Boys Eat Scotland: The Huxley Review
We often pop into the Huxley for a nightcap before heading for the bus home after a night out in town. It’s always got a very welcoming and cosy atmosphere plus the floor to ceiling windows provide a great view of the bustling West End. Last year, we popped in for a quick bite in-between Edinburgh Festival shows and found the service to be speedy and the burgers very tasty. When we heard that they had updated the menu, we couldn’t wait to try some of the new dishes on offer.
We booked a table for 7.30pm on a Friday evening and when we arrived, the bar was buzzing with folks enjoying a pre-weekend drink. The Huxley has a busy bar area and lots of comfortable chairs and couches looking out the windows where you can enjoy a drink, some good food and watch the world go by.
The Huxley menu is split between sharing boards, burgers, dogs, salads and small plates so it’s perfect for lunch, dinner or for drinks and a quick bite. We chose a mixture of different dishes to get a good flavour of what was on offer.
The small plates sounded very nice indeed so we decided on one each to start with. I went for Scrabster sole goujons, parmesan breadcrumbs and tartar sauce (£7), while Raymond chose Vietnamese spring rolls with soy and spring onion dipping sauce (£6.50). The waitress mentioned that the spring rolls would be served cold which was helpful as initially we had the usual pastry spring rolls in mind rather than the Vietnamese version (the hint is in the name though!!) The small plates could easily have been upgraded to mains with the addition of a few side dishes from the good selection available on the menu.
My goujons were served on a wooden board with lemon and tartar sauce and were hot, crisp and delicious. The fish tasted lovely and fresh with the well-seasoned crunchy crumb providing a perfect contrasting texture to the delicate fish.
Raymond’s spring rolls were picture perfect when they arrived and each translucent rice-paper spring roll was packed full of finely sliced radish, cucumber, spring onion, noodles and nigella seeds. They were fresh, crunchy and aromatic with the dipping sauce providing the perfect sweet and saltiness to the dish – they were an absolute hit. This was our first time trying Vietnamese spring rolls and we would definitely have them again – delicious!
Next up I decided to be semi-good and choose a salad that had my mouth watering since I spotted it on their Twitter feed a few days ago. It was an Isle of Skye hot smoked salmon salad, super grains, seaweed with a chilli and mint dressing (£9.25). Raymond went for a vegetarian burger comprising of courgette, red pepper, aubergine and chickpea fritters, smoked mozzarella and okonomi sauce with fries (£7.50).
My large salad arrived and looked a picture of health – it was positively glowing with vitality. As you will see from the picture there’s lots of pulses and seeds all mixed together with a generous amount of hot smoked salmon flaked through the dish. The seaweed gave a hint of the sea with the chilli and mint dressing providing a good hit of flavour. The dressing also added a bit of moisture to the dish, pulling it all together and complimenting the smokiness of the salmon. There were lots of different flavours combined in the salad and it was so tasty that I scraped the plate clean!
If Raymond’s fancying a burger, he quite often chooses the vegetarian option and the mix of vegetables in this burger really attracted him to it. The dish was served with beetroot slaw, chips and a dish of okonomi sauce. Whilst the slaw was a great addition to the dish the okonomi dipping sauce was a bit odd as it was too runny to add to the burger and it didn’t really feel right dipping the burger and bun into the worcester/tomato type sauce mixture. The burger itself was very tasty and a nice alternative to the usual meat version – not sure that Kyloe upstairs would have approved though!
In the interest of research we decided to share a dessert. Luckily 2 out of the 5 choices on the menu are made for sharing (but between 4!) The bucket of sweet belief (£9.50) promises to make 4 folks very happy indeed. It’s a sharing ice cream sundae with chocolate brownie and honeycomb duo of ice cream topped with popping candy. The other option was tear and share dipping brioche for 4 people (£9.50). This is a chocolate sharing dessert with a choice of milk, dark or white chocolate ganache with chocolate chip brioche and marshmallows. Even with our sweet tooth we couldn’t manage dessert for 4 so went for the smaller Scottish s’mores sundae at (£4.95) instead.
The sundae was served in a tin mug with two chocolate straws for decoration. Our first thought on seeing it was “oh dear what a lot of cream” but after the first spoonful we discovered the marshmallows and ice cream lurking under the top layer. The dessert was very moreish, very sweet and the perfect end to our meal. Sadly, no-one ordered a sharing dessert for four while we were there – we really wanted to see what they looked like! If you’ve enjoyed one on your visit do let us know in the comments below or tweet us a picture as we would love to see them!
We had a really enjoyable evening at The Huxley and will definitely make it back to dine for a third time! Whilst Kyloe upstairs is perfect for a special occasion or romantic meal, The Huxley is equally as good for a quick bite to eat, food with friends, or an evening of drinks and grazing on delicious plates. If you are on the go early they open at 8.30am each day serving an extensive breakfast menu until 11.30am.
It’s so nice to see this corner of Edinburgh thriving. Next time we might arrive early and pop into Heads and Tails in the basement for an Edinburgh Gin cocktail!
If you gave visited the Huxley, let us know how you got on. Similarly if you likes our The Huxley Review please feel free to share with friends.
1 Rutland Street
TEL: 0131 229 3402