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The Oxtail - good quality, well-priced
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Jules Verne Brasserie Francaise & Cafe
13 Antigua Street,
Edinburgh,
EH1 3NH
8am-10pm everyday

As every foodie or Francophile knows, the French like their meat. An entrecôte served with pommes frites, and a peppercorn sauce can really hit the spot. Beef and carbs in a slightly different format such as burgers and steak frites are popular too.

I can attest to this meal's reviving properties following many a traffic nightmare in the South of France and Mr Bite, and I discovered it could perform precisely the same trick in Edinburgh.

After a clammy day working around the city, we dropped into The Oxtail for some sustenance.

Frenchman Fred Deprez runs this eatery, and the Gallic influence on the menu is evident.

French salads are like their fashion, simple, classic and well-dressed. I ordered a vegetarian one which includes avocado, feta, lettuce, pomegranate and orange segments with a vinaigrette. A colourful start and then it was rib-eye for me.

The steak had the robust flavour typical of this cut of cow, a taste that coats the mouth and pleasantly lingers. Chips and a salad on the side plus peppercorn sauce for dipping and all is right again with the world (well almost!)

The Oxtail knowing the lure of the rib-eye runs a permanent deal £39.90 for two steaks, chips and a glass of red; any time, any day no ifs or butts. Apologies we can;t resist a pun. 

Mr Bite was equally happy across the table. Calamari in a peri-peri sauce had been followed by 'The Scotsman' – a towering burger stacked and skewered with layers of haggis, bacon, smoked Cheddar and onion rings on top of the beef. It comes in a brioche bun, whisky sauce and chips. At £12.50, it is the most expensive burger on the menu, and it should be pointed out that the burgers are made with good quality ingredients.

We are too full for dessert but have partaken of the cakes and puddings before and let's just say the entremets are as flamboyant as Marie Antoinette. Afternoon Tea is proving popular.

Alternatively, you can pop in for a croissant and coffee and watch the world go by from the café area or a table on the terrace. It's all reasonably straightforward at The Oxtail. Good food, competitively priced and accessible to all. What's not to like. (S. Wilson)




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