Combining Scottish produce with Chilean flavours, each mouthwatering dish is designed with multiple users in mind. This means, in theory, you can sample almost the entire menu in a single sitting – a challenge these Social Bitches couldn’t possibly resist.
Naturally, our Chilean journey begins with a cheeky bottle of bubbles. It comes courtesy of a rather handsome, and wonderfully tall waiter. Oh hello …
As he precedes to gently pop our cork, he appears to be in slow motion, casually throwing back his long, silky locks, as he shoots us a friendly smile. Suffice to say, we’re liking the vibe so far.
We’re also fans of the simple, but lively decor which combines exposed stone and touches of sunflower yellow. It’s not every basement restaurant that can look this fabulous.
But, if we must, let’s talk about the food …
Designed to fuel lively conversation, it arrives in no particular order. Even better there’s absolutely no pressure to decide each and every dish you intend to try just a few seconds after arrival.
The menu itself is divided into a series of bites, bigger plates, and an ever-changing selection of charcuterie – all of which can be pieced together, shared or not shared, however you see fit.
With this in mind, we order another bottle of bubbles, and confer with our extremely vivacious dining companion regards the path ahead.
Kicking off the Sopaipillas & Pebre – a gorgeous pumpkin pastry with a tomato, onion and green pepper dip – we gossip, we laugh, and we generally reference our own fabulousness before agreeing to start by each choosing two dishes.
First to arrive: the Crispy chicken wings with corn purée and spicy pepper ketchup. Oh my f**king god, they are amazing. Just the right amount of oil to create something of a sensual experience, and a sauce that makes your tastebuds dance.
So exquisite, you’ll easily forget the world’s problems, even Brexit, or the fashion trend that is cropped trousers [ please, don’t get us started! ] Mind you, licking one’s fingers after virtually inhaling this dish can undermine your reputation as a sophisticate.
Next up it’s the Short rib croquettes with tomato & chilli salsa. So simple, so tender, and so utterly delicious. Expect a warm wave of joy as the beef melts slowly on the tongue.
Soon our table is full of enticing dishes: Fried calamari with merken aioli, Whitebait with tarragon and lime, and Scorched Padron peppers. What’s more, these delicacies are achieving the impossible, as each seems to be somehow better than the last.
Speaking of which … as the many empty bottles are being cleared away, yet another life-changing dish arrives: the Halloumi fries with red pepper ketchup, lime and coriander aioli. Seriously, WOW!
Even tastier than the wonderfully tall waiter, they’re perfectly crisp, yet so very moist beneath, not to mention incredibly rich – thanks in part to those intensely tangy sauces. Suffice to say, our love affair with this wonderful cheese has reached next level.
While most appetites would be satiated by now, we are no longer driven by hunger, but by unbridled lust. This means more wine – obvs – and of course another helping of those divine halloumi fries, along with three new dishes from the plates menu.
A few glasses later, our table is once again full. King scallops with squid ink celeriac purée and charred baby leeksare a delight to both the eye and the tongue. Though just between us, you may not be so keen to share this lovely dish.
We’re also loving the massive burst of flavor offered by the Hangar steak, sweet potato chips, blue cheese dressing and pebre – a delicious Chilean sauce made from coriander, onion and spicy peppers.
But, drumroll please, our award for the favourite big plate goes to … the Lamb rump, cumin & carrot purée, peas & fava beans. Not only is this tender roast boasting the perfect shade of pink, but every ingredient is aiming for and achieving excellence.
Unable to eat another mouthful, or even move a limb, we polish off yet another bottle of wine and decide to have dessert anyway. What the hell, we say, loudly, the dangers of obesity can be very overstated, yeah??
Our waiter returns – oh hello, again – and in a surprising show of restraint we order just two dishes between the three of us. Starting with the Oven roasted flan and caramelised banana, that’s satisfyingly sweet, yet still gentle on a stomach that’s fit to burst.
But the dessert we INSIST you try is is the Blueberries & honey half-baked cookie with vanilla ice cream. Potentially more addictive than crack, its rich intense taste and soft doughy texture offer the ultimate comfort food.
The three of us take turns closing our eyes, and slowly moaning with delight. Oh yes, this is what food porn is all about. Sensational food, fabulous decor, top-notch table talk, and of course a handsome waiter. Seriously, what more could a Social Bitch ask for?
In a pre-theatre nutshell:
Edinburgh playhouse 15 minute walk / Rose Street Theatre 9 minute walk
Lunch / dinner / everything in between
Bites £6-7 / Plates £9-17 / Desserts £6
83 Hanover Street
0131 225 4862