Element Restaurant and Bar: a pool of calm when eating in town

Rose Street is a busy, buzzy place full of shoppers during the day and revelers in the evening. It offers pubs and bars, and a wide variety of restaurants. I went there last week to check out the new menu at Element.

The colour scheme is warm and cosy, and the dining room is calm.

The colour scheme is warm and cosy, and the dining room is calm.

Element is a bar and restaurant. Walk through the bar and you’ll find a surprisingly calm restaurant in the back. The decor is cosy and rich, with an almost Victorian feel. The night we were in, the audience was interestingly mixed. In one corner, two Americans on a Scottish tour were having dinner. Next to them, and soon engaged in conversation with the visitors, were two English couples visiting for the week. A young Japanese couple ate quietly in another corner while C. and I had a great view of the room from our seat at the back wall.

Getting Started

Crab and chilli linguine is tasty any time of year.

Crab and chilli linguine is tasty any time of year.

Element’s menu is modern international, a mix of global dishes made with local ingredients. There are dishes for most palates. I was tempted by the scallops with celeriac pure and chorizo, and the duck spring rolls, but decided to have home made potato scones served with black pudding and a poached egg. The scone was delicious, two delicate potato triangles, nestling underneath rich black pudding. The poached egg was perfect and the dish was nicely balanced. C. went for the veggie options and started with butternut squash arancini. They had great crunch on the outside and were sunnily orange on the inside.

Salad and More

Sweet beetroot, tangy goats cheese, orange and chicory salad.

Sweet beetroot, tangy goats cheese, orange and chicory salad.

For mains, I had the crab and chilli linguine. It’s a favourite dish of mine and this was a touch milder that I could have wished but it had chunks of crab and was scattered with red chilli. Crab linguine is one of those dishes that I like on a cold day as well as on a hot one, it’s soothing without being over rich and heavy. There was also roast rump of lamb, burger, steak and Mediterranean vegetable tarte tatin on the menu. I like that they have salads too: the Thai beef salad sounded good. C. had the beetroot and goats cheese salad (and a side of chips). Heritage varieties of beetroot are very popular at the moment and they make for very pretty dishes. A mixture of yellow and candy cane beetroot, sweet and earthy, were lifted by tart, creamy goats cheese.

I finished with the chocolate cranachan roulade. I’d never thought of cranachan as a filling before – it worked. I think cranachan can be a bit much if the balance isn’t just so. The chocolate offered balance to the cream. C. decided against pudding and had an espresso instead.

Potato scone, black pudding and poached egg.

Potato scone, black pudding and poached egg.

Element’s menu has something for everyone, at wallet friendly prices. It’s a nice place to get something to eat, and maybe a drink or two, when you’re out and about on Rose Street.


110-114 Rose Street
Edinburgh, EH2 3JF

Phone: 0131 225 3297
Book a table online (http://www.elementedinburgh.co.uk/book-a-table/)

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.


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  3. This looks like a hidden gem of Edinburgh, I will be trying this one!

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