Boys Eat Scotland Element Restaurant Review – Rose Street, Edinburgh
We didn’t know what to expect from our visit to Element but we were very pleasantly surprised. The bar is situated on Edinburgh’s Rose Street among traditional bars, restaurants, jewellers and tailors, lots of tailors! Although Element has a relatively small frontage it’s easy to spot as you walk up Rose Street, just look out for the two suspended planters with conifer trees growing out of them and you have arrived.
I’m sad to say that we had never visited Element before. It’s not been intentional but I suppose we weren’t aware of what lay behind the unassuming facade. As you enter Element you find yourself in what we will call the front room. This room is dominated by the bar and it’s a great place for people watching with its outside terrace and windows on to Rose Street.
What we didn’t realise was that the bar opens up into a spacious backroom decorated in muted Scottish colours with tasteful tweeds and antler lighting. Element was busy on the Thursday evening we visited with a complete mixture of both locals and visitors eating drinking and enjoying themselves. It all seems pretty casual here which makes it the ideal venue for meeting friends after work, popping in for a bite to eat, or sampling a cocktail or two.
The first thing that struck us was their rather extensive cocktail list which offered around 18 different drinks. We love cocktails so why hadn’t we been here before? That ever returning question! As it was Thursday night and we were driving, we decided to sample the cocktails on our next visit. However in the interests of forward planning I chose Peat, Plum and Penicillin – Jack Daniels Honey, Red Squirrel Gingernut Liqueur, lemon, plum syrup, fresh ginger, plum bitters and Laphroig 10 year old (£7.25)- How good does that sound?
Raymond chose the Toffee Apple Cobbler: Brugal Anejo Rum, Amaretto Disarrono, apple juice, lime and caramel syrup (£7.25). We now can’t wait to go back again to try them!
After heading down the cocktail menu route we regained focus and ordered our meal. The menu offered 7 starters, 7 mains and 5 desserts so definitely something for everyone. Hopefully the tight menu would result in some delicious food arriving from the kitchen.
For starter I chose Edinburgh Gin cured trout with pickled cucumber and dill crème fraîche (£6.25) while Raymond chose the twice baked Ayrshire of dunlop cheese soufflé (£5.75)
The Edinburgh Gin cured trout was excellent and as you would expect worked really well with the combination of little cucumber pickled cubes and smooth dill crème fraîche. We had commented earlier that it would have been nice to have had some bread to nibble on and the bread would have been a perfect addition to the trout dish.
Raymond’s cheese soufflé was served on a bed of watercress with apple batons and it was a perfect way to start the meal. The soufflé was light and fluffy and tasted nice and cheesy. The apple provided a good textured crunch to the dish. The portions were large and the food wholesome and tasty.
Next I decided to sample the Aberdeen Angus Burger, but it was more the option of adding some haggis to the burger that attracted my attention rather than the burger itself. I’ve never had haggis on my burger before so it was a welcome new experience. The burger was well cooked and moist and arrived in a sesame bun with lettuce, onion and tomato and a side of crisp chips. The haggis and burger worked well, but I did feel completely stuffed at the end of it. There was also a side of tomato relish which didn’t look terribly appealing but tasted fine. The burger and chips were really good and next time there’s alternative toppings of cheddar, blue cheese or bacon that can be added for £1 each.
Raymond chose the pine nut and herb crusted with heritage potato, chorizo and paprika stew and crème fraîche. The cod was succulent and perfectly cooked and the stew was very flavoursome and didn’t overwhelm the taste of the fish. He had expected the crust to be slightly crispier to add to the textures of the dish but although it wasn’t terribly crunchy the flavours still worked well with the rest of the dish.
We decided to share dessert and it was the Whisky and Coke sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream that jumped off the menu for both of us (£5.75). We were quite surprised but the combination worked well and you could certainly taste the whisky in the sauce. The whisky also seemed to make the toffee sauce less sweet and gave it a more complex flavour. The sponge pudding was massive, moist and very moreish, but we were glad that we decided to share dessert.
We had a really enjoyable evening in Element and are so glad to have been introduced to its backroom delights. We will certainly pop in for cocktails and a bite to eat in the near future.
We were invited for dinner by Element to sample their menu. All drinks and tips were paid for by us and as usual all thoughts about our visit are our own.
Let us know how you get on if you go along and please feel free to share this Element restaurant review with your friends.
110-114 Rose Street