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Edinburgh chef Barry Bryson offers seafood meze menu at George Street cafe pop-up

The food will be served in a casual style

Published: February 7, 2023

You never know where Barry Bryson is going to appear next.

This chef, who runs Cater Edinburgh, has served dinner at Bruntsfield’s Honeycomb and Co and in Jupiter Artland woodlands. The most recent event was Barry Fish, which opened during the Edinburgh Festival and was situated on an industrial estate in Leith. To meet demand there, he had to extend the run.

This time round, he’s decided on a slightly more conventional location.

From February 9-12, with sittings from 5.30pm onwards, he’ll be cooking at a George Street cafe, Mayvn, which is run by the Common Coffee roastery team. This 40 cover space will be a testing ground for his repertoire, with a plan to potentially open a more permanent space.

“I am taking the very long route so that I can create something I’ve had loads of time to develop,” says Bryson.

The theme will, once again, be fishy.

It’s likely to be a sell-out. That’s because, though he won’t admit it, he has quite the fan-club in the Capital.

“I am lucky in that I use my Instagram to reach out so people are great and engage, I work so much on my own that it’s good for me to have that contact”, says this chef, whose catering company takes him round Scotland and beyond.

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While the last Barry Fish consisted of a set tasting menu, this occasion will be a bit more relaxed.

“I was inspired for this particular Barry Fish by some of the great places I have been to in Spain and across Europe that have these really tasty wee plates that come from the bar rather than a kitchen”, Bryson says. “I particularly like the idea of food you share that keeps arriving to suit your appetite”.

It’s designed so that each diner should order three or four options. In common with last summer’s pop-up, all the fish has been sourced from Welch Fishmongers in Newhaven. Menu options will include scallop ceviche with fried black rice; anchovies, soft boiled egg and puntarelle; sea bream with orange and cardamom and the signature Barry Fish pastrami, with prices ranging from £8 to £15. For dessert, there’s lemon tart or rice pudding and rhubarb.

There have been some creative restrictions, due to the limited cooking facilities, so most of the courses are chilled or designed to be eaten at ambient temperature, though he is serving a hot Barry Fish curry with yoghurt flatbreads and Finnan haddie pancakes.

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Those who’ve been to all of Bryson’s pop-ups might notice some development in his cooking style.

“I suppose it has evolved over time,” he says. “Despite coming to professional chef-ing late in life I have had so many opportunities to learn and now I feel more confident. It’s hard to not get swayed with so much around to inspire me but I try to think more directly now”.

To book, see Bryson’s Instagram @chefbarrybryson

Mayvn Cafe is at 127 George Street, Edinburgh

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Barry Fish pastrami

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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