Edinburgh's No 1 The Grange is the tastiest place to get your bearings, Cat Thomson discovers.

As the daughter of a geography teacher, I quickly learned that maps are a glorious thing.

Yawn.

In fairness, the minutiae of maps are interesting and provide us with a valuable and fascinating record of what was in a location at a particular time.

Today you can stand at a nondescript Edinburgh junction without giving it a second thought, but check online and you can plunder a wealth of cartographic information.

In a map dating from 1855, a smithy stood where we are standing, and nearby there are the ruins of the convent of St Catherine of Siena.

Also, only a few minutes’ walk away you can see the drawn outline of Sciennes Hill House.

A further bit of digital sleuthing reveals this house was the location for a great literary meeting between Robert Burns and the teenage Walter Scott at a literary soirée in 1786.

Just looking at this map up close you can almost hear the clip-clop of horses’ hooves.

In nearby Grange Court, hand-loom weaving flourished, although sadly it was more slave labour than artisan craftwork.

By 1850, this place was overcrowded, unruly and unsanitary, with barriers erected to protect the neighbouring well-to-do in Salisbury Place, Duncan Place and Minto Street from the rabble fae Causewayside.

Move on a few years to 1885 and there is further urbanisation in the Grange, lots of expensive villas, there is a school and soon after the Middlemass Biscuit Factory appears on the spot which is now occupied by the National Library of Scotland.

By investigating their digital map collection you can make any jaunt into a historic adventure.

However, the real reason we have pitched up at this particular corner of Salisbury Place at the bottom of Causewayside is to sample the food offerings at No 1 The Grange.

When you step inside you will see exposed stone walls, retro leather bus seat sofas and a bus route sign featuring a roll call of Edinburgh addresses,

Salisbury Place, Saughtonhall, Slateford, Stenhouse, Stockbridge, Straiton, Surgeons’ Hall, Tollcross and the Tron, which go together to create the all-important relaxed atmosphere of a gastropub.

Starter for me is a blushing red tomato and pepper soup (£5) served with sourdough toast and a mini barrel of herb butter.

Despite its elegant swirl of green oil and casually scattered pea shoots, it was disappointingly not the piping hot temperature I expected.

No matter, as the fella thoroughly enjoys his breaded haggis balls (£6) which provide him with a lively Burns Night on a plate.

The main ingredient is served with turnip purée and confit spuds with whisky jus (£6) – spicy enough for the Ploughman Poet himself.

Eldest selects the globetrotting geographic option; two sweet, doughy bao buns stuffed with trendy fermented kimchi and crisp enoki mushroom fritters, moistened by miso mayo (£6.50), which provides pan-Asian satisfaction galore.

The fella opts for the stunning Sunday roast beef platter, the daily special (£16.95), a massive plateful containing three plump slices of moist roast beef and all of your five a day on a plate; carrots, parsnips, broccoli and roast onion accompanied by a tasty meaty package wrapped in a cabbage leaf.

If that isn’t enough, it also comes with a side plate of Yorkshire pud with roast potatoes and a jug of gravy.

A massive waistline increasing quantity of grub for anyone.

My main is a sturdy malted beetroot and barley risotto (£14), featuring chunky pan-fried slices of oyster mushrooms, covered with toasted almonds and a drizzle of truffle oil plus more of those pesky pea shoots.

Don’t get me wrong I love their green goodness, but they don’t half hang out the mouth like Ermintrude’s flower from The Magic Roundabout.

The eldest’s fish and chips (£13) consists of three fillets of sustainable coley encased in a crispy beer batter coating and are served with a portion of double-cooked rosemary chips, a pot of fluorescent mushy peas, tartar sauce and yet another pea shoot salad incarnation.

A refreshingly tart sip of the Leith-based Campervan Brewery’s mango and passion fruit sour sets us up nicely to face desserts.

We order a homemade ice cream trio, and a whole bowl of cheesecake, not a slice, which is a first for me.

A super powdery biscuit base is ladled to the brim with rich fruit filling and decorated with a dark chocolate coated strawberry.

This place is definitely worth planning a geography field trip to, but with generous portion sizes, do remember that it’s good to share.

 

No 1 The Grange

1 Grange Road, Edinburgh EH9 1UH
(0131-667 2335), https://no1thegrange.co.uk

 

No 1 The Grange, Edinburgh, restaurant review
80%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)
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About The Author

Catriona Thomson

Catriona is Deputy Picture Editor at the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.

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