It has been a few months since The West Room launched in Edinburgh’s West End and we it was time to return and try out their delicacies on a normal evening. We went on a quiet Tuesday night in January. Compared to other venues in the area, The West Room was well attended. It has quickly picked up a strong local following and was busy. The West Room is L-shaped: We wandered through to a table in the back. The menu is inspired by Venetian cicchetti, small plates. In Venice you order a number of dishes to share and pick at while you enjoy a pleasant glass of wine or spritzer.
Caroline and I ordered a peppery Malbec and settled down with the menu. We picked a mix from across the menu to get a good feel for the food. We order a ravioli, bruschetta, a small plate, arancini, meat, and fish.
The small plates are things you might want to snack while looking at the menu – olives, bread, We had the crispy zucchini flowers. They are interesting little offering. I am so used to having zucchini flowers stuffed with a cheese. Here they were served plain, unfilled and fried in a light batter. I think they benefited from it. The majority of the taste came from the batter, which was deliciously sweet and very moreish.
The goat’s cheese, walnut and roast grape bruschetta was another simple flavour. The goat’s cheese was light and salty, and the strongest flavour was the aftertaste of walnut. The bruschetta was tasty, but not hugely memorable. We liked that they have options: tomato bruschetta is a classic and Caroline liked the sound of the fennel salami and soft cheese one.
We went for a small plate (three pieces) of ravioli filled with goats cheese & ricotta, served with black garlic and tomato sauces. The ravioli was well cooked and simple, but the highlight of the dish was the black garlic sauce. Its rich saltiness lifted the dish to excellency, rounded of by some petite fried onion rings to add an interesting crunch.
The arancini were fungi, tarragon and mozzarella. The rice balls were delicious with a rich umami taste, very strong earthy flavours. The tarragon sauce was extremely rich and I would recommend only adding small amounts. I enjoyed the arancino but was beginning to flag and should have been aware of the number of fried items I was ordering. I fear I had begun to overload my senses. Remember to order from the Insalate & Vegetale section too!
Caroline had also ordered from the Crochette, Carne and Pesce sections of the menu. The salt cod ‘Baccala’ was ‘super yummy!’, she enjoyed the creamy, salty insides and the crisp outsides. The salt and dill reminded her childhood. The prosciutto San Daniele was a generous helping of thickly sliced cured ham which sturdy grissini and pickled vegetables. The pickled vegetables cut through the richness of the ham and other fried foods.
The fritto misto, mixed small fried fish (croaky whitebait, prawns and squid served with aiolo), were lovely and Caroline was sad that she hadn’t saved enough space to finish the dish off. The batter was light, the fish cooked just right, the mix offering texture and flavour variety.
We enjoyed our evening, sipping wine and snacking of the various plates. Putting the menu together was fun and eating it was delicious. There are still many dishes we want to try, or come back to. The menu also have larger dishes for when you want one plate instead of many.
The West Room is a lovely place to stop in Edinburgh’s West End and we would strongly recommend sharing a few things from their cicchetti menu.
3 Melville Place
Edinburgh, EH3 7PR
Telephone: 0131 629 9868
Christopher and Caroline were invited to dine at The West Room.