Meats and Beats

Leaving the cold at the door, we entered Summarhall excited and hungry for the long anticipated Meats and Beats festival; food stalls were downstairs in the courtyard, animated groups of hungry patrons queing, eating and drinking, the bars and the fabulous tunes were upstairs warming up for a long fun-filled night of dancing.

Of course it was a paolozzi to begin, a firm favourite of mine and the cold crisp beer was a great accompaniment to the first delicious dish. The Shanty Town has become a new addition to my favourites; unfortunately for me they are based in Newcastle but they would be worth the trip as their skills with steak just about made my wee mind implode.

After pining for everything on their menus i went for their steak po’boy and boy oh boy i was not disappointed. Just watching the guys at work is a fun experience; steaks sizzle until they are chosen, effortsly cut and drizzled with butter the meat looked perfectly pink and juicy.

Piled onto a lightly toasted baguette with creamy crunchy slaw, pickles and some of their delicious sauce the tender steak melted in your mouth, doing well to hush me up for 5 minutes.


The second delicacy came from old faithful Ròst;  these guys kill it at The Pitt with their halloumi fries but it was their adventurous meat menu that intrigued me; venison, pheasant, ribs, there was something different and exciting for everyone.

I greedily opted for their fried pheasant burger with crunchy peanut butter; wrapped in a glossy bun, the rich crispy burger nestled happily against the sweet creamy peanut butter and salty bacon with a handful of golden crisps to give an extra crunch with every bite.


Curious by the ‘meaty’ cocktails upstairs we tried a lethal absinthe concoction that woke me up from my foodie fullnes. We then gravitated towards Tasty Buns Bakery where their stand proudly presented dozens of sweet treats, of course i had to try as many as i could.

Their sweet scotch egg was my favourite; biscoff spread centre surround by gooey white chocolate ganache and coated in chocolate brownie and biscoff crumbs, this alone was enough for me to suss out where they are based to stock up (bread street if you’re wondering). Their Tunnocks caramel wafer brownie was the perfect mix of squidgy brownie and crunchy wafer and the peanut butter caramel cookie sandwhiches were develishly good.

After faces were sufficiently stuffed and tummy’s full we waddled out happy, satisfied and buzzing off the atmosphere of the night; the guys who organise Meats and Beats have hit the nail on the head combining all my favourites thing into one wonderful evening. I will definitely be keeping a look out for their next pop up, wherever that may be.



Wee Buddha

Wee Buddha has been on my list since i accidentally stumbled across it walking back from The Stockbridge Market a couple of years ago; tucked away on Jamaica street the warm and inviting restaurant serves tasty Thai/Scottish fusion food, crisp beers and sharp tangy cocktails. We were given a cosy corner by the window where we ooed and aahed at everything; with an extensive drinks list, plenty of ‘wee hings’ to share and a solid selection of hearty mains there is plenty to chose from.

Starting with cocktails, as per usual, we got a rhubarb wire which was a deliciously sour creation of lemongrass infused vodka, rhubarb liqueur, sweet vermouth, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice and grapefruit juice; my taste buds sang with alcoholic joy.


The second heavenly delight was a ladyboy martiniwith vanilla infused vodka, kwai feh lychee liqueur, fresh passion fruit, lychee juice, fresh lime and house vanilla syrup. This cocktail comes with a shot of sambuca, and grenadine, in a half a passion fruit, on fire. The guys at Wee Buddha certainly know how to nail flamboyancy at its finest.


Deciding to share a couple of the starters and then share a main between us meant i could try their haggis wontons, chicken gyoza AND their salt and pepper squid. Just in case you hadn’t picked up it, i am a lil olde greedy guts.

The squid was the perfect balance of salty and spicy; fiery golden circles coated in chilli, garlic and coriander that went far too quickly even though the portion was hefty.


The chicken gyoza were soft and moist; perfect parcels for dipping in the salty soy sauce dip.


The haggis wontons were pretty and delicate; the crispy shell was delicious by itself but the combination of the rich denseness of the haggis with the tangy sweet chilli sauce was divine.


For the main event was a saucy Thai green prawn curry with jasmine rice; served on a board in our own wee pot the curry was fragrant, warming and full of flavour. The prawns were plump and juicy and the veg crisp and plentiful. If it was socially acceptable to lick plates clean then i would have done so.



To wash down this scrumptious curry we chose a Chang beer and  beer Lao, both were crisp, cold and refreshing; a good accompaniment to a hearty curry.



The staff at Wee Buddha were so attentive and service was quick meaning we were never left long without fresh drinks or our food; the music was classic after classic and the small restaurant was cosy and lively with the chatter from neighbouring tables. The Wee Buddha satisfied my inner buddha, buddha belly more like, and between the delicious food and lovely staff i will back again ready to try more of their tantalising menu.




At Pizza

Tucked away on Charlotte Lane, hungry patrons step into the bright lights and line up eagerly to sample the carefully made, rustic sourdough pizzas from the At Pizza team. Recently my Instagram became flooded with excited posts from fellow foodies raving about the unusual pizza parlour so naturally i felt a need to try it out.

Deciding to try some of the creations the team have put together we chose the Heart Breaker and the White Dog and washed both down with a couple of cold brewski’s; locally re-made by Edinburgh Paolozzis.

The Heart Breaker was a hot n spicy mix of roquito pepper, Scottish mozzarella, pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, fresh jalapeño, grilled red onion, rosemary and sriracha sauce. Even after skirting round the jalapeños this pizza gave that delicious fiery kick that made your eyes water and nose run, in the best way possible.


The White Dog was a deliciously indulgent collaboration of garlic and ricotta, Scottish mozzarella, grilled red onion, pesto Basilico drizzle, garlic oil and gran Moravia cheese; the nuttiness of the pesto cut through the creamy ricotta and thick stringy mozzarella and the red onions gave a welcome crunch to this cheesy feast.


The staff carefully and delicately assembled each pizza and were friendly and chatty as i moved through the process from creation to baked perfection. The Paolozzi’s, crisp and cold, helped combat the fire from the Heart Breaker and the casual picnic table style of the restaurant gave a no muss, no fuss feel which is perfect for a casual Friday night of tasty pizza and refreshing beer.

All in all i am glad i have gone to see what all the hype was about and will definitely be back to try some of their other inventions and to create my own; though that could get a little out of hand as the lovely people at At Pizza don’t charge for extra toppings unless you go fancy with king prawns. Which in all honestly will most definitely happen.




So stylish. So trendy. These were just a few of the thoughts that ran through my mind when stepping into Cau; their aim is to create exciting and flavour packed dishes resembling the colourful palette of Argentina. Unlike some pricey restaurants Cau is not intimidatingly posh, as soon as you step in the door you are greeted by friendly staff who take you through a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere to your table.

We began with cocktails, opting for a Cau Girl Martini and a The Grass is Greener; the Cau Girl Martini was the perfect sweet and tart  blend of Stoli Vodka, passion fruit purée, apple juice, vanilla sugar and sparkling rosé. The Grass is Greener was an adventurous concoction of Hendrick’s Gin, Midori, apple and citrus juice all shaken up with egg whites; making a crisp, fresh palette cleansing aperitif.


I’ll tell you now the menu in Cau is delectable; so many tantalising options to chose from which made it difficult to keep to just two starters. To get a broad range of flavours we chose the shrimp chicharron and croquettes; where you can pick three different flavours of croquette – smoked haddock – porcini mushroom and black truffle – ham hock and manchego and to honour Burns nights a haggis number.


We went for smoked haddock; the smokey fish and potato croquette worked harmoniously with the paprika mayo. The ham hock and manchego was a perfect balance between the creamy, nuttiness of the manchego and the saltiness of the ham hock. And finally but by no means least, a rich, dense meaty haggis morsel that screamed quality with every bite.


The shrimp chicharron was a colourful plate of crispy fried shrimp, ají amarillo sauce, red jalapeño, spring onion and coriander cress. The batter encasing the prawns was light and crisp and wonderfully soaked up the mouth watering ají amarillo sauce; creamy and with hints of mango, this brilliantly balanced the fiery fresh chilli, making this my favourite.


Now for the main event, Cau promises to capture the soul and flavour of authentic Argentinian cuisine and we had heard great things about their steak so we opted for 320 grams of pure unadulterated rib-eye and rump steak.  We chose skinny sweet potato fries and three different sauces; peppercorn, blue cheese hollandaise and classic chimichurri to accompany this feast and although worried this may not be enough, their selection of sides are heavenly, we need not have fretted because the steaks were of epic proportions.

The rib-eye was tender and perfectly cooked; requested to be cooked rare our attentive server recommended medium rare as their rib-eye steaks can have between 11-14% fat marbled through the meat and cooking them for that little bit longer melts the fat into delicious flavour.


The rump was a beautiful hunk of meat that wobbled as i sawed through the thick, tender flesh and burst with meaty flavour with every mouthful.


The sauces come in little pots, ideal for dipping, and it was the blue cheese hollandaise that stole my heart; rich, glossy sauce that was not overpowered with blue cheese made a superb creamy accompaniment to the steaks. The peppercorn sauce was thinner than i would have preferred but packed with buttery, peppery flavour. The chimichurri salsa was tasty, spicy and fragrant but there was too much oil sitting on top.


We chose a bottle of Doña Paula cabernet sauvignon to sip alongside this magnificent banquet; cassis, cool mint and eucalyptus combined with ripe and juicy fruits made this a complimentary and enjoyable wine alongside the flavours of the meat.


Happily defeated by the steaks we passed on dessert but with options such as dulche de leche pancakes, churros and Argentinian ice cream i will definitely be back with an appetite big enough to conquer all. Cau is a fantastic place to indulge and treat yourself to some scrumptious food and delicious wine in a beautiful setting however they also do a brunch menu, which caught my eye as we left, so there is a happy excuse to visit all times in the day. I promise you won’t be disappointed so book a table, throw on your glad rags, better if they have an elastic waist, and treat yourself to simple yet exquisite food.




Topa La Bamba

Happy New Year! 2018 is going to be all about trying new things; recipes, restaurants, cuisines and exploring more of the world. I took a hiatus from writing over the festive period but began my foodie adventure at one of Edinburgh’s most fun and adored Mexican joints; Topa La Bamba is a colourful and quirky restaurant that serves fresh, mouth watering tapas style dishes with larger options such as the classic burrito or heavenly chipolte honey ribs. Their classic margarita is too easily drunk and with watermelon and apple flavours there is something for everyone.

We ordered a collection of smaller dishes to get a little taste of everything; crispy fried fish of the day tacos, crab ceviche tostadas, homemade chorizo taquitos and jalapeno poppers. Oh.My.Days. The jalapeno poppers were thick n chunky; coated in a crunchy fried breadcrumb cacoon they burst with thick creamy molito cheese and made you go ooh. Topa know what they are doing by only serving two per dish, the saying ‘always leave them wanting more’ certainly works in their favour here.


The crab ceviche tostadas boasted generous mounds of cold, refreshing crab and salad sat upon a crispy tortilla pancake topped with crema, which is a creamy, slightly sour Mexican condiment that is somewhere between sour cream and crème fraîche. Delicious, decadent and the combinations of textures made each mouthful exciting and a challenge to devour.


The crispy fried fish tacos were tasty and gloriously messy to eat; light, golden goujons of meaty fish nestled in slaw, wrapped in a soft tortilla and topped with crema with generous wedges of lemon on the side to cut through the batter of the fish. My first time trying fish tacos and thanks to the chefs at Topa i will not be looking back. No way Jose.


Topa’s homemade chorizo taquitos were the thing dreams are made of; rich, smokey, spicy sausage encased in a crisp shell topped with, yes you guessed it, crema. Perfect for picking up and nibbling on or, as i decided, dunking into the creamy molito cheese from the jalapeno poppers. Absolutely scrumptious.


Comfortably full but 100% greedy and hankering for more tasty delights from the Topa team we ordered a classic Mexican dessert; piping hot churros with a rich and glossy dark chocolate sauce. Fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside these golden fingers of dough were the perfect sweet end to an exquisite feast of classic favourites to new experiences and flavours.


We left happy and full; feelings not hard to conjure up in this warm and inviting space where the staff are friendly and happy to chat while you, maybe ever so slightly, dramatically agonise over what to chose. When there are too many delectable dishes i can sometimes get flustered and feel the need to try everything now and forget that i can come back another time to try more! If you are looking for great food, a relaxed setting and the perfect amount of mood lighting to make anyone look good then look no further than Topa La Bamba. Thank you guys, in Arnie’s words (and voice), i’ll be back.