This neighbourhood bistro is intimate yet buzzy, small but with glass fronted views of Leith Links. The food is unpretentious but adept and somehow it all just works. Bijou is that archetypal gem you would be delighted to stumble upon or visit for your supper.
Seasonal specials are based on what is good and are written on the prominent blackboard. Scotch egg with chorizo chips caught the eye of me and Mr Bite but eventually he chose the wild mushroom and rocket gnocchi so I had the salmon roulade which came with celeriac slaw and cucumber; light, refreshing, tasty. Mr B liked the gnocchi although he thought it would be too heavy as a main. All dishes on the regular menu can be served in ‘bijou’ or ‘main’ portions. Handy as you may want to go ‘bijou’ all the way.
Next up for me were three delicate, crispy-skinned fillets of sea bass; you could taste the freshness and they had been sautéed until just golden; top marks. The wild mushroom risotto was not a perfect consistency but the fungi were very flavoursome and the pea puree added welcome zing.
Mr Bite scoffed a large handmade burger which came in a toasted bun. An Asian slaw on the side was sprightly, colourful and dressed in sesame oil.
Tiny touches like the slaw and the puree enhanced what is essentially simple comforting nosh (nothing wrong with that. The wine list is ‘nano’ so the choices have to be good; the descriptions are ‘irreverent’. Herbs are micro.
Don’t be fooled though … elements of the cooking are faultless.
Desserts at Bijou appear to consistently deliver (I have been a number of times). I chose the lemon curd crème brûlée – a refreshing twist on a creamy finale with homemade shortbread and for Mr B a truly excellent, very oozy, über-chocolatey fondant with homemade ice cream.
A jazzy upbeat soundtrack courtesy of Pavrov Stelar provided the exact right music for a Thursday night supper in this neighbourhood eatery. If inclined Bijou would take you from bistro to club no problem. Throw some shapes. Have fun!
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