Henderson’s have been an Edinburgh favourite for over 50 years and played a key part in making vegetarian food accepted in Edinburgh. Their new, third restaurant has now opened in Holyrood. The restaurant has a fresh feel, with simple decoration and neutral colours (in line with the recent redecoration of the Henderson’s Vegan). It is a very pleasant place to spend time, you can be comfortable over a coffee during the day, catch up with friends for lunch or enjoy a relaxed meal in the evening. They are already becoming popular with the locals, office workers, students and tourists.
New location, new menu
The menu is a mixture of new ideas and Henderson favourites. They are taking a real interest in diner’s views and will keep evolving both the food and drink menus. The first revision to the menu will be coming in the next few weeks following initial customer feedback.
We went for an early evening dinner, but they offer a full day of food. Breakfasts are proving popular, with a range of options from vegetarian full breakfast to lighter options of juice and croissants, washed down with healthy freshly squeezed super juices. Lunch offerings are a mixture of soups, wraps and salads (very popular with the local office workers).
They are also looking to become the local go-to place for coffees. There are a number of places in the area that offer coffee (I am a big fan of Hemma), but for those seeking a quick coffee most places in Holyrood are too pubby. It was early evening, so we settled in with a crisp, zingy bottle of Grüner Veltliner.
For the love of chickpeas
To start, C. chose sweet potato soup and I had a simple garlic bread. The sweet potato soup was a wonderfully soothing combination of earthy aromatic flavours and spicy heat to warm the palette. It was served with a couple of wedges of tasty bread; a good starter and I imagine a very popular lunch choice. I was tempted by the hummus, but I had eaten my fill of my own hummus recipe the previous day. So I went for the garlic bread, with a view to sharing with C. The garlic bread was good, a couple of slices of wholemeal loaf, lightly buttered and garlicked. Definitely more in the Henderson’s than Italian restaurant style. I probably wouldn’t have it again as a meal, but I would order it as a snack to go with a drink after work.
Our mains were the chickpea pancake and the nut burger. C. had the chickpea pancake, living up to the description as a piled up with lentil and apricot paté, broccoli, vegan cheese and apple chutney. She enjoyed the mixture of flavours and textures, and loved that the sweet and savoury paté came piled high in crunchy chicory leaves. The pancakes went nicely with the paté and the chutney. The nut burger came with potato wedges and coleslaw, with a vegan garlic mayo and sweet chilli sauce. The bunless burger was delicious. The cashews give a light buttery-ness, and the kitchen showed a delicate hand on the seasoning (I almost felt a little bad for lathering it in the creamy vegan garlic mayo). The wedges were well cooked and as I am not a fan of coleslaw, C. stole from my plate.
Despite our expanding waistlines, for dessert C. chose the cherry pie and I had the chocolate nut cake. The cherry pie was a great choice, being both tasty and producing a small debate over the best consistency for a fruit pies pastry (its base was a little soft, but that is the way C. prefers a pie). The combination of a light sharpness of the cherries and a spoonful of a rich sweet cream was lovely. The cream was wonderful – really silky, rich and sweet. C. had intended to only a couple of mouthfuls of dessert, but soon produced an empty plate. I was less enamoured with the chocolate nut cake. A similar spoonful of sweet cream and a gooey top were a good starting point, but the base of the cake was a little dry and let down the pudding.
We enjoyed our first visit to Henderson’s Holyrood. The feel is very different to the main site on Hanover Street, lighter and more welcoming for a bite to lunch, dinner, or a quick coffee. The food was tasty and offered very good value. Since we visited, Henderson’s has launched a new menu. The soup is still on the menu, now jockeying for your attention with pakora, Thai fritters and bruschetta. The mains have changed too, stuffed sweet potato and roast vegetable satay joining burger and chickpea pancakes. I am in the Holyrood area every Monday and feel there may be a need to pop in every so often to, err, insure their continued quality.
67 Holyrood Road
Edinburgh, EH8 8AU
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