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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Review - The Olive Branch Bistro, Edinburgh

Back at the start of June, I posted a review on The Olive Branch Bistro in Edinburgh. You may remember me waxing lyrical about one of the best meals that I have eaten, the simple truth is that we were blown away by the quality of the food that was served up to us on our first visit.
As it turned out, we were back through to the Capital last weekend. My gorgeous wife has an important birthday coming up so a trip to Edinburgh was required in order to find a suitable birthday gift. I had read that the lunch menu at The Olive Branch Bistro always attracts a trendy crowd, so providing that I still had money left after hitting the designer boutiques, this would be a great opportunity to see if the quality we had experienced previously, was the norm.

Following my previous review, the staff at The Olive Branch Bistro had sent me a message through Facebook encouraging me to come back soon. In fact, they had suggested that there would be no problem in keeping a table for us. However that wasn't necessary because we turned up just before the lunch crowd arrived. Only just though! If we had been arrived ten minutes later, I don't think we would have been so lucky!

Despite the fact that we had only eaten there once, we were welcomed back like old friends before being seated by the window. After menus and a jug of ice water were delivered to the table we were advised of the specials. Nicola took a few minutes deciding what she wanted mainly due to the fact that everything on the lunch menu sounded fantastic. In the end she ordered an open sandwich of crayfish tails with a courgette salsa, whilst I plumped for the OB burger. Both of our dishes would come with hand cut chips, homemade coleslaw and a salad garnish.

When we ordered we were advised that my burger would take 20 minutes to prepare as it is cooked to order. As Nicola still hadn't decided which designer handbag she liked best, this gave her time to weight up the pros and cons of everything we had seen, whilst I enjoyed my wine and done a spot of people-watching through the large windows overlooking Broughton Street.

Open Crayfish Sandwich & Chips

Crayfish Tails with Courgette Salsa
We had been lucky with the weather in the morning but as our lunch was brought to the table, the heavens opened we had a quiet giggle to ourselves as the al fresco diners ran for cover indoors. We could have continued to watch the unfolding drama but the sight of the two plates of food in front of us made us sit up and pay attention.

Nicola's open sandwich was a lightly toasted ciabatta, layered with a delicious, fresh and zesty salsa of diced courgettes, red peppers, tomato, basil and lemon. On top of this was a generous covering of tender crayfish tails, possibly soaked in a lemony dressing prior to being served. The rest of the plate was occupied by dressed salad leaves and wonderful thick cut chips. The balance between the sweet crayfish and the slightly sharp salsa was fantastic, this coupled with the perfectly cooked chips left Nicola happy that she had made the correct choice from the varied menu.

The OB Homemade Burger
Isle of Mull Cheddar Cheeseburger

When we were in Cardiff a few weeks ago I had a very tasty burger in Mocka Lounge, the only drawback was that the burger had come in a toasted bun, not a floury bap which I prefer. Today I got what I was expecting, a chargrilled 8oz homemade burger covered with melted Isle of Mull cheddar, in a lightly toasted bap. The burger, made to a secret recipe was amazing! Deliciously tender and juicy, with a smoky taste from the grill. There are plenty of places that serve up "gourmet" burgers that can be topped with an almost endless list of flavourings. The Olive Branch Bistro show that if you start with good quality beef and add some simple seasoning to the mix, you can serve up a burger that delivers taste in abundance.

We had cleared our plates just as the bistro was coming to the end of the busy lunch service and after our table was cleared the head chef came out from the kitchen to have a chat with us and pass on the staffs thanks for my first review. He explained that they had taken control of the restaurant from the previous owners towards the end of last year, and were working hard to show the locals that whether it be for a relaxing lunch with friends or a romantic meal with a loved one, then The OB is the place to be.

Having eaten here twice in the last month, I have to agree! If I lived in Edinburgh then I'd very quickly become a regular. Keep up the great work?

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