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Three Birds, Edinburgh


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I wrote this a long time ago and got so busy I forgot to post it! Get there during this mad festival. Calm amongst the storm.

My colleague Amy likes her food. This means I like Amy. (She’s great apart from the food thing, too, but I do love an eating companion). She is a carnivore, but she appreciates good food.

During my first week of Edinburgh, round 2, I’d knackered myself out looking for places to live. By the end of an unsuccessful first week of flat hunting, I was ready for wine consumption and a slap up meal. She suggested we try Three Birds in Brunstfield, the area I lived in last year which is jam-packed with wonderful independent eateries and cafes. I looked at the menu and they had a few vegetarian options, so I was happy. This place had been on Amy’s “to visit” list for a while.

We arrived at this tiny little bistro, and my first thought was how I was going to sneak passed the table next to me without my clumsy (juicy) junk knocking over the table of the couple who were romancing on the table next to ours. Amy kindly offered to be the one to squeeze past and sit in the window seat.

The atmosphere was warm and the service was immediately attentive. We decided on mains and some sides. There was a choice of a hallmoui based main and a vegetarian jungle curry – both of which I look forward to trying at a later date. I ordered the vegetarian haggis puff pastry pie with a foraged three leaf pesto cream. We ordered some greens and a side of fries and me oh my, this was one of my favourite meals I’ve had in a very long time. The veggie haggis pie was delicious and the pesto cream was delicious. I tried veggie haggis for the first time last year and I feel in love. I’ve had some that are better than others and this was just perfect. It was light and tasty without too many overpowering flavours and without trying to re-create the feeling of meat too much, which I don’t like.

The pesto cream was hands down one of the best sauces to accompany a meal I’ve ever had. I meant to ask what leaves were in there, but I was in some sort of food heaven coma and I forgot. I was about to order more sauce when I noticed that it had sold out on the specials board. I had used up all of my sauce mopping up the fries, which were some of the tastiest fries I’ve ever eaten. Crunchy and crisp with no oiliness and sprinkled with some rock salt to die for. I could eat those fries dipped into that pesto cream every day, forever. Amy very much enjoyed her meaty dish and we had a gorgeous Pinot Grigio to wash the food down with.

For desert, we ordered an orange Semolina cake with clotted cream and a chocolatey merangue mess called Bird’s Mess. Deserts were tasty but not as mind-blowing as the mains. The Bird’s Mess was the highlight, which was a Guinness ice cream Sundae dotted with morello cherries and other lovely, filthy things.

I’ve since returned to my new favourite Edinburgh eatery and the food was just as great; if not as inspired as the first time I visited. I took my fella on his first 2013 Edinburgh visit and he loved it too. The only thing I’d say is that the special sounded dull. It was a tofu bolognese. If I want to eat Italian, I go to an Italian (plus I cook it so much myself!) I go to bistros to eat bistro food.

Second time in, I had a beetroot, aubergine and feta salad with tahini which was delicious (but alas came with no aubergine?!) and the halloumi and pumpkin on puréed peas which was a bit like a posh veggie non fish n chips. Especially when we threw into the mix the skinny fries again which didn’t fail to disappoint; arriving wrapped in a wee brown paper bag of loveliness.

Desert was a delight this time – I had the sweet lasagne and switched the blue cheese ice cream for a heather honeycomb icecream. Sweet sensations indeed.

Three Birds is a delight; an unpretentious place with super service and tasty, interesting food, with a nice amount for vegetarians. Missing a visit would be doing your tastebuds a serious disservice. Get there quick whilst you can still book a table without a three week wait.

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