Thursday, 29 December 2011

Wednesday Coffee and Lunch at Iris - Jo Girl (coffee bit by Joe)

We generally don't plan too much when we come up to Edinburgh - it's nice to relax and play things by ear occasionally, but Wednesday was different!  Mum and I were up bright and early to go wedding dress shopping, whilst Joe was dispatched to the sales.  Of course, being Edinburgh, no sooner had we got out of the car than the heavens opened and the hurricane winds started up - my poor umbrella was powerless against it and I was quickly sporting the "drowned rat" look.

Joe was slightly more sensible and ditched the sale shopping fairly quickly, instead preferring to check out some of the recommended coffee places..........

On recommendation from Alex the great Leeds coffee house La Bottega Milanese,  I took refuge from the torrential rain at The Wellington which is in a great location on George Street. It's an independent coffee house that makes up for its lack of size with top quality of the coffee and friendly/ prompt service. While perusing the paper I had a seriously good flat white followed by an espresso which packed a full bodied punch. When there was a gap in the down pour, I ran across to my next destination which again was on recommendation - thanks Richard from Stag Espresso (another very good coffee house in Edinburgh). The Thistle Street Bar is a traditional bar that serves good beer, plays good music (Stevie Wonder when I popped in) and has a roaring fire - again, highly recommended as a pub in the center of town that stands out from the crowd - thumbs up.

My flat white

Post dress shopping/coffee tasting, Joe, my mum and I headed to Iris on Thistle Street to have some lunch with my god mother and mum's close friend, Cary.

The drowned rat look - mum and I
Iris is a small, modern restaurant on the stretch of Thistle Street between Frederick Street and Hanover Street.  Immediately on arrival, dripping wet with very damp feet, we were ushered in, encouraged to leave our umbrellas by the door, hang our coats up and dry out.  For what is a very modern space, it is cosy and welcoming.

They have a lunch deal at the moment, with two courses for around £15, which included starters such as moules in white wine, calamari, duck spring rolls, and main courses of beef and haggis olives, smoked haddock fish cake, chicken with a leek and cray fish sauce, or an aubergine stack.

All four of us opted for the moules to start which were lovely and plump, with quite a garlicky sauce.  They didn't appear to come with any bread for dipping (a must in my book!) but our waitress was quick off the mark when we requested more.

Moules
 Mum and I then went for the beef and haggis olives, while Joe and Cary had the smoked haddock fishcake.  The fishcake was, to quote Joe, "big and fishy and not quite as dainty as expected".  It came with a poached oeuf and a parmesan sauce.  Joe went for fish because he thought it would be less substantial than a meat course, but was deceived!  The beef olives were also deceptively filling, stuffed full of haggis and served with a very peppery sauce! They were very good, but I could have easily shared my main course.  We also had a couple of salads and potatoes on the side, both of which were excellent.  After all of this, none of us wanted any dessert (very unusual for Joe!). 
The fishcake - good poached egg, not for those looking for a light lunch!
Beef olives - man sized!
Mum and Cary
 All in, a good lunch at Iris - definitely a place to go if you're starving - not so much if you're after a light lunch.  A very welcoming, relaxing atmosphere, where I was happy to while away a prosecco fueled three hour lunch.  My only criticism - no need for all the parsley decorations!

1 comment:

amrootha said...

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