The kitchen table is the heart of the home.
Well, that’s what they say, but our two seater doesn’t count.
It’s usually the station for the air fryer, as well as ignored household bills and a large bowl of neglected fruit, with one powdery green tangerine lurking at the bottom.
Thankfully, Edinburgh (and Melrose) bakery, Twelve Triangles, has a metaphorical one that they’re willing to share with you.
They’ve recently turned their Easter Road shop into more of a sit-in venture. It’s something they’ve already experimented with, at their Duke Street outlet. I’d been there before, but this seems like a more considered effort.
Of course, after perusing the cakes at the front of the shop, you can still takeaway. On my visit, there was a line-up that included their always amazing almond croissants, plus a syrupy-looking pear and frangipane tart; an iced chocolate, almond and olive oil cake, and savoury pan Suisse, among many other treats.
If you’re sitting in, pull up one of the mismatched wooden chairs in the white-painted room. We found a table for deux at the back of the space, beside the kitchen hatch, where the bell was ringing every minute or two.
There is a menu of large or small plates.
When it came to the biggies, they were offering my dream toastie, with Baron Bigod Brie, fig chutney, pecan conserve and pickles (£9), but this place doesn’t only do sarnies. Instead, I chose the hash browns (£12.50) option, which completely converted me to these US breakfast faves. They usually leave me feeling disappointed, but these golden planks were light, sea salted and crunchy, and topped by a single sesame-seed-plastered frilly-edged fried egg. They came alongside fiery kimchi and chopped greens, including frilly cavolo nero and cabbage, which had been toasted up with a bit of gochujang. What a breakfast dish. Eat your heart out, Sugar Puffs.
My other half had gone for one of their focaccia sandwiches (£12.50). It featured a huge doorstop of ridged golden bread, filled with a winning combo of chicken thigh meat, squares of chicken skin, roast fennel bulbs, a buttering of jalapeno labneh and pale Barbie pink rhubarb relish.
There was a spicy bit here, and a pickle flavour there. This generously filled bap managed to hold your interest through 20 or so jaw-dislocating chomps. It was almost a take on the Christmas leftover sandwiches that a lot of chains do, expect a trillion times more refined.
The small plates list also includes a pickle plate (£3.50) and tenderstem broccoli tempura (£6), but we’d gone for pink fir potatoes (£9.50), because I don’t get out of bed for fewer than two tattie-based dishes. There were about six of these knobbly tubers, in an olive oily pickled walnut salsa verde, with a scattering of fried capers over the top.
To drink, as well as a pair of good flat whites (£3.60 each) we went for their autumnal specials (£2.90 each) of plum and ginger shrub, and winter spiced pear and bramble, both of which made me come over all mellow and fruitful.
It’s funny how a drink can make you feel a bit more positive about the season. The same happened with their pumpkin and mascarpone cinnamon bun (£4.75). I’m not sure why I chose it, as it was second or third on my wish list, probably since pumpkin seeds are the Quasimodos of the seed world. However, it tasted fantastic, with an orange-coloured pumpkin and olive oil dough, and a seam of spiced butter and dark sugar, plus a splurge gun’s worth of mascarpone frosting. I NEED to have one of these again, so I’m praying it’s not a transient special.
While I scoffed that, he had a slice of the sophisticated Basque cheesecake (£6.50), which was mousse-y and not-too-sweet, with a traditional burnt top. Gorgeous.
I’m a big cafe fan, especially in the winter, and this is the kitchen table that I want to sit around all season.
Forget my own. Until someone has disposed of that tangerine and dealt with the bills, I’m not going anywhere near it.