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Roseleaf Bar & Cafe
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Roseleaf Bar and Cafe
23-24 Sandport Place,
[View Map]
0131 476 5268
Sun-Thurs 10am-11.30pm/Fri and Sat 10am-12.30am


Eggs Benedict, Cullen Skink, Leith Gin and freshly squeezed juices; these are some of the staples I have come to love when popping in to Roseleaf on The Shore.

But three courses was the mission for me and Mr Bite when we visited recently.

For those unfamiliar Roseleaf’s charms the bar exudes Leith character. Someone even chats to me at the bar whilst we are waiting for our table. Lordy lord, am I in fact in Glasgow?

My branded wet wipe encourages me to wipe my 'clairty hawns', pot-tails' (cocktails in teapots) are served in 'vintage china’ and our menu comes inside an old National Geographic magazine with a gnarly Edmund Hilary on its cover. The front bar and back room have been modelled on ‘yer granny’s living room’.

Starters are clever. A ‘Leith-al’ Scotch egg is wrapped in soft, spicy haggis which contrasts nicely with a crispy coat, remoulade with curry sauce as used in Coronation Chicken is a tasty surprise that works really well. ‘Prawn Stars’ are skewered and slathered in spicy satay, a refreshing salad of radish, cucumber and coriander enhances this Asian-inspired dish.

Next Mr Bite has a special of 'Belting Beef' - chunks of meat stewed in a coconut, chilli and tamarind sauce, it is tender and aromatic with only subtle heat and I watch him part the beef with a mere fork. He loves the salad of cucumber, lime and celery - his two favourite veg as luck would have it.

I tuck into Fillet of Trout on a tattie and leek cake and a heap of wilted spinach. Zingy salty capers and slices of garlic are full-on; a colourful, delicious Mediterranean dish. Even the pea shoot garnish works here. We ask our lovely waiters to please thank Chef.

'Rhuby Bakewell' is a homemade traybake of fruit and almond and heady scented frangipani, a retro glace cherry and a controversial crumble topping. Mr Bite says it's not as good as his mum's but has to agree he wouldn't kick it out of bed (Roseleaf - no-one is going to beat Mum - it was excellent).

This pudding is a nice finale to our meal, in fact it sums up Roseleaf Bar Café. It's traditional, couthy and comforting but with tongue-in-cheek retro and contemporary twists.

The waiter asks me for feedback and the only criticism I can think of - portions are too generous. Go figure. (S. Wilson)


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