Everything is so close together in Edinburgh that you can keep walking down the Royal Mile and miss many hidden gems and quiet side streets along the way. This is especially so around the quieter middle of the Royal Mile, far away from the castles on each end with a higher concentration of touristy places. Lovage is located the end of such a street, right opposite a Travelodge.
The place looked cosy and welcoming from the outside when we first discovered it during one of our wanderings. Pretty fairy lights illuminated its one large street-facing window, and a cute little chalkboard sign with the restaurant name and the leaf of the namesake herb itself declared it’s presence on the street. (The place is named after a much lesser-known relative of the coriander that tastes more like celery, according to their website.)
Hubby and I wanted to have at least one nice dinner in Edinburgh before we left town, and Lovage was well reviewed online. We checked out its menu before we booked, and their prices looked extremely reasonable relative to the other fine dining establishments around the area. We were worried that we would not be able to get a spot in the restaurant on such short notice, but we ended up lucking out. It was a chilly Tuesday night, and we ended up being one of only two bookings for the night, according to our extremely friendly waiter. He also told us that if we had decided to come the next day instead, we would not be able to get a place as they were fully booked out.
So if you ever decide to visit Lovage, make sure you book anyway!
We had the entire place to ourselves as the second booking was way later in the night. This meant that hubby and I ended up having a very intimate, quiet and romantic dinner by the very pretty window. It would have been nice to have a view of something else other than the Travelodge, but hey, everything else was already awesome – you can win ’em all.
The food was pretty amazing too, and I was blown away from my first dish.
Service was prompt and friendly, and we were given complimentary sourdough with herb butter while we waited for our orders to be served.
For starters, I ordered a double baked soufflé with gruyere cheese, black truffle, bacon dust and onion fondue (£8.95). At that point of the trip, this was the best dish I had eaten. It has only recently been upstaged by fried haggis.
Hubby had a Pork Belly with celeriac, baked apples, pork, crackling and stout jus (£9.95). This too was done quite well with no complaints.
For mains, hubby had the Seabass with Jerusalem artichokes, apple, chestnuts and caramel hazelnuts (£18.95). I stole a little bite, and quite enjoyed what I ate.
I ordered the Hyderabadi lamb shank with Kashmiri rice, almonds and parsnip (£20.95). My eyes were definitely bigger than stomach as I was floored by how huge this dish was! Hubby had to help me finish it. When I ordered it, our waiter warned me that the spiciness of this dish rated a 3 out of 10. However, if you’re used to spicier food like hubby and I are, it’s more of a 0.25 out of 10.
For dessert, we tried the Chocolate mousse with parsnip, white chocolate, lemon & thyme sorbet (£7.95) at our waiter’s recommendation. I was hesitant at first, as I was already quite full, and I’ve had sickeningly rich white chocolate desserts in the past. This dish was pleasantly not one of those desserts.
The white chocolate mousse is a lot lighter than it sounds or looks. The mousse is amazingly foamy and fluffy, and the lemon and thyme sorbet is delightfully sharp and surprisingly smooth and balances out the white chocolate with a slight tanginess and freshness.
I am in love with this place, so much so that I promised myself I’d dedicate an entire post to its awesomeness when I finally got around to writing about it.
All posts in series
- Eat Drink Edinburgh -The Pubs of Edinburgh
- Eat Drink Edinburgh – Breakfast, Hogs and Eating In
- Eat Drink Edinburgh – Lovage – Pretty lights and lovely food (this post)
This is the final post in my Eat Drink Edinburgh series. The next and probably last piece on my UK trip will be a photo essay on the food from the markets of London coming sometime in the next few weeks.