Shish Edinburgh - rocking the dry bar
Updated: May 14
This Turkish restaurant opened at Potterrow in February and is handy for academics, southside locals and tourists. Shish’s feel however, is not ‘student shabby chic’ instead it has a touch of ‘hijab glam’ and cosmopolitan London vibes. We visited hot on the heels of First Minister Humza Yousaf and, prior to his visit, that of his political rival Anas Sarwar. Apparently our esteemed friends dined in the space designed for private parties and families which boasts boughs of paper flowers, a neon pink sign and Aegean blue soft furnishings. The 110-cover restaurant has a sociable open layout with booths and tables suitable for various numbers of dining parties.
The large open kitchen has glinting copper cookware above hot coals where certain menu items are chargrilled. Our eyes widen at the Mixed Grill Platter being ferried to a neighbouring table. This comprises ‘’chicken cubes, lamb cubes, lamb ribs, chicken thigh, butcher meatballs, adana kebab, chicken wings, lamb chops’’ all served with rice, salad and pitta. Simone and I have more modest appetites. We choose the Mixed Cold Meze Platter i.e. seven vegetable dishes (£16.45) but fancy some meat too so add Urfa Kebab to our order. The lamb has been hand minced with cumin and black pepper and is ultra-juicy. This is plenty of food for sharing and is pocket friendly to boot. Each dish has unique and distinct flavours and the big man ‘Itz’ who runs the show informs us that everything is freshly made on the premises. Acili Elmer (finely minced tomatoes, onion, garlic, green chilli and spices) is vibrant. Chargrilled aubergine-based dips are mixed with ingredients like paprika, olive oil, yoghurt and labne and have a velvety texture. Balloon bread blistered on the grill is used to scoop up the food.
A surprise highlight of our visit is the Dry Bar which has a range of beers, wines, fizz, spirits and mocktails. To complement my food, I choose a Leffe Blonde doppelgänger Le Petite Beret and follow it with a Piña Colada whilst my dining partner Simone has a Strawberry Daiquiri. We don’t miss the alcohol. Itz explains that Shish stocks the extensive range of Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits which allows the bar to create any classic cocktail alcohol free. We also have Turkish tea which has lots of tannins and is good for digestion. Puddings are non-negotiable. As with the rest of our meal the presentation is appealing. A large slice of Baklava and Kunefe (a mind-blowing cheese filled pastry soaked with sugar syrup) arrive on indigo blue plates sprinkled with crushed green pistachios.
Shish is an exciting and unique addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene. Give it a try.
Shish Edinburgh - 32-34 Potterrow, Edinburgh, EH8 9BT - 0131 2851 678
Open: Monday - Sunday 12pm-11pm