Saturday, 12 July 2008
THERE'S SO MUCH TO LOVE ABOUT ROSELEAF. ON ENTRANCE, AN OLD TYPEWRITER DECORATES THE WINDOW SILL, ALREADY ENOUGH TO MELT THIS WRITER'S HEART. IT'S ALL VERY QUIRKY, WITH MISMATCHED EVERYTHING FROM SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS TO THE TABLES AND CHAIRS. OUR PARTICULAR CANDLEHOLDER IS AN AWESOME CERAMIC SWAN AND ONE OF THE TABLES IS ACTUALLY THE HOME OF AN OLD SEWING MACHINE.
The Ginger Jerry (£4), a house specialty, is our welcoming taste to Roseleaf. Made with homemade ginger beer and paired with Sailor Jerry, it's the most deliciously bizarre cocktail my friend or I have tasted and a perfect start to the night.
It gets better, though, with chicken liver pâté (£4.50) and organic bread -an opulent portion that's smooth and rich as it should be. Another starter is a lavish, stew-like bowl of the creamy Cullen Skink (£3.95) - the traditional Scottish dish of haddock, leeks and tatties. To die for.
We polish off the drinks with zero inhibitions and think better of having wine considering the prize cocktails at our disposal. When we ask for the Rosewater 'O' Leith, the girl puts her hand over her heart and wordlessly disappears to retrieve for us, presumedly, the holy grail or similar. What she returns with surprisingly rivals the first round - floral tea cups with ice, straws and a tea pot (with legs and feet!) filled with a hot pink, rose-infused concoction of vodka, red pepper flakes and spices-"sweet and hot, like the staff," as the menu suggests.
Later, we share the ridiculously good Roseleaf Burger (£7.50); it's homemade and topped with onion jam and Gorgonzola on a seeded, organic bap accompanied with 'rosey' slaw and tortillas with a fruity salsa. We also share the special - pan-fried salmon (£9.50) with cubed potatoes, roasted red peppers and a smoked mackerel purée, the latter of which completely nails the dish.
The desserts do nothing to interrupt the sensory extravaganza. A brownie-like chocolate/raspberry cheesecake (£3.50) is notoriously dense and I loved every single calorie consumed. It went perfectly with our affogato of espresso, Frangelico and vanilla ice cream (£5.20). Nope, no complaints here either.
It's a no brainer, a day or night at Roseleaf should be on your to-do list now!
Roseleaf Café / 23/24 Sandport Place,Leith
Edinburgh, EH6 6EW
0131 476 5268
Fri and Sat 10am-12.30am
Also in August 2008 issue of Bite Magazine
Love Leith yet? You soon shall
I live about four, five minutes away from Bijou and am kicking myself for discovering it only now. Located in the Leith Links, Bijou's bistro is quaint and cute, the staff all smiles and sweetness. Bijou has a different and fun approach to serving food as the menu plays the 'numbers game.' As our dear waiter informed, everything listed (apart from the steak) can be done in bijou (small), medium or large portions. Great concept for the indecisive diner and allows you to design your own meal. How much do you like fishcakes? If your love is medium-sized, then two fishcakes it is. Brilliant, yes? My friend has just the one bijou fishcake (£3.75) to start. From what I gather from its brief existance, it's more fish than cake and yummy indeed. My starter is fresh cream of celearic soup in bijou size (£1.95); I wanted those spoonfuls to never end. It was perfectly salted and did not warrant the pepper I placed on top prior to tasting. Even better though is the Bijou beef burger. A large would have been a triple-decker so I have the bijou (£4.50) of one outstanding homemade burger with capers, relish, a yogurt and mint-dressed rocket salad and chips. I'm a bit picky about my burgers and this one more than excelled in quality, freshness and flavour. My friend has the medium portion of veggie haggis bon bons- they come in sets of three, six or nine! They're tasty and complemented nicely over a bed of lettuce, red onions, apples and a honey and grain mustard dressing (£6.95).
Sadly, the numbers game (we had fun with this!) ends here but desserts took our mind off of it, namely the raspberry marscapone cheesecake and the chocolate cherry mousse (both £4.25). They are rich and full of guilt and make me particularly thankful that I didn't indulge in that triple-decker moments earlier!
This hidden gem is better than I can even tell you and you get far more than what you pay for. Bijou also does smoothies, breakfasts, BYOB and carry a Wi-Fi connection. Don't just pay them a visit, tell all of your friends to as well.
Bijou / 2 Ristalrig Road, Edinburgh, EH6 8BN 0131 538 0664
Also in the August 2008 issue of Bite Magazine