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12 Barclay Terrace,,
City of Edinburgh,
EH10 4HP
0131 229 1394
Tues–Fri 5.30pm–9pm Sat 12pm–3pm; 5.30pm–9pm Sun 12pm–3pm

When you can walk to your local restaurant, strolling home again after a rib-eye steak and Argentinian Malbec, you know you’re onto something good.

That’s LeftField. 

Bordering one side of Brunstfield Links on the corner of Barclay Terrace, its location may not be immediately obvious, but the almost-year-old eatery is gathering a following. Has gathered; in fact: it was voted the favourite restaurant among The List’s readers this year.

Owners Phil White (self-confessed tequila fan and head/only chef) and Rachel Chisholm (you’ll meet her at the front desk when you arrive) ran a catering company before deciding it was getting a bit hectic. While looking for alternative business options, this Edinburgh restaurant space became available. Phil and Rachel kept it running as Katie’s, the previous incarnation, for a spell, officially launching LeftField in August 2017 with a more pared-back decor scheme. "I wanted to make the place light and airy, as though you were sitting in a glasshouse,” Rachel says, "hence the white painted benches and natural wood or green chairs.”

What hasn’t changed is the small, personal atmosphere. Space is limited, the best seats the tables for two against the window to watch the summer sun lingering over Bruntsfield Links, Arthur’s Seat in the background, the golfers slowly drifting away as the light fades. This is a literal room with a view. 

The dinner menu is also condensed, intimate, a one-pager focusing mainly on steak (fillet, rib-eye, sirloin) and seafood (oysters, haddock, hake). Rachel mentions Phil’s cooking is slightly left of the field, part of the reason for the restaurant’s name. "LeftField denotes a surprisingor unconventional approach and there is always a little twist, either in the presentation or in the flavour combinations,” she says. You can see it in the Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and charred cauliflower with freekeh, pomegranate and aubergine – and in the wine list, with its strong biodynamic slant. Rachel lists the Chateau Brandeau Bordeaux as an example: the old vineyard "is now in the hands of an experimental winemaker who has taken a more natural approach to his winemaking,” she says.

If you’re here for lunch, it works slightly differently in that there’s a two- or three-course set menu. Sunday lunches are different again: the restaurant only opens between noon and three for a chilled end to your weekend over roast chicken and organic Prosecco before walking home again. (K. Lee Wilkins)

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