixologist’s secret creation. The menu may list the standard cosmos and martinis, but it’s these he’ll try out each week (writing down the ingredients if persuaded). 
 
His distinctive sloped handwriting comes in useful at this (relatively) new Causewayside restaurant. The specials, for instance, are ornately listed on an equally ornate chalkboard hanging against one wall. That, combined with his flamboyant way of describing this evening’s dishes using his hands, has a way of making the salmon risotto with Parmesan, leek and broccoli sound even more appealing.

The fox theme itself is an intriguing angle. There are apparently a fair few of these creatures in the neighbourhood, and the restaurant name is an ode to the urban animals. Look hard enough and you’ll find an image of a fox interwoven into the specials board. A taxidermy creation behind the bar. A picture of a fox leaning one elbow against the back of a chair. It’s a subtle part of the decor, along with the orange serviettes and purple candles, which add colour to the slightly retro aesthetic.
 
The Urban Fox opened in April near the Meadows this year. But their menu doesn’t focus on varsity staples, despite its student-y locale – it’s all sweet potato and beetroot burgers. Twice-cooked pork belly. Sharing platters such as fish or chicken goujons and mussels. 

The aim is to combine quality food aimed at the professional set with experimental, diverse flavours – but at reasonable (and therefore leaning towards more student-friendly) prices. Everything is created from scratch; the freezer is empty aside from ice cream. And the chef's care is obvious in the details: the red wine and rosemary jus zigzagging along one side of the roast duck breast, the almonds scattered along the top of the salmon fillet. 

There’s a fairly strong focus on seafood (crayfish salad, traditional fish and chips) and meat (burgers with haggis), but there’s also a non-carnivore twist in, for instance, the vegan haggis and stuffed aubergine. 

While the dessert menu is short and sweet, the apple and rhubarb crumble – combined with, perhaps, an espresso martini or the Malibu Stacy cocktail calligraphy-d onto the specials board – is essential. 

We’ll be back to for a jalapeno margarita and chicken burger. (K. Wilkins)

 




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