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The Walnut
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The Walnut
9 Croall Place,
City of Edinburgh
0131 281 1236

When I posted pictures of my lunch on Instagram (as you do) I was surprised that a few well known ‘Foodies’ had still not made it along to The Walnut. Seriously? 

This restaurant epitomises the term ‘wee gem’. The food is fresh, seasonal and cooked with flair and skill. The menu changes daily to reflect what is best and specials are detailed on a large blackboard. Prices range from ridiculously cheap to very reasonable and the restaurant is run by a young family.

Having ranted about anyone’s non-attendance at The Walnut I now have to confess it was a year since my last visit. More fool me. 

Located next to the Borelands telly shop on Leith Walk I visited for Friday lunch with my friend and fitness guru Tracy Griffen and her pug Coco. We chose the 2 courses for £10 and I splurged on a coffee too. Homemade focaccia is fresh and fluffy and was evidently made that morning. It’s was too scrummy to hold back. 

I could have eaten anything on the menu but chose roasted carrot and goats cheese salad with some elegant chicory leaves and sprinkles of roasted and crushed walnuts. Classic flavours, colourful fresh ingredients made for a simple, delicious appetiser. Tracy chose the starter I had swithered over, smoked salmon with heritage beetroot and potatoes. Given our trades we are both fairly fussy eaters but dishes got thumbs up all round. 

Main courses were fish soup for me and a cheese and leek tart for Tracy. The tart used a smoked Barwhey’s Ayrshire cheese which gave it a very tasty dimension. On the side were half an egg, those beautiful pale lemon-coloured chicory leaves, tatties and mache. My soup was made with rich bisque to underpin and add depth to chunks of salmon and large open mussels. Black olives, harissa, chunks of saffron potato, a squidge of lemon and a sprig of coriander made for a colourful warming Mediterranean -style dish. Portions were perfect for lunchtime. 

It’s worth mentioning the cheese board where each one costs a mere £2 but the selection is well considered  that smoked Barwhey featured again and an Irish goat’s cheese if my memory serves me correct. I was tempted but had eaten enough for lunch. 

Chef/owner Ben Waumsley has modesty that belies his talent. I would guess he spends all day in the kitchen baking, creating and being inspired by delicious fresh ingredients. 
As for me I want to head back asap for the unfinished business of cheese and pudding. If anyone is free give me a shout. (S. Wilson) 

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