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Quay Commons
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Quay Commons
92 Commercial Quay,
City of Edinburgh,
0131 554 6681
Mon - Wed: 9am-6pm; Thu - Sun: 9am-10pm

Where quality and quantity go hand in hand

Without a shadow of a doubt, Leith is fast becoming a hub for good food! The latest is Quay Commons, bakery-cafe-bistro-bar-takeaway all rolled into one from the lovely lads of Gardener's Cottage, Dale Mailley and Edward Murray.

Not being able to expand their restaurant in Royal Terrace Gardens, the logical step was to find somewhere so they could make their fabulous sourdough en-masse (they won several awards at the Scottish Bread Champions this year); a place to butcher and cure meat, a place to experiment, a place to cultivate quality. I think they have achieved that and more.

The stripped back interior of the former Mediterranean restaurant, it's cool, funky and laid back, with wine, cookbooks, and jars of ingredients fermenting on shelves.

Food is displayed like a still life painting on the counter and is the first thing your eyes fall upon as you step through the door. Nostrils splay as I breathe in ... deeply, making my already growling belly, roar!

We settle at the communal table, deciding to let Dale chose our lunch and are soon presented with a board of sumptuous nibbles. Delving into two types of Peelham salami, a bowl of olives and cornichon (small gherkins) that balance the rich fattiness of the home-smoked mutton belly. What amazes us is the creamed corn and goats' curd; I could eat it all myself. But the mutton pie! The meat's succulent, housed in golden pastry made from the rendered fat of the mutton; crisp, light and utterly addictive, but then I am a pastry nut. Peppery olive oil, radishes and bread also regale the board.

We then have a small slice of the lightest, deep-filled quiche. The cheesy custard wobbles seductively; its partner-in-crime is coleslaw with a hint of mint. Next up is a selection of cheese. So glad to see two of them from Errington's, white and blue Lanark along with Dorstone goat cheese from down south.

What look like sheathes of bark are homemade crackers; one burnt leek (which, by the way, is wonderful with the aforementioned creamed corn) and a dill flavoured kamut flour one. All three cheeses work well with the mixed berry membrillo. Flat breads straight from the oven - one plain (I popped a slice of the smoked belly into it - oh my!) and a broccoli, egg, goat curd, roasted pepper and creamed corn version. By this point, we were stuffed but our wine aided digestion.

Coffee and a selection of sweetie goodies arrives to finish us off; sticky brownie made from Chocolate Tree bean to bar, a poufy pink-duoed marshmallow (beetroot and raspberry masked in chocolate) and a bostock (a jam and nut topped brioche bun). Coffee is local, supplied from Williams and Johnson, which is just up the road.

A note about our wine; I had St John rosé (Quay Commons is the only place in Edinburgh to serve their wines) and Mr H had a rather nice pinot noir. Wine is by the glass or bottle and, as they have an off license, you can take wine and beers home.

This was my third visit here and it definitely won't be my last. (L. Harris)

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