Friday, 21 September 2012

The Dogs, Edinburgh

I had hoped to finish blogging Rome before heading off to Edinburgh, but sadly that was not to be. Despite having a few days off I just haven't found the time to get any blogging done (although I did manage to get a rather exciting audio tour of Castle Market done for Exposed... look out for it... it'll help anyone wanting to shop down there).

Anyway, we are where we are, and I'm in Edinburgh.

We got here for about 3pm but spent the first few hours getting the lock on our car fixed (as some gits had broken into it the night before). By the time that was sorted we were starving. We hadn't stopped on the way up and, although we had nibbled on a couple of cheese sarnies in the car, we were in need of a decent feed.

As with any holiday, I'd planned our main meals ahead and last night we were due to dine at The Dogs. The Dogs was a Twitter recommendation (thanks @EwanMitchell) and it's also in the Good Food Guide so I reckoned we were onto a winner. Sadly, despite this, I hadn't realised how popular it would be and I hadn't reckoned we'd need to book. And although we were there at 6.20pm on a Thursday night we had to be  squeezed in and we could only have the table for an hour and ten minutes.

This was a shame; it meant that we couldn't enjoy a full 3 course dinner and, once finished, we couldn't sit and chat over our wine. But the waiter had been upfront with us from the start, we didn't have to stay and nobody rushed us, so I didn't and don't hold this against them.

The menu is relatively short with stuff like liver, steak & mackerel on there. It's all good homely stuff and the most of the mains are under £14. I was tempted by the mackerel (I love the stuff) but went for rabbit with chorizo and vegetables.

Two decent sized joints of rabbit were served in a tasty broth with a few bits of chorizo, large chunks of carrots and a few whole mushrooms. It was simple, incredibly so, but tasty. And, given the rain outside (it was pissing it down!), it was the perfect meal. Stupidly I hadn't ordered bread (despite the waiter's recommendation to do so), and with all that tasty broth, it was certainly needed (and some quickly appeared when requested).

Gav went for the flat iron steak which was served with chips and a big fat beef tomato. Again simple, but tasty. The steak was cooked to his liking (rare) & served with a garlic butter. Chips were crispy and well seasoned. Perfect.

By this point I was full, but Gav fancied dessert and he managed to squeeze in a raspberry and rhubarb crumble. It wasn't crumble as we know it as the topping was very light and mostly made up of flaked almonds; this did, however, mean that there was more fruit than usual which was no bad thing.

We shared a bottle of Primitivo which was nice enough; nothing amazing, but easily drinkable and reasonably priced. And with the bill coming in at about £48 I thought it was all pretty good value given the standard of the cooking.

The food wasn't the only thing to impress... the waiters were friendly and helpful. Atmosphere was great; strangely there wasn't any music but this seemed to encourage diners to chat freely. Decor is simple, like the food and the whole experience reminded me of eating in a rustic Italian enoteca where the focus is on simple, well cooked food.

If you're in Edinburgh, give it a go.

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