Monday 18 November 2013


Lunch at A Room in the West End

A Room in the West End is located below Teuchters bar in Edinburgh's William Street. It's just a few minutes of walking away from the busy Haymarket and Princes Street area, so is perfectly situated for a well-earned lunch or dinner rest stop after a few hours of (Christmas) shopping.

The emphasis in the restaurant is placed on fresh and affordable Scottish produce and with a combination of simple flavours they offer some very tasty dishes. The interior pops with bright colours, simple wooden furniture and granite candles, all of which give the establishment a cosy feel. It has a pub atmosphere, but nicer and more welcoming.

We visited A Room in the West End for lunch and before the start of our three courses we were served bread with salted butter on the side. The generous portion set up the theme of plenty for the rest of the meal.

To start my guest chose the soup of the day, which was sweet potato and coconut when we visited, a warming and wholesome start to her meal. I chose the pan-fried halloumi on crisp rocket with artichoke tapenade, which was excellent. It was a stunning dish to look at and had a taste to match. I'm a big fan of halloumi and the saltiness of the cheese was complemented well by the other elements on the plate. The artichoke tapenade was a particularly interesting discovery and something that I'd like to order again in the future given the chance.

When our mains were served they came with side orders of mixed vegetables and potatoes, both of which were once again generous in size. My friend's main of chargrilled chicken breast with toasted haggis tattie cake, sweetcorn and cider cream sauce was an excellent dish which was both cooked well and tasted appetising. She was particularly pleased with the haggis tattie cake, which as non-Scots we both had not tried before but would now happily order again. Though there was a lack of colour on the plate in terms of presentation, this was easily remedied by adding some of the vegetables from the side dishes.

My oven roast pork loin with Howcate cheddar mash and blackcurrant jus looked lovely on the plate but was slightly dry in taste at first. Smothered in the divine blackcurrant jus however it tasted delicious. The cheddar mash was particular appetising and the highlight of this dish, though it was so filling that despite my best efforts I was unable to finish it.

For my dessert I opted for the selection of Scottish cheeses (Brie and Applewood smoked cheddar in my case) with quince jelly and Crieff oatcakes. I love cheese in many of its forms and always find it's complimented well by oatcakes and jelly. The only comment I would make on this version however is that the quince jelly was small, making the overall combination unfortunately somewhat on the dry side.

My friend chose the dark chocolate tart with chantilly cream as her final course which was rich and delicious in taste. Chocolate is always a safe option, and in this particular dessert it was complimented well by the chantilly cream.

On our visit to A Room in the West End we fell in love with the restaurant's rustic charm and generous portions of wholesome food. The dishes may have been simple in flavour, but they were made exquisitely and we would happily return for another meal.

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