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The Fat Pony
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0131 229 5770
Open: Sun - Thurs 4pm - midnight Fri & Sat 4pm - 1am.

Saddle up...

When I heard about The Fat Pony it conjured  images of Rubenesque ponies by Thelwell, topped by equally rotund little girls. However, this Bread Street wine bar is actually a sleek, modern space with clean lines, brightly coloured stools, muted paintwork and rough stone. Three tables and plenty of elevated bars allow you to watch the world go by as you sip a glass of vino.

The menu is a mix of nibbles and sharing platters. Along with a rather good Vesper and a Grenache pinot noir, we started with a charcuterie plate - slices of chorizo, salami, air-dried ham and Manchego (supplied by Iain Mellis) along with toasted sourdough, olives, and homemade onion jam. As you'd expect, the meats and cheese were in tiptop condition, soft, juicy and salty making the drinks even more quaffable.

We also ordered mackerel pâté with beetroot remoulade, rabbit terrine with harrisa carrot salad arriving together while the pork and prawn gyoza bring up the rear. The fishy paste is simple, scooped onto homemade crackers with a dollop of the remoulade, it is very satisfying; I thought it went tremendously with the flinty freshness of the white Godello. The rabbit was a little disappointing, lacking seasoning, the fiery salad ran amok. The dumplings arrive, hot from the steamer and oh my word, they were lush! Soft, slightly chewy, one bite and the aromatics hit the taste buds and palate with fragrant lemongrass that offers accent rather than domination. I could have eaten plate after plate.

Mr H was happy with the glasses of reds (a smoky, herby Petit Verdot and a full-bodied Carmenere). We ordered a final savoury, the mushroom gyoza; like their predecessors, the texture is lovely, unfortunately, a chilli blast looses the delicate 'shroominess.

Onto pudding; we both go chocolate and red wine - an unusual sparkling Gamay, On Pète La Soif pour moi - sparkling and pink with appley an overtone that was sublime with the chocolate and blackberry mousse. For the man, he plumped for another oddity, a sweet Maury. A deep red burgundy with medicinal notes that is the perfect balance for the dark chocolate, pineapple and star anise jam, Szechuan pepper caramel and tonka bean ice cream. 

There are some seriously good and unusual wines at David Ramsden's (him from The Dogs) Fat Pony.

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