Scotsman Review
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  • Ambience - It's important that a restaurant is inviting. We rate the decor, comfort and atmosphere.
  • Drink - Is the wine or cocktail list as exciting as the food, or does it fall short? Same goes for soft drinks. 
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May 1, 2020

Decanter, Edinburgh, restaurant review

Fancy a roast this weekend? Then contact Edinburgh's Decanter, who will deliver to your doorstep, says Gaby Soutar


It seems ages since I had a list of new restaurants to review.


I suppose that scrap of paper is still on my desk at work, alongside the increasingly vacant 2020 diary and my mummified fruit, which will have sprouted, making for trees that brush the ceiling. My best work coat, slung over my chair, will have been chewed by the band of feral foxes who now roam the fifth floor. I only hope they haven’t also eaten a stranded colleague or, more importantly, discovered my snack drawer.


Anyway, this destination had been scribbled down for quite a while, so it’s a shame we had to finally connect in these circumstances. (It’s a bit like meeting a future partner in an extremely unromantic scenario, like waiting to get your ears syringed at the doctor’s surgery).


We called them after we spotted their deal for a weekend roast on Instagram. They’ll deliver within two miles of their Edinburgh premises, or, if you’re further away, you can take advantage of their contact free collection. Pre-order on or message them on Instagram or Facebook. They’ll call you to arrange a time for delivery, from noon onwards on Saturday or Sunday.


We were on the roast rib of beef run, which was £15 each, and you can add starters of haggis bonbons and fried brie for an extra fiver a piece (of course we did). There’s also a selection of other stuff, like a steak pie for two (£13), or a cheese board (£16), wine and drinks, as well as classic puddings such as sticky toffee, lemon drizzle cake and brownies.

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We’d asked for our delivery to arrive at 1pm and it was bang on, with various paper bags dropped on our doorstep. It needed a brief nuke, and there were ridiculous amounts of everything, including about six thick slabs of beef and all the trimmings, even a takeaway box swilling with gravy. The potatoes were the best bit. I know some would complain that they weren’t crispy roasties, but these stocky ones were fondanty, like they’d been cooked in butter. The slippery struts of carrots were sweet and herby, and there were bits of kale in the mix, as well as (still quite solid) parsnips.


I know it makes me wrong, but I’m not a huge Yorkie fan. However Him Indoors was very impressed with these ones, each the size of a toddler’s hat, as they were suitably “crusty, crispy and slightly gooey inside”.


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We ate our wedges of deep fried brie as a little palate cleanser. They came with a rather unsophisticated pot of mango purée. But who cares about being sophisticated in a pandemic? I’ve been wearing the same jeans for weeks and have started watching Bargain Hunt on my lunch break.


The half a dozen haggis bon-bons in a hedgehog-coloured crunchy coating had rich and peppery centres and a blob of chive-laced mayo.


For pudding, we’d ordered something entirely different - a Surprise Box, £18, from West Port cafe Lovecrumbs, who have just launched Lovecrumbs Shop for deliveries of cakes, bread, tea and other spirit-lifting goodies. Our package contains a “dealer’s choice” of their signature cakery. I felt secure about relinquishing control, as I’m pretty sure I would enjoy anything this lot created with their fair hands, though I was extra chuffed with this random tombola of treats.

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There was one peanut butter chocolate crinkle cookie - a favourite in their other cafe-in-hibernation, Nice Times on Morrison Street - and a pair of mind-blowing rye and salted chocolate cookies, slipped, as if they were seven-inch singles, into a pink and white striped paper sleeve. There was also a slice of lemon loaf cake with a two inch thick plastering of buttery icing, a perfect chocolate brownie and, wedged into its box like a plump Persian cat in a pet carrier, was a cinnamon bun that was coated with yellow icing.


We divided them all into bits and eked the nuggets out over a few happy days. Some were washed down with coffee, others with tea. Life was much better.


Thus, as long as I’m out of the office and Love Crumbs and Decanter are doing deliveries, those marauding foxes can do what they want with my snack drawer. n




183 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh,

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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