BOND NO 9
IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE AN ULTRA-STYLISH PLACE TO HANG YOUR HEAD AND LIFT A CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL ARRIVED AROUND THE SHORE OF LEITH, A PART OF TOWN THAT HAS OFFICIALLY MADE ITSELF THE PLACE TO BE. BUT BOND NO 9 HAS NOT ONLY TOP SHELF DRINKS AND SOUL MUSIC-SOAKED ATMOSPHERE, IT HAS SAVVY COMFORT, SWEET, KNOWLEDGEABLE SERVICE, AND SERIOUSLY GOOD FOOD.
The cocktail menu alone is worth a perusal. Following the lengthy bubbles section, there are four pages of 'Our School Cocktails,' many incorporating a little fizz. The gentleman serving us rightly recommended an Incognito (Wyborowa Almond vodka with Briotet crème de mure and pineapple juice, Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne, £7.50) to my friend, and to me, a fan of tasting flowers, The General (Hendrick's Gin with St Germain elderflower liqueur, white sugar and Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne, garnished with a peach bitters-soaked cucumber baton, £7.50).
The delicious drinks satiate us until the arrival of our starters: stuffed cherry tomatoes for my friend and for myself, mini crab cakes. The tomatoes are poached and filled with goat's cheese, always an enticing combo, and accompanied well with toasted pine nuts and cased in filo. The cakes aren't phonies; they're full of fresh crab meat and a curry sauce make them a sweet summer treat.
My friend's main is chicken that's smoked in-house and served with a rich green pea and spring onion risotto, its star ingredients being shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of truffle oil. Mine is a healthy dish of asparagus, soft poached egg, goat's cheese croutes and a peppery rocket salad, flavours that entwine with ingenuity.
The pudding menu endangers a guilt-free night and is too good to resist. We indulge in chocolate flavoured Panna cotta with blood orange compote that refreshes the palate, and a peanut butter and chocolate bread and butter pudding with vanilla ice cream that is mind-blowing for any fan of the Reese's Cup flavour combo!
Sampling the food is as much of a must as their expert cocktail menu (they also fancy themselves knowledgeable in the Art of Absinthe!) and it is these things as well as the tranquil, smart surroundings that should send them ascending their first summer on the shore.
Bond No 984
0131 555 5578
0131 555 5578
Also published in Bite Magazine, June 2009