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Cafe Renroc
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Cafe Renroc
91 Montgomery Street (200 meters from Leith Walk, heading east),,
Edinburgh,
EH7 5HZ
[View Map]
0131 556 0432
Food served: Mon/Tue 8am-5pm; Wed-Fri 8am-9pm; Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 10.30am-5pm.

December 2011

 

If you're planning to do a 'stellar' job on December's food and drink consumption, the pennies left in the coffers for January can be a little tight. Many of the city's fancy eateries will be offering discounted dining to get you through their doors, but it's also nice to find a little spot for a bite, perhaps a wee coffee and pastry. Forget the follies, foie gras and fine wines of the previous month; it's time for easy eats.

 

Café Renroc can be found just off the beaten track on Montgomery Street, just a few minutes' from the top of Leith Walk. It's a quirky little place, combining a health and beauty salon (perfect for a massage to kick the January blues), a neat café and larger bistro in the basement. It's one of my fave pit-stops on the way to work, as their morning fare is tops. A flaky almond croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice and latté to go will set me up for any winter's day.

 

At lunch, there's Panini and quiches, but the Silver Fox and I recently stepped in to try out their evening fare. The menu is a concise mix of continental nibbles and some heartier Scottish fare. We started with the antipasti sharing platter (£6.95), which was a generous plate of salami, Parma ham, olives, addictive stuffed peppers and sweet sun-dried tomatoes and chunks of brown bread. As the man said, you can't fail with that many tasty things on a plate!

 

Main courses include haggis and stovies however, we went for the Euro-esque mousakka and lasagne. Cheap eats, (both at £6.25) including a side salad and a wee bowl of nachos. Like layered twins, the dishes were quite similar. The pasta dish with minced beef, creamy béchamel and a tomatoey sauce, and the mousakka a variation on a theme with aubergines and sliced potatoes. Whilst neither dish was going to set the world alight, they provided filling hearty fare. Annoyingly, both dishes (and the fresh side-salad) were liberally sprinkled with generic dried herbs which were retro in a wrong way. Perhaps if that extra seasoning had gone into the sauces at the cooking stage, it would have worked.

 

We finished with a slice of cake each, a couple of great coffees and the satisfaction of a bargain-finding job well done.

 

 

 

 

March 2007
A forward-thinking backwards-sounding corner

The area around the top of Leith Walk and Easter Road is not known for its healthy nosh. This changed a year ago with the opening of Renroc Cafe on Montgomery Street. Run by Jane and Billy Ross, Renroc is a haven for those seeking a nutricious alternative and a friendly smile or two.

Packed to the rafters every weekend, it illustrates that people do want an alternative to chips and deep-fried indelicacies. I have thought of popping in many times, but have been put off by the crowds. Worry no more, as the café will soon be expanding into the basement.

My weekend squeeze and I were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the basement, and what a fine basement it is too. A bakery in a previous incarnation, the original ovens circa 1870 are embedded in the stone walls for all to see. The oven(s) has cleverly provided the source of the name for its soon-to-be-opened therapy centre, Nevo. There will be more to come on Nevo in a future issue of Bite.

Wandering back upstairs to the busy café, we amused ourselves by watching the five staff skilfully serving the hoards. Squeezed behind a tiny counter, they were doing a lot of weaving in and out. This will change with the renovations; a larger preparation area means a broader menu will be on offer.

I was pretty happy with the selection of bagels, rolls, sandwiches, juices and salads. I chose a mozzarella, red pesto, aubergine, courgette and roasted pepper panini (£3.50), served with a salad and a smile. My squeeze opted for a three egg omelette with chorizo and cheese (£2.50 plus 60p for the two toppings). We felt very satisfied munching on our tasty lunch with the sunlight streaming in. What a fine corner! What sunlight! We will definitely be back.

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