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Smokestack - Back to the future
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Smoke Stack
53-55 Broughton Street,
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0131 556 6032
Sun - Thu, noon - 2:30pm & 5pm - 10pm; Fri & Sat, noon - 11pm

The Smoke Stack has changed a bit over the years.  Mr Bite tells me he remembers dark red walls and expensive bottles of wine from the nineties. These days it is more modern eatery than a post-yuppie-era restaurant where you can drop in for breakfast, brunch and lunch as well as for dinner. The legendary steaks and banoffi pie have remained on the menu from the early days though; you can't have too much of a good thing. 

The Smoke Stack was putting an Americana twist on Scottish produce long before it was all the rage. BBQ Ribs are virtually a religion in some parts of the US, and they are cooked here in garlic, honey and tomato sauce until pork falls effortlessly from smooth bone; Mr Bite and I swan-dived in. 

I had nearly ordered the prawn bruschetta reassured that shellfish are responsibly sourced from the North Atlantic. We decided to share the ribs though as this is not the sort of joint to skimp on portions. Taste buds stimulated I next had Loch Duart salmon 'the king of fish' with sautéed potatoes and green string beans in a lemon, dill and cream sauce. Mr Bite's carnivorous desires were sated by a rib-eye cooked rare with chips and a whisky cream sauce. Our plates were scraped so clean it was embarrassing, I hope the chef took it as a compliment. He did hang over the pass doors at one point looking insouciant in puffy hat and reminding me of the famous Kitchen Confidential cover. 

When it came to pudding, we only had eyes for banoffi pie - again to share. Biscuit base, thick caramel sauce studded with ripe but firm banana and inches of fresh double cream inspired secret plans for a return visit and solo indulgence. The daily cheesecake was chai latte which sounds like a blast and there is a line up of retro desserts. 

Despite its unpretentious, unbuttoned vibe, The Smoke Stack sources Scottish produce responsibly and is a member of both the Scotch Beef Club and Sustainable Restaurant Association. It has very much moved with the times. We had a lip-smacking, delicious meal and I suspect will return in the very near future. (S. Wilson)

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