Boys Eat Scotland review of Badger & Co. Edinburgh
When we were invited to try out Badger & Co. we immediately thought cocktails! Hurrah! Little did we know that there was more to Mr Badger than an inventive cocktail or two – he also has a food menu that shakes up a few classics and stirs in a few new ones.
This swanky townhouse was home to Kenneth Grahame and the décor has a few Wind in the Willows nods including the nifty artwork, ornate radiators and some very comfortable leather armchairs straight out of Toad Hall. These rub shoulders with shimmering gold Edison bulb lighting, flickering candles and an easy listening soundtrack that make you feel very comfortable indeed.
The menu here is well thought out with plenty to interest the adventurous Mr Toads and also those that like their creature comforts. For starters I went for the smoked Borders chicken and avocado croquettes (£7) that were moreish golden crunchy bullets with a decent smoky chicken flavour and creamy texture. The chilli and lime mayo was a bit underwhelming and I’m too messy an eater to be contained by a piece of slate but I would have happily munched on these all night.
Donnie’s starter of bacon wrapped scallops (£8) had three fat and juicy molluscs sitting on a bed of salsa with pink roe, finely chopped tomato and onion. The salty bacon gave a lovely seaside flavour and the dollop of creamy cauliflower puree on top kept things nicely balanced.
For main course I had the chermoula & almond baked hake (£14) which was firm and flaky and more than a match for the delicious earthy paste of Moroccan spices and almonds slathered on top. The dish was served on a slightly flavourless quinoa tabbouleh that was saved by a good scattering of bitter parsley, mint leaves and a swirl of saffron yoghurt.
And now to the comfort part of the evening with the Scottish game pie (£10) that looked like something Desperate Dan would happily tuck in to. I had visions of the crust deflating like a balloon when Donnie stuck his fork into it but the buttery flaky-light pastry was made of sterner stuff. He was soon tucking into the tender duck, hare and venison and its rich, well seasoned gravy that was made for dunking the hand-cut chips in.
For dessert I went for the jelly and ice cream (£6.50) which consisted of vanilla ice cream and a pretty pink elderflower jelly along with chunks of poached pears. The combination was light and summery with a scattering of something that had a fresh taste of tomato but turned out to be dehydrated raspberry yoghurt crisps – it all worked beautifully.
Sticking with the comfort food theme, Donnie went for the chocolate orange cheesecake with blood orange syrup (£6). The thick triangle of satisfying creamy dessert was intensely flavoured and had a sturdy buttery base – the gold sprinkles were an added bonus of intense citrus.
Badger & Co. is the kind of establishment that you can happily while away an entire evening starting with the cocktail menu and then moving on to food. This place is full of contradictions with relaxed dining in a glamorous setting and a menu that is eager to please but also has a few surprises in store – next time we visit it won’t just be for the cocktails.
Badger & Co.
32 Castle Street
Tel 0131 226 5430[/su_gmap]
Many thanks to Badger & Co. for their kind invitation to sample the menu. As always all thoughts, pictures and comments are our own.