It may feel like a hidden gem, but for us Edin’s is renowned as a place for cheap, fast meals that taste like anything but. Their fixed price menu boasts astonishing value at £7.95 for 2 courses (or just £5 if you get there before 5). It’s unbelievable that they can be making much of a profit at that price point, how can they possibly afford it?! We wouldn’t think twice about paying twice that for an average meal, never mind a good one.
We visited on a Sunday lunchtime and the place had plenty of diners both inside and out. Edins has subtle decor and a very relaxed ambience, which feels like you are dining in a Parisian cafe. There is low lighting and mismatched furniture and not in an ‘aren’t-we-cool’ way like many other bars and restaurants attempt, but Edin’s doesn’t force the point and genuinely feels authentic. The relaxed feeling in here makes it feel like a great place for a quick lunch just as much as for a date, or a place to take out of towners (all of which I’ve done in the past).
I’m so used to ordering from the set-menu that I didn’t really consider anything else, while Emily had her sights set on a brunch as soon as she saw another another diner with mounds of scrambled egg and smoked salmon. She was the living embodiment of: 😍 Because Emily decided to go straight to a main course, I skipped the starter (although the melon and parma ham looked tempting) to order a main and a dessert as my two courses, so we could share a pud between us (yes, dear reader, I am just that nice).
I opted for the roast chicken leg that came with minted new potatoes. I’d ordered a similar dish here a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. The other option was a risotto, a dish that I often find claggy and not to my taste so I avoided that. There was also a veggie option. Emily ordered the smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toast that she had set her heart on mere minutes before. Unfortunately, Emily has an awful affliction that means she is physically unable to stop herself from ordering a meal that contains egg.
Our meals arrived in good time, and I started to dig into my chicken dish. The meat was succulent and not dry at all, cooked with the skin on. The rich leg meat worked really well with the light sauce. The potatoes were pleasantly firm, and were paddling in a pool of mint sauce. This sauce tasted fresh and sharp though it was definitely from a jar. I’m personally not a big fan of shop bought mint sauce – I tend to avoid it when served with lamb, but this really worked for me. For some, there may have been too much mint sauce – it definitely was the dominant flavour on the dish – but I was happy. This wasn’t a massive plate of food, but was an adequate lighter lunch that can’t be sniffed at, considering the price.
Emily’s brunch came generously loaded with eggs and salmon with a piece of white toast. We had to ask for butter but it was promptly bought. We’ve eaten brunch at places where they scrimp on the smoked salmon, offering one measly slice on a pricey plate. Not Edin’s – there was tons of beautifully fresh, lemony salmon to eat with the creamy, well-seasoned scrambled egg. The only downside was that, because they were served on top of one another, the mound of cold smoked salmon turned the scrambled eggs cold very quickly, but it can be forgiven. It was around £6.25 for the dish if memory serves, so another tick in the ‘great value’ box.
For dessert we shared a bowl of strawberries and cream. The berries were fresh but not as large as we would have liked. It wasn’t enough for two to share but would have been OK way to finish a meal for one. We can’t remember the last time we had strawberries and cream and thoroughly enjoyed this classic. Sometimes simple is best.
However nice the food and atmosphere is at Edin’s, we did have an issue with an angry chef at one point. The small, open kitchen is just behind the bar and in earshot of all customers. So, when a server returned a dish that a customer complained was too cold, the chef’s reaction was less than friendly and rather ‘colourful’. Everyone in the restaurant must have heard this, which doesn’t leave diners with a great impression. It was rather awkward and had diners shooting raised eyebrows at each other. If the customer was served cold food, well then she had a more than valid reason to politely request another without being berated. I would hate to think this was how I would be treated if there was a genuine problem with my food in a restaurant.
That aside however, the meal was great. As I have mentioned numerous times – the set menu is the way to go if you visit even just marvel at how they can pull it off at that price. He bill came to about £13 for both of us and we skulked out quickly feeling like we had robbed the place. We will definitely return and have no complaints (if we did, we wouldn’t mention them in earshot of the chef).
Overall score 9/10
Atmosphere and surroundings: 6/10
Emily and Stuart.