(Visited January 2013)
We were wondering whether there is an equivalent of Ondine for meat and beef in Edinburgh. While repeat visits will be needed for confirmation (life is tough), we may almost have found one.
Airy interior with cow images and cow skins everywhere
our server suitably enthusiastic and well drilled, a view on the west end of Princes Street, the seats comfortable, this is the kind of place were it’s easy and quick to settle in and relax. The only reason for being slightly nervous for us is that we appear to be the oldest in the room, but this is strangely becoming less rare as time goes by. Funny that.
Complimentary aubergine dip and bread are both pleasant and fresh
We had the ribeye and their trio of perhaps lesser known or less appreciated cuts (feather, onglet and bavette). We were worried about the feather as we’d always had meat from the blade long cooked, but it was in fact very tender as well as of course flavoursome. The onglet was the most interesting piece, with a gamey/offally flavour which we love, while the bavette was slightly more tenacious, still a small cost to pay for its intense flavour.
Eating the ribeye after these ‘strong’ cuts, it tasted even more buttery and suavely melting than usual for this cut…or maybe it was just really top quality. And good execution (medium rare as asked), honour to the kitchen.
The beef (all pedigree Aberdeen) comes with a little green salad and tomato, but if you want more veggies you can order sides for very little. We did so,
and as we like vegetables we also had a very decent and colourful starter of organic beetroots:
The only small gripes today were however veg-related: the not perfectly clean greens and the condiments of the beetroots and the veggies which weren’t at the very high level of the rest and for us were too greasy and rich.
Prices are fair: beef costs and top beef costs more (from memory it was £26 for a 300g ribeye and £19 for the dynamic trio of similar weight), sides are £2.50 and the generous bread with the aubergine sauce is also £2.50. Service as we said was extremely sweet and well drilled. Though, and we know the young manager on duty will hate us for saying this, he looked a bit of a spare part today, never approaching the customer (at least us).
On this experience this seems a tightly run place doing straight things and doing them well. We want to go back and increase our cholesterol levels with other beef cuts, and also try the healthier produce they also have (oysters, mussles, game…), as well as the pastry section, which on the basis of the complimentary airy and very short shortbreads looks promising indeed:
Oh, and the espresso was one of the best we’ve had in te UK of late – and you know we don’t say such things lightly. Just look at it: