Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • 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. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
8/10
Food
8/10
Total
0%
April 13, 2024

Margot, Edinburgh, review - we try the hip new cafe from the LeftField team

They’ve opened in the former premises of Castello

I don’t like being wrong, though I often am.

For example, I was trying to describe the location of this new cafe to an acquaintance. It’s on The Meadows, I said, before giving her the full address.

Technically, that’s Bruntsfield Links, she replied. How I bristled. Don’t tell an old Edinburger how to suck Scotch eggs, I thought.

I blame low blood sugar for my irritation, but it turns out she was right. It’s quite near the putting green bit, so it would've served me right if I’d been hit in the head by a golf ball.

Time to eat humble pie, at this box fresh cafe. It’s in the former premises of Castello, and is owned by the team behind the excellent LeftField restaurant, which is on the corner, just a few doors along.

They haven’t changed the look of the double-level space, with its green views, too much, apart from giving it a lick of paint.

There’s also the word Margot painted on the window, with a lovely lavish loop on the g’s tail. I wish my signature looked like that, instead of an ECG chart.

I’m still not sure who they’ve named it after. I meant to ask, but got distracted. Maybe Barbie-star Robbie, or Fonteyn. I doubt it’s my favourite of all time, The Good Life’s Leadbetter

The menu features a good selection of brunch and lunch friendly options, which you order up at the counter. (Nobody told us that, so we were waiting expectantly, like baby birds in the spring nest, until the penny dropped).

On another day, I might have gone for the croque Margot (£12), with pancakes, eggs, spinach, ham and bechamel, or the sourdough with Rhyze mushrooms, miso, sesame and broccolini (£9).

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However, as I’d just been to my Sunday morning double exercise class sesh, I went for what I imagined might be the most filling of options, along with a restorative glass of their own LeftField rhubarb soda (£4)

The pulled beef brisket, gochujang mayo and purple slaw sandwich (£11) was the correct decision.

It was a burly and feral meaty sourdough doorstop, with subtle heat from the Korean condiment and crunch from the finely chopped cabbage. The side salad was good too - rocket, but well-dressed with loads of salt and lemon, which made it as addictive as crisps, and with pale strips of mooli and red onion pickle on top.

My pal had gone for the white onion tart-tatin (£9) - a small-ish coppery tile of puff pastry, topped with caramelised and sticky sweet onions. It came with their take on romesco sauce, but with lots of vinegary capers added to the terracotta pulp. And there was more of that rocket, with thin slivers of pickled radish on top.

We’d also ordered the soup of the day (£6.50), which was a spiced butternut squash. Thankfully, it didn’t have the dreaded thick and baby-food-ish texture, but was smooth and spangly hot, with herby oil on the top and two slices of well-fired sourdough, plus a cube of butter on the side.

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There are a couple of sweet dishes on the menu, as well as cakes up by the window, with bostocks, cookies, pecan brownies and scones galore. There was even a whole cake, about the size of a fascinator, for £15. I did briefly consider it.

However, we couldn’t not order the hot option of pain perdu (£9), which was utterly heavenly. There was a thick slab of buttery brioche, which was toasted until tortoiseshell, as well as half a tender poached pear, an ocean of sticky toffee sauce and a blob of whipped creme fraiche.

I am filing this one under Favourite Dishes of the Year. Please NEVER take it off the menu.

Their flat whites (£3.30 each) and cakes are lovely too. My friend went for the raspberry blondie (£4) and it was a sturdy beast, rather than a sugary frippery. It could probably keep you going up a munro or two. The apple and sage cake (£4) was more up my street, with a loose crumb and tang from the fruit.

So, it’s just a shame that this fab cafe doesn’t serve humble pie.

Right to Roam, Rothes golf club, review - go for the cinnamon butteries and coffee, stay for venison schnitzel 

If you’re hoping to visit, it’s on Bruntsfield Links. Not The Meadows.

7-8 Barclay Terrace, Edinburgh, UK
7-8 Barclay Terrace, Edinburgh, UK, EH10 4HP
0131 281 4870
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.
Scotsman Review
Our criteria 
  • 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. 
  • Food - We judge dishes on flavour, but also use of produce, cooking skill and presentation
  • Service - The staff and pace of a meal can make or break a meal out.
  • Value - From the food on the plate to service and surroundings, we check that you get what you're paying for.
Ambiance
8/10
Drinks
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Total
0%
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