Liz and I feel replete. Stuffed with Spanish fayre and refreshed from a bottle of Cava we chat with the waitress as we grab more delicacies from this wine bar/cafe/delicatessen to take home. She is telling us about her group meet-up ‘Whine and Wine’ - where crochet and knitting are also involved. It’s a fun detail that epitomizes the earthy, Spanish warmth you will find at Indaba in Newington.
I would peg Newington as the hot place to eat and drink at the moment. In the vicinity you will find a hotchpotch of places like Macau Kitchen, Tipsy Midgie whisky bar, We are Junk, and an interesting little Italian drinking hole Bar Zero Zero. Down and dirty takeaways rub shoulders with the more refined places. Move over Dalry.
Let’s circle back.
Liz and I bag the window seat on one of the last hot days of summer. We order a bottle of El Celleret. It’s brut dry with lots of orchard fruits (apples and pears), so perfect for the season as well as our pockets (only £24).
For food, I have previously told Liz (excitedly) about the Tuna Empanadas, but we choose a daily special of Empanada stuffed with cooked ricotta cheese and squeaky asparagus. This is her choice whilst I ‘major’ in Sardines with caramelised onions.
Every time I have visited Indaba Spanish people flit in and out to buy Morcilla or Valencian almonds while others sip on a glass of red and chat with the staff. Indaba has an ambiance that cannot be manufactured, it’s just authentic.
We next enjoy a round of goats' cheese in a pool of ratatouille that is so softly stewed and sweet it tastes of sunshine. And onto a platter of Jamon and Manchego. Rather than list the prices here I would urge you to have a look online. I almost don’t want to tell you about this hidden gem but it’s my civic duty to do so.
We would love to have pudding and sherry but are simply too stuffed. So, I purchase Sidr, fat, crunchy, salty almonds, and Tarta de Santiago to take home while Liz gets Salmoreco, an Andalusian soup of tomatoes and almonds. The Tortillas will simply have to wait for another day. I note that there is a lentil and carrot stew for £3.95; if I worked nearby Indaba would be my go-to lunch spot.
There is a sunny room at the back, which is perfect for parties and gatherings, Indaba after all translates as meet-up in the South African language of Xhosa. Indaba is open till 10 PM on Fridays and Saturdays but you can book after 6 PM on other days, probably best just to call and chat with the owner Rosana, or her very helpful staff. Look out for the wine tastings too.
Indaba - 88 S Clerk St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9PT. Open Monday - Thursday 10 am - 6 pm and Friday & Saturday 10 am - 10 pm. Book in advance for a table after 6 pm - 0131 667 4511.