Waiting for Wagamama

I have been to Edinburgh many times for work and have eaten out there when staying overnight. I had an excellent French meal back in November 2019. However though I have been there for work I have never been there for a personal visit. So when planning a short holiday for the summer we decide we would visit Edinburgh in August for a short city break.

On our first evening we had decided to visit Wagamama but the queue was horrendous so we then ended up at the Italian restaurant, Amarone. On our second evening, as it was late we ate in the hotel, what a mistake that was!

On our final night we decided we would go for Wagamama, though there was a queue it was shorter. We had to wait for a while, but once we were in, we were in. We were shown to a table and we looked over the menu.

I liked the idea of a rice dish so I went with the grilled duck donburi. This was tender, shredded duck in a spicy teriyaki sauce. mixed with carrots, mangetout, sweet potato and red onion on a bed of sticky white rice and topped with a crispy fried egg, cucumber and spring onions. served with a side of kimchee.

I have had this dish before (I think) and I really enjoyed it. The combination of sauce, duck, vegetables with rice and egg was delicious. The kimchee adds some nice spice and heat to the dish.

Also served to the table was a  chicken katsu curry. This is chicken coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in an aromatic curry sauce served with sticky rice and a side salad. 

I have to say I never like the look of this dish, but I was informed that it was delicious and the plate of food was polished off.

Another dish served to the table was a glass noodle salmon salad which was really enjoyed.

Overall we had a nice meal, the place was busy, but the service was attentive. It was noticeable though how the number of takeaway and delivery orders were impacting on the service to the customers who were actually sitting down in the restaurant. We know that there has been a huge growth in the demand for these services during the pandemic, but I am not so sure that restaurants have worked out how to manage the whole process, especially now that there are more people going out to eat in the actual restaurant.

We waited, and we waited, and then we waited some more!

Edinburgh

I have been to Edinburgh many times for work and have eaten out there when staying overnight. I had an excellent French meal back in November 2019. However though I have been there for work I have never been there for a personal visit. So when planning a short holiday for the summer we decide we would visit Edinburgh in August for a short city break.

We had had a lovely meal on our first evening in Edinburgh and after a good night’s sleep we headed out to explore the city on our first full day in the capital of Scotland.

After an exhausting day walking around Edinburgh, climbing Arthur’s Seat and getting wet in a short downpour we decided that we would have a meal in the hotel where we were staying.

This was a Premier Inn and to be honest I had quite low expectations, but we didn’t really have the time or energy to go out, find a restaurant and eat. Well that was our first mistake.

We decided to take advantage of the meal deal on offer, so we ordered a couple of starters. We then waited and waited. It took nearly forty five minutes for our starters to appear on the table. I shared a portion of Chicken Wings with my daughter, there were five crispy chicken wings tossed in a Korean style BBQ sauce, and was topped with fresh chilli, coriander and spring onion. They were nice.

After they cleared our table, it then took nearly an hour for our mains to arrive. Despite complaining, nothing was done to speed things up.

We had sat down at 7pm for our meal and it was nearly 9:30pm when our mains arrived. Nearly two hours to get our mains, was frustrating and annoying. We had chosen to eat at the hotel as it was late (for us), we were hungry and we wanted something quick to eat. 

I had a mixed grill, which was really nothing to write home about, and didn’t look like the picture on the menu, very disappointing.

We were asked about dessert, I think they wondered why we laughed.

We did get a refund on the meal, but we were so disappointed. Would we go again, no we wouldn’t.

In the end we ended up at Amarone

Edinburgh Castle

I have been to Edinburgh many times for work and have eaten out there when staying overnight. I had an excellent French meal back in November 2019. However though I have been there for work I have never been there for a personal visit. So when planning a short holiday for the summer we decide we would visit Edinburgh in August for a short city break.

On our first night we decided that we would go to Bella Italia, but they were full, so we then decided we would visit Wagamama which was just around the corner from the hotel. You can’t book a table for Wagamama, you just have to turn up and hope for the best. Alas there was a long queue for Wagamama so we needed so go somewhere else, and of course we hadn’t booked anywhere else either.

I was looking at booking a place on my phone when we checked across the road from Wagamama and there was an Italian restaurant called Amarone which was open and had free tables.

Amarone

So in we went and were shown to a comfortable booth. The decor was nice if a little over the top really, however as the place had once been a bank you realised that explained the high ceilings. It reminded my of Harrods with the lights and pillars and use of brass.

There was quite a good menu, however it was a limited menu due to Covid restrictions in the kitchen.

I chose a pasta dish, the rest of the table, one had a vegan pizza, the other two had gluten free pizza.

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare, this was mixed seasonal fish and shellfish with olive oil, garlic & parsley. I was given a choice of rich tomato or bianco sauce, I had the bianco sauce.

Linguine ai Frutti di Mare

This wasn’t a huge dish of food, but there was a generous serving of fish and shellfish. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the sauce was delicious. I really enjoyed this plate of food.

The vegan pizza was interesting and tasty. The Ortolana Vegana was a hand-stretched & stone-baked sourdough pizza base, vegan mozzarella, marinated and grilled courgettes, aubergine, mixed peppers, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Ortolana Vegana

I had a slice and it was interesting and tasty, not so sure about the vegan mozzarella.

The gluten free pizza were simplistic but tasty.

gluten free pizza

The service was warm, friendly and efficient. We had a lovely welcome and given time to both order and eat despite the busyness of the place. Certainly somewhere I would go again if I was back in Edinburgh.

French Excellence in Edinburgh

Last November I was off to Scotland, staying overnight in Edinburgh, for some meetings and events. I took an afternoon flight from Bristol. I took the tram to the heart of Edinburgh and then walked over to the hotel the Radisson Blu. The room was nice and modern. After dropping off my stuff I went for a walk around Edinburgh.

I realised as I walked around Edinburgh having checked into my hotel, that I have been to Edinburgh many times over the last twenty years for work, but have never actually visited the place in a personal non-work capacity. I go to London a lot for work, but also go there with family to visit and explore. So I am thinking about possibly visiting Edinburgh in the future to explore and have a proper look around.

It was getting dark even though it was only 4pm, well it was November. I walked around the old town before heading up to the castle.

It was way too late to visit the castle proper so I just took in the evening views across Edinburgh.

There was a couple of shops I wanted to have a look at before I went back to the hotel so walked further into the heart of Edinburgh with the intention of walking around Princes Street and back to the hotel. On my way I passed what looked like a really nice French place, Petit Paris on Grassmarket. The menu looking really interesting and inspiring. They had a pre-theatre deal that looked good value. It was not as though I was going to go to the theatre, but  could take advantage of the deal.

As it was afternoon, I continued to explore Edinburgh, however as I walked around the weather got worse, so I stopped at a Caffe Nero for coffee and catch up with work stuff. I went back to the hotel more directly to get changed and then I headed out to get something to eat.

I went out to Petit Paris for dinner. The place was quite busy and I was given a nice welcome, before being taken down into the basement where there was a free table.

I looked over the menu and there was so many tempting dishes on there. I had to make a choice though, so for my starter I went with the garlic mussels.

This dish reminded me of snails in garlic butter, but this dish was done with mussels. It had just come out of the oven was really hot, so I was careful not to scald my mouth when eating it. Very strong garlic flavours, slightly overpowering the mussels, but still a nice start to the meal.

There was a lot of choice for the main course, in the end I went with something that I probably wouldn’t have ordered, but did so as I wanted to try a new kind of dish. I went with fish in a cream sauce with mashed potatoes.

It was delicious and very nice. The potato was smooth and creamy, the sauce was tasty and not too rich and the fish was cooked really well.

I didn’t want a sweet end to the meal and I like cheese so I went with some cheese.

There was a nice choice of cheeses.

Overall this was one of the best meals out I have had for a long time, the food was delicious.

If I get a chance to get to Edinburgh again I think I will try and visit Petit Paris again for a meal.

Airport Sushi

Wanting more than just a snack, but not wanting a huge plate of food, on a recent fleeting visit to Edinburgh Airport, I decided to take a seat at Yo! Sushi.

One of the disadvantages of this branch of Yo! Sushi is the limited menu compared to a typical branch on the high street or in the shopping mall. However once you’ve gone through security, not much you can do about that. In many ways though, Yo! Sushi is perfect airport food, no need to wait for the food, eat as much or as little as you want and paying the bill was quick and easy.

I went with three dishes, chicken teriyaki, a vegetable noodle dish, yakisoba, and later went with a mixed salmon dish. I had to order the noodles and chicken as hot dishes.

I’ve had chicken teriyaki before, and this version was similar, but certainly not the same dish. Previously when I’ve had this dish, the chicken was griddled and then covered with teriyaki sauce.

Chicken Teriyaki Grilled chicken in a sweet, sticky soy based sauce.

Here at the airport, the chicken was taken from a hot plate and covered in sauce. It was very nice though, and was full of flavour.

Similarly the noodle dish, pan fried Japanese noodles in a mildly spiced tangy sauce with vegetables, was from the hot plate, but again was tasty, full of flavour.

Vegetable Yakisoba Pan fried Japanese noodles in a mildly spiced tangy sauce with vegetables.

The vegetables were crisp and the noodles were certainly not sticky. I liked this dish, and added the remains of the teriyaki sauce towards the end of the dish.

Having finished those two dishes off, I still felt hungry, so took from the conveyor a mixed dish of salmon, comprising three slices of premium Scottish salmon sashimi, two salmon nigiri and two salmon maki.

Salmon Selection Three slices of premium Scottish salmon sashimi, two salmon nigiri and two salmon maki.

This was delicious, the salmon was fresh and full of flavour and I really enjoyed it.

Overall I really enjoyed my quick meal and I thought (for an airport) it was pretty good value for money.