The Orchard has long been the fall-back-plan place to eat when the Stovies team can’t face cooking. It’s so nice and local that we sometimes forget why it became a regular staple in our repertoire. A wee visit last night helped remind us why! Refurbished a few years ago, The Orchard was transformed from a bog standard old man pub serving scotch pies, soggy fish & chips and uninspiring burgers to a modern, family friendly bar bistro serving fancy pies, scrummy fish & chips and venison burgers.
Our food arrived looking particularly good, my guinea foul brought with it a lovely wedge of dauphinoise potatoes, roasted root veg and a little gravy boat with extra marsala gravy – mmm, gravy. Guinea fowl is a game bird that I haven’t eaten before, but if it always tastes as good as the thyme mouselline stuffed version that the Orchard serve up I’m going to have to have more! Lighter than other game it worked perfectly with the dauphinoise and marsala gravy. Thumbs up from me.
The fish & chips were fresh from the frier, golden and fit for the cover of Chipper Monthly. The Orchard source their fish from Pittenweem so being a Fifer the Mrs has a special bias towards it. Having partaken of the dish myself on numerous occasions I can confirm that the fish & chips are very good, never greasy and always fresh. Our only minor gripe is that the portion sizes are VERY generous, which can be both a good thing or a bad thing depending on your mood/starvation levels. Last night it was a little much…
…which isn’t to say that we didn’t muster up some space to fit in pudding! So in the name of journalistic investigation we made our first ever foray into the desert menu, big portions = no pud usually. We ordered a lemon curd creme brulee and an fantastically retro Knicker Bocker Glory. The deserts arrived looking equally as delicious as the mains, although the KBG could have done with a saucer to catch the drips.
My creme brulee was light, rich and very, very tasty. Only a very small part was over caramelised (yes, burnt) for which I believe over zealous blow torching to be the culprit. The KBG was apparently fantastic. Filled with juicy berries, local ice cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate pieces, the Mrs announced it to be like Blackforest gateaux but tastier and without the gateaux. I wish I could say the same but I didn’t get to try it!
As I already mentioned, The Orchard is a fall back when we cant think where else to go, too lazy to cook or too lazy to walk into town. It’s a real shame as it is one of the best pubs for a good meal in Edinburgh and it’s all too easy to forget about the local when you’re busy exploring exciting new things. It was definitely worth having a visit to remind ourselves why we love it and why we need to go back. Again, and again, and again.
The Orchard, 1-2 Howard Place, Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 550 0850
Dinner for two with wine £42.50