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Smoke Stack
53-55 Broughton Street,
[View Map]
0131 556 6032
Sun - Thu, noon - 2:30pm & 5pm - 10pm; Fri & Sat, noon - 11pm
Connie Bailey runs the Edinburgh Salon where interesting people meet over food.

When the Smoke Stack opened over 16 years ago it swiftly established itself as a steak lovers' paradise. And as autumn heralds heartier meals, we happily settled into this buzzy eatery with meat on our minds.

We kicked off gently with grilled goats cheese, strawberries, rocket and balsamic (£5.95) and a prawn cocktail (£6.95). The goats cheese was salty and creamy as it should be and the strawberries not only looked pretty but added another dimension to this classic starter. I was delighted with my prawn cocktail, packed full of juicy prawns and crunchy lettuce plus a dash of cayenne pepper to spice things up.

Onto mains and Mrs B opted for a 6oz burger with Dunsyre Blue cheese sauce (£8.95). The homemade patty comprised well ground juicy beef which had absorbed a nice amount of seasoning. The cheese sauce added creaminess and subtle flavour and was happily mopped up by the brioche roll.

The Smoke Stack boasts locally-sourced steaks and is a member of the Scottish Beef Club so it was a steak I chose. After some guidance from our waitress I plumped for the 10oz ribeye (£20.95). It was cooked to perfection, pink all the way through with just enough fat throughout. Both main courses arrived with chips which were a bit pale in our opinion, but crunchy all the same. We chose a Zinfandel wine (£24.00) which ideally complemented our meaty dishes.

After a little breather we moved on to dessert. The (chocolate and chilli) cheesecake of the day was sold out so I opted for banoffi pie(£4.50). On the menu, it says "this dish has been on the menu for 15 years and if it's not broken don't fix it"; I disagree. I think after 15 years you need to tighten things up, in this case a bit more toffee. On the other hand, the Eton mess (£4.50) had raspberries instead of strawberry, raspberry ice-cream instead of cream and crunchy meringue giving this classic dessert a nice (Fettes mess?) twist.

There is something retro about the Smoke Stack and its menu which is no a bad thing. I think every neighbourhood should have somewhere they can go and fulfil there carnivorous needs and this place fits the bill. (C. Bailey)



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