It has been a couple of years since I worked in Newington and I have lost touch on the local bars, cafes and restarants. We enjoyed Hewat’s restaurant. Since opening in April 2018, The Urban Fox has been occupying that unit, winning a good number of local fans. Caroline and I visited on an cold autumn Tuesday night.
We entered a small and pleasant area which seems to act as a coffee shop by day and bar by night to a warm welcome. We were ushered through to the restaurant which has a relaxed and open feel, with dark furniture contrasting the light feel from the high ceiling and wall of windows on one side of the room. We sat by the window and sipped the cocktail of the week, Rosy the Riveter, while perusing the menu. Rosy the Riveter was a pleasant blend of rose & lemon liqueur, grenadine and soda water topped with rose petals – it made me think of an alcoholic version of my grandmother’s Turkish delight. A very nice start.
Getting down to the food
The menu is an interesting mix of sharing plates, restaurant food and ‘classic’ pub grub, with a decent percentage of veggie options (apologies, I did not note the number of vegan options). Caroline enjoyed the crayfish and avocado salad in romaine lettuce boats but would have preferred a little less of the sauce. The sauce was good, with a pleasant acidity and good balance to compliment the crayfish and avocado, but sometimes less is more.
I started with the beetroot and coriander falafel with tzatziki. This was a simple and clean dish and a great way to start. The falafel was tasty and well seasoned, but I found it hard to tell that it was a beetroot falafel. I am not a huge fan of cucumber but Caroline scoffed it and reported positvely on the dill flavour.
For main Caroline had the roast breast of duck and I had the sweet potato & beetroot burger. Caroline’s roast breast of duck was an attractive plate of food, and clearly in the restaurant food category. She enjoyed the pink duck, the sweet jus, the soft potatoes and fresh wilted spinach. She’d been tempted by the pork belly and thought briefly about steak or salmon but was very happy with her decision.
My sweet potato and beetroot burger sat safely in the ‘pub grub’ box, with a large burger patty in a brioche bun, a significant portion of chips and a decent dod of coleslaw. I enjoyed the contrast between the beetroot flavour of the burger and the two sauces in the bun, a tangy guacomole and a spicy mayo. It was a very tasty burger and worth revisiting. I couldn’t make much impact on the large quantity of chips and the coleslaw: this was a portion more suited to the local student population than a middle-aged man.
Local, friendly, welcoming
We washed mains down with a chenin blanc (£22). The winelist is small but had enough variety to allow us a choice, with most bottles around £20 to £25.
For pudding, Caroline had an Atholl Brose ice cream with tender oats and berries. The ice cream was deliciously honey-scented and Caroline enjoyed the contrast between creamy ice and tangy berries. The texture was, she said, close to a parfait. I was feeling a little full after the sizable burger so passed on the crumble, sticky toffee pudding and chocolate terrine for a small espresso.
Caroline and I enjoyed our evening in The Urban Fox. The people were friendly, the setting was comfortable – look out for super-cute salt and pepper shakers – and the food was good. The prices are about right for a local restaurant and, based upon my experience, you can expect good food and a relaxing evening.
Edinburgh EH9 1QF
Telephone: 0131 662 6766