I have lived on the southside of Edinburgh for many years, but a few years ago I was tempted over to the dark side as I call it of the north. Although I do like it there, I miss the odd night out in the south, so I jumped at the chance when Kerry suggested a get together at LeftField in Bruntsfield.
It was a lovely sunny evening and we popped along on the bus, getting out pretty much right by the restaurant. The views that evening from the window overlooking the Meadows and beyond to Arthur Seat reminded me how lucky we are to live in this city.
We had a lovely welcome on arrival from chef and owner, Phil White and his daughter who was our waitress for the evening and did a sterling job of juggling all the tables on her own. For a Tuesday evening, this little neighbourhood restaurant was busy and tables were regularly turning over.
Squid and pakora to start
Kerry is very much the carnivore when we go out and I’m the pescatarian, so we quickly assumed our natural roles when it came to ordering. The crispy fried squid with sriracha mayo was my go-to and an absolute winner. It was some of the best squid I’ve tasted in a long time, very tender and succulent, piqued by the spiciness of the mayo and the fact I could demolish it all and not have to worry about sharing with my dinner partner, was even better.
Kerry had the vegetable pakora, which was lightly battered and worked well against the crunchy salad dressing around it.
Haddock and beef
When it came to the mains, I was in my comfort zone with the smoked haddock served on a bed of pearl barley risotto with spinach and a poached egg. The combination of the runny egg over the risotto and the fish was delicious and some fresh shavings of parmesan just to finish it. I don’t normally like risotto made with barley, typically I’m more of a purist on this front, but it was very nice with a nuttiness coming through from the barley alongside the flakes of smoked haddock.
My carnivore friend had one of her favourite dishes – short rib of beef with truffle infused chunky chips. It was certainly meat heaven for Kerry, though I felt there was possibly too much fat and if this had been crisped it would have been more palatable. However, I wasn’t eating it and she was very pleased with the dish, so all good.
Chocolate and lemon
Despite feeling extremely full after the mains, we forced ourselves to try some of the desserts. I chose the flourless chocolate cake, while Kerry opted for the lemon tart. I was obviously having an indulgent moment with the chocolate cake, as it was extremely rich and almost had a moussey texture to it. Whereas Kerry’s lemon tart felt smaller and more manageable to conquer, it was also very light and refreshing and the zing of the lemons were perhaps more what I needed after the meal to cleanse the palate. They were both delicious and next time I might have two courses rather than three to make sure I can enjoy the dessert more.
The restaurant, while small is incredibly well space planned and can easily pack in a nice number of guests for an evening. It has a lovely feel about it and the friendly nature of the family welcome make it stand out even more in the city against the growing number of chains. Will definitely be taking my other half over to the bright south side very soon.
12 Barclay Terrace
Edinburgh EH10 4HP
Telephone: 0131 229 1394