We paid a visit to the very recently refurbished Salisbury Arms last Tuesday. The iconic pub & restaurant has been around for as long as I can remember and previously went through a refurbishment around six years ago. We had only previously been in for a drink a couple of years back so we were delighted to be invited along to take in the new surroundings and of course sample the grub!
Owner Robin Jacobs (of Sheep Heid fame) and his team have done a great job with the refurbishment. The interior looks fantastic. From the entrance hall, the bar and the more formal restaurant area there is a nice consistent feel throughout. It feels stylish but still keeps a strong sense of tradition with decor in keeping with the age and style of the building. Getting the right mix of style and sophistication whilst still feeling relaxed, warm and welcoming isn’t easy but they have got it spot on here.
Once seated we got stuck into browsing the menu and deciding on what we were going to eat. The dinner menu is very substantial with options of nibbles and sharing platters, 9 starter options, pizzas, a wide variation of main courses as well as salad options and a healthy offering of side dishes.
To start I went for the scallops of the day, which on this day were served with black pudding and cauliflower puree. The dish was very well presented and the scallops were perfectly cooked. The black pudding was just slightly overdone for my liking however was still tasty and didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the dish.
Mrs Edinburger went for the Porcini mushroom arancini with lovage pesto. The arancini had a light and crispy coating. Lovely and moist and very well seasoned. The loveage pesto was delicious. The loveage coming through bu careful not to overpower the arancini. According to Mrs E the portion was substantial but she could have eaten more and more. It was definitely a winning combo.
I could have happily picked any of the main dishes on the menu (OK maybe not the vegetable tart) but I was in the mood for the simple joys of a tasty burger so I went for the Wagyu burger with smoked Irish cheddar, crispy onions, tomato relish and sweet potato fries with aioli. I also requested the addition of a slice of bacon because well, why wouldn’t you?
A tasty burger was what I was after and that’s exactly what I got. The beef was very well cooked and had a lovely chargrilled taste. The bun was soft and lightly toasted on the outside. The lettuce was fresh and crispy and the bacon topped it all off perfectly. I’ve become a big fan of sweet potato fries as I like to pretend that it means I’m taking the healthy option. They were really tasty and as fries should be had a slight crispiness on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Perfect dipped in a bit of aioli. My only comment here is when served a burger, a slightly bigger plate is always a good thing rather than a skinny one with no room to manoeuvre.
Mrs E went for a similarly simple and tasty option in the shape of buttermilk southern fried chicken stuffed with ′nduja sausage, sweet potato fries, apple salad and lemon aioli. The fried chicken was delicious. Light and crispy batter covered a succulent moist chicken breast. You could tell the chicken had been soaking in the buttermilk for some time as it had a nice creamy taste. The ′nduja sausage was an excellent addition and again this was a no nonsense dish done very well.
After finishing off our lovely mains we were both suitably stuffed. However being the professionals that we are it seemed only right to power on and try out the dessert menu. I went for my standard sticky toffee pudding and Mrs E went for a mini dessert and hot drink option, the lemon tart with a peppermint tea. My sticky toffee pudding was lovely. Whist there wasn’t much in the way of sauce on first glance it had soaked in nicely to the pudding leaving it lovely and moist. The bourbon vanilla ice cream was subtle in flavour and complimented the sticky toffee pudding well. The lemon tart was also well presented. It was a good combo of sweet and tangy on top of a nice crumbly biscuit base.
We had a great evening at The Salisbury Arms. Impressed with both the setting and the food. The service was also great with friendly and attentive staff. We would highly recommend a visit, although make sure you book ahead as even on a Tuesday night the place was packed.
The Salisbury Arms | 58 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AD | Tel: 0131 667 4518 |