I have a friend who lived in Trinity for years and has recently moved down the road to Inverleith. In the past, we’ve usually met at hers or in town but that is changing. Last Thursday, I met her for dinner in her new favourite local spot: The Herringbone.
Having somewhere nearby that you can go to for a drink of an evening, or a coffee in the afternoon, makes a difference. It’s nice to get out of the house sometimes, see a different setting, have a friendly exchange with someone. That’s what a local is for. The Herringbone, with it’s wood and stone interior, choice of cocktails and wines, and interesting menu is a great local.
It was raining and dark when I walked down to Goldenacre from Princes Street. The Herringbone, previously the Bank of Scotland, glittered most invitingly when I crossed the road. A warm welcome met me inside.
Lady of the night
We started with cocktails. My friend had the rather delicious Lady of the night, a bright and citrussy blend Cointreau cocktail given an interesting visual twist by the inclusion of charcoal. Grey to black and foamy with chamomile on top, it was fun and very attractive. I was a little more traditional and had an Auld fashioned: whisky, walnut bitters and an orange twist. Delish.
It always takes us a while to decide what to eat. This time, we both decided we wanted to start with the sugar-cured lamb. My friend talked me through some of the other dishes: it was my first time but not hers. The chowder came highly recommended and was very tempting but the lamb pipped it.
The cured meat was salty and rich, dark in colour and very savoury. It was served with a mixed salad of fennel, rocket and tomatoes, dressed with olive oil, that was fresh and tasty.
A cheeky aubergine
I was intrigued by the slow cooked beef with haggis as well as the salmon with za’atar – my friend’s choice. The cashewnut roast sounded interesting, but I decided to go for the aubergine with couscous. It wasn’t a massive aubergine but it was very well cooked. The couscous, unctious peppers and tomatoes and salad balanced it out and made the dish filling. My friend enjoyed the salmon: flaky and lifted with the green flavours of za’atar.
We shared a bottle of organic red with dinner. It was my friend’s favourite and she learned that it works better with umami than with acids. The main brought out its bright, fruity flavours. It was very easy to drink.
Everything comes to an end
We finished with the same pudding: black currant and licorice delice. It was larger than we’d expected (we left very full!). I could have taken a little more licorice but then, I can always take more licorice. Food of the gods, that stuff. The sorbet was amazing.
I can easily see why my friend likes The Herringbone so much. The staff were friendly and personable, the vibe jolly, the room cosy and the food both interesting and satisfying. They’re doing special deals on drinks and food through January and February so if you’re looking for a reason to visit, well, there you are!
The Herringbone Goldenachre
2 South Trinity Road
Edinburgh EH5 3NR
Telephone: 0131 552 3292