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Spoon Café Bistro
6a Nicolson Street,,
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0131 557 4567
Monday - Saturday 10am - 11pm. Sundays 12-6pm

The first thing I liked about this Café/Bistro was the menu. The terms home-cooked, local and seasonal are not unfamiliar to Edinburgh restaurant goers but the dishes presented here could comprise items from my very own pantry, garden and vegetable box.  It was as if autumn's vegetables had got together to throw a party and Spoon was the venue.


To start I ordered the salt cod croquette with kohlrabi and pickled walnut salad (£4.95) and my friend chose chicken broth.  Then we relaxed, drank some refreshing home-made ginger beer and surveyed our surroundings. It's a large square room with lots of traditional leaded sash windows and eclectic retro features. My friend thought it was 'very French' I thought Dutch, definitely a continental ambience.


The starters arrived, I cracked open my croquette and a lovely fishy aroma hit me immediately. Its coating was thin and crispy, the mash silky smooth with the salt cod dissolved throughout to impart a pronounced flavour. Little cubes of fried kohlrabi were delicious (did you know kohlrabi is a German turnip?) as were the pickled walnuts but I disliked the generic restaurant spiky lettuce. My friend's soup was a hearty, rustic affair choc full of leeks, onions, root vegetables and a visibly good amount of free-range chicken.


Main course for me was roast loin of pork with roasted root vegetables (£9.95) and my friend chose the baked Pollock with spring onion mustard mash (£12.95).  The pork was tender and, the jus was deep and intense. The roots had been slowly and lovingly cooked until they had reached maximum sweetness. Parsnips are not my favourite vegetable but they were delicious here as were the kohlrabi and carrots. My friend was equally impressed with her lovely piece of fish with its crunchy skin and a full-on flavoursome mash. We had been foraging for mushrooms that morning and these hearty, comforting dishes really hit the spot.


As dessert arrived, flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake with vanilla crème fraiche (£5.75) and two spoons so did the jazz; a double bassist and saxophonist combo provide smoky mellow tunes for Autumnal Sundays. The cake was sublime; dark, rich and silky with crunchy toasted hazelnuts.


I would definitely recommend Spoon for a relaxed laid back nourishing meal any day of the week. (S. Wilson).



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