Sunday, 27 July 2014

Eating @ Affogato, Edinburgh

My score: 5/5
TripAdvisor review: here.
Address: here.

A gelateria in Scotland seems like a pretty risky enterprise in my opinion, but thankfully Affogato does gelato so well that I'm certain they'll be having customers no matter what the weather. At the very least, I'll be there!

I mean, look at that delicious gelato to the left. Creamy, home-made, bursting with flavour and all delightfully served in a crispy waffle cone (or a tub, if you're that way inclined...). Yes, this is gelato like they make in Italy and thankfully it's come to Edinburgh's West End. Since I discovered this shop earlier this month I've been back 3 times, recommended it to all my friends, taken an Italian friend and I intend to be taking family there next week. Did that I mention I love gelato? I won't deny it.

All the gelato is home-made and changes on a regular basis. I myself have had coconut, dark chocolate, chocolate malt, fig and ricotta gelato and dark chocolate sorbet (the moment I tasted the dark chocolate sorbet I knew I was in love. The fig and ricotta is pretty damn delicious too!). If you're not sure about what flavour you would like the friendly staff are more than happy to let you taste their wide selection of flavours because, let's be honest, trying to choose between salted caramel and stracciatella can be a hard choice. A small cone (£2.80) comes with 2 flavours as standard, as in Italy. The serving sizes are pretty generous and the price is completely fair. For gelato this good, it's an outright bargain! They also sell milkshakes, cakes and other ice-cream based treats.

The cafe itself if very homely and a bit like the Tardis in that it's a lot bigger on the inside than you would expect! Comfy couches, maps of Italy, candles and an inquisitive old dog (yes, this cafe is dog friendly) create a comfy, if not thrilling, atmosphere where you can happily sit and chat for hours. The shop is open until 10pm making it a wonderful spot for late night relaxation and chat.

Simply put, Affogato is a taste of Italy right here in Scotland. Can't wait until your next holiday for your gelato fix? Get yourself to Affogato. Job done.

Mi piace il gelato!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Easting @ Petit Paris, Edinburgh

My score: 4/5
TripAdvisor review: here.
Adress: here.

When I was in Paris, I stayed at a Korean hostel that served delicious Korean food, and the only time I ended up eating out I ordered a French version of a Turkish dish (ha!), so I'm no expert on French food.  In this spirit of ignorance, I was excited to try Petit Paris' offerings as I'd read good things on TripAdvisor.

Petit Paris is located in Grassmarket which is a prime tourist spot, which would normally mean it is a place to avoid (like the plague), but I am pleased to say that Petit Paris is not a tourist trap. The restaurant itself is exactly as one would expect for the area: outdoor seating, atmospheric interior and hunky French waiters enticing in the passing tourists. Aforesaid waiters are friendly and attentive, and I had no complaints with the service. A 10% service charge is added to the bill if you sit outside or are a party of over 8. The menu is fairly priced for Edinburgh, with a small, but wide, selection of dishes. There is also a decently priced set meal if you want to spend less than £10.

My friend and I ordered a glass of the house white each, and while he settled on the cod in saffron and mussel sauce, I ordered the vegetable and goat's cheese pie. We were also given some delicious bread and butter and a side of chunky, salty chips (I'm not sure who dish these belonged to, but they were most welcome!). I was told me pie would take about 20 minutes to cook, but I can't say I felt that I waited to long for my freshly baked pie. All I can say about my friend's dish is that he enjoyed it. As for my pie, it was really rather delicious! The pie is obviously freshly baked and comes to the table in a piping hot ramekin, with the butter still freshly sizzling. The pie crust is light, and on the right side of flaky. The vegetables on the inside (courgette, pepper and tomato) are soft and perfectly seasoned, and the goat's cheese doesn't overpower the dish as can sometimes happen. It's not a heavy dish, but it does an excellent job of satisfying one's taste buds and tummy. At £14.80 it is about £2 overpriced for my liking, but it was delicious and if I'm honest, I'd order it again. Especially if it comes with a side of chips...

So, do I recommend Petit Paris to all those tourists and non-tourists who find themselves in Grassmarket and in need of nourishment? I most certainly do!