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Casa Amiga
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Casa Amiga
294 Leith Walk,,
Edinburgh,
Midlothian,
EH6 5 BX
0131 467 5664
Tuesday - Saturday 8am - 6pm; Sunday, Monday 9am - 6pm
www.tracygriffen.com

Powered by Pastel de Nata

Every now and again a cafe opens locally that changes the culinary landscape of the area. Portuguese bakery and cafe Casa Amiga ('friend's home') has done that in Leith over a few short months. Specialising in pastel da nata, the traditional Portuguese custard tart, and excellent coffee, Casa Amiga has carved a niche for themselves and a spot dear to my heart. 

I run a fitness studio locally and have been known to refuel on their excellent Delta-brand coffee and sweet and savoury treats. A pastel de nata (£1.50) is a bite sized rich treat for an energy boost mid-afternoon. The tradition of exceptional custard tarts dates back pre-18th Century, when convents and monasteries in Lisbon created a recipe to use up egg yolks, as they used egg whites for starching their clothes, such as nuns' habits. Certainly when we went to Lisbon a few years ago, there was a proliferation of custardy treats in the numerous bakeries. The pastel de nata at Casa Amiga are as good as, if not better, than the sweets I sampled in Portugal. And the local community think so too, as it's not unusual to see a queue for their very reasonably prices treats. I know a few folk who even buy them in bulk, fresh to serve at dinner parties!

The sweets cabinet displays a wide array of pastries and tarts, including custard slice, pineapple puff, coconut tart and rice pudding, all affordably priced between £1.45 and £1.95. Savoury snacks include chorizo bake (£1.45), the vegetarian mista de pimentos (£1.85), and lunch of a daily changing soup (£3.80), served with a freshly baked bread roll. The atmosphere is relaxed, despite the speedy service, and owners Patricia and Mike are clearly pouring the heart and soul into the enterprise. It's a handy address to know if you're looking for somewhere to meet for coffee on Leith Walk, and they're licensed, dog-friendly with free wi-fi to boot. Go there! (T. Griffen)

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