By guest reviewer – Hannah Ewan
I would like everyone who reads this to do me a favour: please give Pickled Green the chance to impress you. As fresh as its ‘modern chalet’ décor, this deli-café-restaurant appeared on Rose Street in December 2009 .
On the ground floor, there is the café and deli, serving lunch and treats to take away. Upstairs is the decent sized restaurant, with a variety of table sizes to suit all diners. Minimal but not cold, it is decorated throughout in soothing greens and blues, with some simple, pretty floral paintings. My favourite touch is a large table for parties, tucked away in an alcove. Tables and benches are constructed of wooden slats that made me think of a sauna, and looked fun and stylish. The whole room is light and airy, and will be delightful on long summer evenings.
We visited on a Friday evening, and it was unfairly quiet. The restaurant is currently only open on Friday and Saturday evenings, but there are plans to extend this to every night in the coming month. The menu is pared down and unfussy, with four options each for starter, main and pudding. Despite this, I’m pretty confident that no-one will be stuck for choice – I was very torn between three of the mains. In the end, we chose:
· Homemade duck ‘ham’, with celeriac rémoulade and toast.
· Eggs Benedict, with Borders ham and spinach.
· Fillet of haddock, with mussel, potato and leek chowder.
· Braised shin of beef, with crushed sweet potato and spinach.
· Poached rhubarb with yoghurt and homemade granola.
· Apple strudel with caramel ice-cream.
Guess how much all this came to? £12.50 each. This has to help make it the best value meal you will find in Edinburgh just now. This price in no way reflects the quality of the cooking – each and every course was tender where it should be (the beef just dissolved, it was wonderful). The food was so flavoursome that it brought conversation to an end. A particularly rare find was my haddock: slightly smoky, peppery and perfectly flaky, it was an excellent piece of white fish that denotes a chef that cares.
The other plus for this place is something clear from the ingredients above: a commitment to local, seasonal produce, with an insistence on organic wherever possible. This is so much part of their ethos that even the wines and soft drinks are organic or bio-organic. To prove my point: as a thank you for becoming members, we were served free tea to round off our night. This was infused from whole organic camomile and peppermint leaves in completely biodegradable, handmade silken tea-bags.
So there it is. It’s very rare for me to give a restaurant five stars, but for such a combination of value and quality – I believe it well deserved. For an intelligently cooked, healthy meal, easy on both your wallet and your social conscience, it has to be Pickled Green.
Suitable for disabled? Sadly, there is no lift to provide disabled access to the first floor restaurant: while the friendly waiters have no problems serving dinner in the comfortable, roomy ground floor café area, toilets are unfortunately only accessible by the stairs.