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Pomo, Edinburgh, restaurant review

The pizza at Pomo is worth leaving your cosy house for, says Gaby Soutar

Published: February 26, 2020

The kids talk about YOLO (you only live once) and FOMO (fear of missing out).

As a middle aged person, I’m more into POMO (pleasure of missing out).

There’s something extremely satisfying about cancelling plans in order to do absolutely nothing.

The best and rarest weekends are empty. There’s just oodles of time to practise being an anti-socialite, which usually involves liaisons with fridge contents, ignoring essential household tasks and watching so much telly that my eyes aren’t square, but little red N for Netflix symbols.

On an especially cold day, I resisted the lure of POMO for this restaurant, which is not named after my daft acronym, but is more likely the Italian word for apple.

I pass by Morrison Street regularly, but this place blindsided me. It appeared so suddenly, like the Cheshire cat, a bouncy castle or fabric flowers out of a magician’s sleeve. Maybe they’ve invented a just-add-water instant restaurant kit?

There’s no website and minimal info online, but when we quiz the waiting staff, who are all from Naples, they tell us it’s the newest venture from the people behind Edinburgh’s La Casa Tapas & Mezze (Dalry Road and Leith Walk) and Mia Italian (also nearby on Dalry Road).

I wouldn’t say these venues are particularly exciting, but they have a formula of homely and hearty Mediterranean food that has undeniable appeal when you just want to get fed.

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Starters were true to form.

Along with a wedge of lemon, rocket and a pot of garlic mayo, there was a decent portion of the sailor’s pot pourri that is fritto misto (£6.90).

This included a dozen slightly chewy whitebait, all in the thinnest negligee of lacy batter and a couple wearing fat squid rings as snoods, as well as a few prawns in a much thicker cladding.

Their portion of fist-sized burrata (£5.90) was suitably milky and drizzled with balsamic, as if its mascara had run, and this came with some sweet cherry tomatoes and sprigs of basil.

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Pizzas are their focus, and you can choose your base. Go for either a crisper bottomed Romana, described as having a “thinner, crunchier base, low edge” or the Napoletana, with a “thicker, more dough, high edge”.

One of us goes for their Napoli (£9.50) pizza on a Romana base. Tsk, philistine. We watch our offering being peeled in and out of their oven by pizzaiolo in white caps and orange neckerchiefs.

The base is nicely crispy, with a sugo-less thick gummy layer of fior di latte across the top, bitter friarielli, strewn about like a felled forest, and bits of a burly fennel sausage.

If this was a person, it’d look like a slightly bloated Russell Crowe or Tom Selleck, hairy chest exposed to reveal a medallion.

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Their signature Pomo (£9.50) teamed with a Napoletana base made for something much lighter. The crust was suitably springy, and the toppings included daubs of fior di latte, instead of the full cheesy blanket, a handful of whole black olives, chopped artichoke and folded napkins of prosciutto. Happy.

We also tried one of their three pasta dishes, the orecchiette (£9.50). There was a bowlful of these little ears, harvested from elves, voles and newborn Yoda overnight, each cupping a salty and bionically garlicky buttery sauce, with an acidic white wine edge, as well as more of the fennel sausage and friarielli.

It was the sort of electrolyte-restoring dish that would be perfect after a long walk.

Their puddings aren’t particularly inspiring, but we went for a giant wodge of tiramisu (£4), which was like a magazine for a splurge gun.

It was dusted with enough cocoa to provide the prerequisite coughing fit and featured all the sugary, spongy and dairy product things, though little coffee.

Their special lemon tart (£4), served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, was a bit soggy and meh, so I’d say savouries are more their forte.

I might not leave the house for the sweet stuff, but the pizza made it worth overcoming my curmudgeonly POMO.

Pomo Edinburgh

250 Morrison Street, Edinburgh (0131-281 9755)

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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