Superico - cocktails and small plates
Updated: Jun 15, 2021
The hospitality trade has witnessed several shocks during Lockdown. I didn’t realise that Juan, who started up Superico, had left Edinburgh early doors during the pandemic until a press release landed in my inbox.
Juan introduced Edinburgh to small plates bursting with Chilean colour and flavour while classes such as his mum’s empanada ones were enjoyed by members of the Bite team.
The good news is that as hospitality wakes from its enforced slumber, Chef Scott Wyse has teamed up with well-known Edinburgh mixologist Mike Lynch of Bramble fame to take over Superico and Superico Bar along Hanover Street.
We visited for the Aperitivo deal comprising two plates and a cocktail for £18. The concept of Aperitivo makes pre-theatre sound slightly stuffy now, but an early evening time slot still suits those heading for a show or finishing work. Aperitivo also allows trying dishes before you commit more of your budget. Great for places confident of their offering, and Superico has no issues here.
Liz and I are greeted by Ben, who is delighted to be back working in Superico and under the tutelage of Scott and Mike. I hope he doesn’t mind me revealing that during Lockdown, he did a stint at Amazon in Dunfermline to make ends meet. A repetitive, soul-destroying factory job for someone whose heart is so evidently in food and drink. Top marks for resourcefulness when facing the brutal reality of Lockdown and hats off to Ben and all those like him.
We note the section ‘Freezer Cocktails’ on the menu, and Ben tells us about three Ready-To-Drink bottles on ice. Two things spring to mind. Firstly, Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology book praises bottled cocktails for parties and the like. Secondly, in Barcelona, The Dry Martini Bar serves Frappes – dry martinis filtered and frozen for several days at minus 24. At his point, I could dive down a rabbit hole about chilling, viscosity and ice, but instead, I will recommend https://www.tommacy.com/ice and move on.
I choose a Padron Martini (Roku Gin, Padron Pepper, Vermouth) and Liz has the Peach Negroni (Beefeater Gin, Pietro Nicola Pescaro, Cocchi Rossa, Campari). Both are poured ceremoniously from frosty bottles.
There are some great tasting combos to be had from a menu of small plates with cocktails; for example, when my martini accidentally kisses teeny morsels of queso azul in the Tartlet of truffle honey leeks and wild mushrooms. Tuna marinades in mango and blood orange tiger milk in my Ceviche. Its bruised flesh is soothed by avocado cream. Mango chunks with fiery chilli flecks are a different bite to the fish and avocado. Liz’s Tempura Enoki Mushroom wins overall for me, a lattice of thick truffled pecorino on a pile of spiky tarragon Verde.
My attention is caught by a tray of octopus sailing past our table. Octopus is on the large plates’ menu with avocado crèma and Padron pepper salsa cruda. I head for the kitchen to catch a photo before tentacles et al. are slathered in olive oil and roasted. Scott tells me that while they are sticking with elements of Juan’s formula, the focus has slightly shifted to draw on South American influences. We also chat a little about Galicia.
That’ll account for the ‘pulpo’ and all those Padron peppers then; throw in some hard liquor and what’s not to like.