It’s always good to find a restaurant with a Menu du Jour, a simplified menu offering two courses or three courses for a set price, which is perfect for an early evening, post-work, pre-theatre dinner. I went along to try out The Wee Restaurant’s menu during the Fringe but what I hadn’t bargained for was that I’d end up having two dinners in one evening!
I’d been to see Comfort Food Cabaret at the New Town Cookery School on Queen Street and being so close to Frederick Street, I thought why not fit in some dinner and catch up with a dear Australian friend too, who was in town for the Festival. It’s always good to show our Fringe visitors just how good our Scottish hospitality is.
The show we’d been to see was a UK debut and Australia’s singing cook, Michelle Pearson, presented her award-winning musical food cabaret in the wonderful setting of the cookery school. Perhaps I should have researched the show a bit better but I didn’t think that we would get fed too as well as being entertained.
A totally unique show, we were serenaded by the soulful, voluptuous songstress as she cooked a three-course meal before our eyes as we got to taste her ‘comfort food’ inspired by her memories. On the menu was a starter of halloumi with white peaches, with a maple syrup glaze, followed by some pasta cooked in a slow-cooked tomato sauce, and a dessert of salted sticky toffee pudding with a dollop of creme fraiche. All very delicious and thankfully not too filling.
Two dinners in one day
I’d already accepted an invitation to try out the Menu Du Jour at the Wee Restaurant and it was too late to cancel. I’m not usually in the habit of eating two dinners in a day but on the basis that I hadn’t had lunch or much breakfast, I reckoned I might just get away with it, calories wise!
The restaurant was buzzing for a Wednesday night and a very loud table of TV Festival types were in town and were determined to let their presence known! Thankfully we got the best seat in the house, in the window, slightly away from their raised voices.
The paired down Menu Du Jour offered two options for each course. For starters, I chose the chargrilled Scottish ceps on toast with pine nuts and micro herbs while Nantano, my Australian, chose the chicken liver parfait with apple chutney and toasted brioche. My dish was beautifully seasonal and the chicken liver parfait, carried on the theme of comfort food, as it’s something that always takes you to a safe place.
For mains, I opted for the chargrilled flat iron steak, garlic and herb butter served with hand cut chips, which was cooked medium-rare and was full of flavour. Thankfully it wasn’t a huge portion so I managed to do justice to it, despite already having eaten once that evening. My dining partner chose the roasted fillet of plaice, fresh pears and samphire linguine, which once again thankfully was light enough for him to do justice to.
I was amazed I still had room for dessert, and chose the Iles Flottante with Prosecco poached strawberries, creme Anglaise and toasted almonds, over the Iain Mellis cheese with porridge oatcakes. Thankfully this dessert, of French origin, consists of nothing more than meringue floating on crème anglaise. The meringues are so light, prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract then quickly poached that it barely touched the sides. A nostalgic dish, I couldn’t give this one a miss as I last ate this in the 1970s, when a neighbours’ French au pair taught my mother how to make it. I think I was having my own evening of comfort food too.
For those looking for a quick bite to eat and a meal that’s not too heavy, the Wee Restaurant is the perfect place for a post-work or pre-theatre dinner. The Wee Restaurant’s Menu Du Jour is priced at £16 for two courses and £20.00 for three courses and is available at lunchtime from Tuesday to Saturday and all evening Tuesday to Thursday.
The Wee Restaurant
61 Frederick Street
Edinburgh EH2 1LH
Tel: 0131 225 7983