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52 Canoes
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52 Canoes
13-14 Meliville Place,
0131 226 4732
Open 11am-1am Monday-Friday;Sat & Sun open 9am-1am
Pooch and Child Friendly until 8pm

I miss Jamaican restaurant Coyaba which closed a couple of years ago but think I've found an even better successor in this West End 'Tiki Den'. Inspired by the South Seas rather than the Carribean, it nonetheless exudes the same fun, colourful, laidback attitude to food, cocktails and ambience.


It is a warren of nooks and crannies, tables and booths all decorated with tropical-coloured kitsch. Bottles of soda water flavoured with hibiscus adorn every table; one of many thoughtful quirky touches.


Mr Bite and I started with Donkey Punch and Hello Sailor cocktails (both £4.50). Both were an elixir of premium spirits, home-made ginger beer and fresh fruit and we were pleased to note that prices range from £4 to about £7.


For food, we shared slow roasted ribs in a sticky chilli sauce (£6.95). The pork is from local supplier Gilmore's and the sauce was thick, fruity, hot and sweet; finger lickin' 'licious (!) with plenty of fresh, warm bread for mopping up purposes.


I followed with the mackerel and watermelon salad (£7.95) and Mr Bite chose steamed Shetland mussels in a creamy bacon and leek sauce with crusty bread (£8.95). I think if you order a salad it should be huge and this certainly fitted the bill. A colourful melange of carrot, lettuce, bal samic, multi-coloured peppers, red onions, fish and mint made for a sparkly bite every time whilst smiling red wedges of melon completed the plate. Mr Bite loved his mussels commenting that they were super plump with a sauce that was smooth, tasty and satisfying.


Desserts were a total treat. I couldn't r esist the Devil's Rocky Road (£3.50) a chocolatey wedge stuck together with fruit and marshmallow and dusted with plenty of icing sugar. Of course a Mai Tai with three types of rum in a cheeky tiki mug had to accompany the chocolate hit.  Mr Bite had a banana and rum mini-loaf with ice cream; moist and aromatic (£3.50).


Amanda, also of The Espy, is just the sort of person you want in the kitchen. An unpretentious cook serving tasty food made from quality traceable ingredients at a reasonable price. Acoustic tunes came from fellow Aussie Todd Cook; there is live music every Friday night.


Stick a parasol behind your ear, throw tinsel lei around your neck and prepare to hula the night away!



















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