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The Queens Arms, Edinburgh, restaurant review

The Queens Arms provides a cosy Saturday night dinner with plenty of atmosphere, finds Lizzy Buchan

Published: November 12, 2015
Food: 
7.5/10
Ambience: 
9/10

Pushing my way into the packed entrance of The Queens Arms on a Saturday night, I felt extraordinarily smug about the fact that I had actually booked a table for once in my life.

And a good thing too.

The cosy pub was crammed to the rafters with people supping on beers, gossiping over cocktails or snuggling up in booths for dinner.

We shook off the November chill as we were shown to a booth with comfy red seats and a copper table towards the back of the pub.

Goblets of wine appeared, as if by magic, and we set to making the impossible choice of what to have.

I am known for my indecision, so lengthy menus can be a nightmare. I would also prefer the chefs concentrated on doing a few things well so I was pleased to see The Queens Arms had a varied but sensible menu.

My partner and I are swayed immediately by the appropriately autumnal pumpkin and chilli bombs (£5) with chive aioli dip, which crumbled in the mouth with an earthy kick.

We also scoffed a plateful of delicious crispy pigs cheek nuggets (£6) with a home-made tomato ketchup and I started to think I wouldn't be able to manage my main if the portions were this generous.

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I needn't have worried, however, as my boyfriend was perfectly happy to hoover up any leftovers.

For the main event I went for a mouthwateringly perfect Abedeen Angus ribeye steak (£18) with mashed potato and a rather decadent blue cheese sauce.

My partner chose one of the specials, a baked ling with tiger prawns, despite having no idea what kind of fish ling was.
This risky choice proved a good one and the meal came with a beautiful teacup to use as a finger bowl - which I was definitely more impressed with than he was.

The only slight disappointment was the banana and chocolate cream cake (£5) for pudding.

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The waitress did gently warn us that it was gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free so we should have probably listened but buoyed by a few glasses of wine we took the plunge.

It was slightly like eating sweet ice, coated in peanuts, which gave me a rather nasty brain freeze.

But I know how impossible it is to find delicious treats when you have food allergies, so I was impressed there was something like this on the menu.

The whole experience was a pleasure, from the exceptionally helpful staff to the buzzing atmosphere of the New Town pub.

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We had a booth to ourselves which was cosy and perfect for a date as it still felt intimate despite the crowded settings.

As the nights draw in I will definitely be returning to try some of the glorious looking pies on the menu.

Lizzy Buchan writes food and travel pieces for The Scotsman titles, when not working as the paper’s Health Correspondent. In between writing about the health benefits of lard or the Mediterranean diet, she is always looking for the latest food trend and the largest glass of wine.

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