Tag Archives: Edinburgh

REVIEW: A sunny Saturday at TIGERLILY (George Street)

My rainy Saturday turned surprisingly sunny so I decided to have lunch at Tigerlily with a friend yesterday. To be honest I’ve not been there for years; I’m not a George Street kind of gal and my usual haunts have the quirky speakeasy feel of The Bon Vivant or are the kind of pub frequented by old men.

Let me just start by saying the service isn’t great; we turned up and asked the hostess if we could have our food outside then proceeded to wait for a waitress to come out and bring me a menu. And wait. And then wait some more for our bottle of prosecco.

My Thai coconut chicken dumpling and noodle soup came out with an accompanying Japanese teapot of coconut broth for what turned out to be chicken balls rather than dumplings, a couple strands of rice noodles and julienned vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, dem ‘dumplings’ were delicious, but the broth was rather bland. I liked the idea of the separate teapot for the soup, but would have preferred it left rather than poured for me.

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Instead of a main I went for the whole lobster because I can’t resist lobster when it’s on the menu. I am a huuuuuge seafood fan and there are few things in the world that I would choose to eat over that sweet, sweet meat. The chunky cut chips were a perfect partner, and I can guiltily admit I may have dipped a couple into my pot of garlic butter.

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Unfortunately my phone ran out of juice so I didn’t manage to take any photos of our cocktails (including a very generous piña colada) and their take on a strawberry Bellini. I’ll still be going to my usual eccentric, super-chilled lounges and grotty live music venues on a Friday night, but Tigerlily is an undeniably pleasant place to while away a few hours with friends on a Saturday afternoon over cocktails and that sweet, sweet lobster meat…

Tigerlily
125 George Street, Edinburgh
Www.tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk

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Review: Tuk Tuk Street Food (1 Leven Street)

I needed a manicure with some desperation. My regular place is reminiscent of the Asian-run mani pedi parlours common in every major Canadian city, reasonably priced and very thorough, with very little English spoken and no frills. This is not a pampering destination, but super effective if you’re short on time and need a very good manicure. I usually just walk in, but as it’s a Saturday I made a 3pm appointment and stopped off at Tuk Tuk for a bite to eat. I can’t be sure how long this street food diner has been open, but I’ve wanted to try it. Indian street food isn’t something I’m terribly familiar with, but I’m always keen to try new cuisines and flavours.

My first impression of the place was a funky and modern vibe, unlike the traditional curry houses you find everywhere in Edinburgh. Industrial lighting and vibrant jewel colours definitely make an impression and set this place apart.

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There were two dishes that I immediately wanted to try. Lamb chops marinaded in fresh herbs and spices with garlic mash, simply because I adore the way lamb prepared in Indian cuisine seems to be so much more tender than any other way. And being the carb-lover that I am, I was tempted by the Hakka chilli noodles, the vegetarian option, which were described as having a sino-Indian influence.

Tuk Tuk suggest you order 3-4 dishes per person to make up a filling meal, but as I’d had a large lunch at the farmers market I decided just to sample a couple.

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Lovely crunch of red and green cabbage to the egg noodles, though the description as ‘fiery’ may have been overestimating a bit! The single Birdseye chilli garnish may have added to the bite somewhat though. The only nod to Indian flavour were some slightly limp slices of paneer lingering at the bottom of the dish. A little overly oily, and without the punch of flavour I expected.

The lamb chops however were beautiful. Absolutely delicious. Dainty and flavourful chops on the bone, grilled in a tandoori marinade and sitting atop a sweet, aromatic roasted garlic mash. Powerful flavours unlike what passes for a ‘garlic mash’ in the UK. The accompanying sauce was similar to a delicately spiced tikka. I’d come back again just for the lamb chops, and I am definitely intrigued to try some other dishes!

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Tuk Tuk Street Food
1 Leven Street, Tollcross

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Adventures in the Sun: Picnics in Peculiar Places

It’s been a sunny couple of weeks here on Edinburgh, and I have spent blissful days catching up with friends alfresco,

One of my very favourite was an impromptu picnic outside my lovely friend’s workplace. I’m lucky to have the kind of job that allows me flexibility with my hours, and during the summer months my home office is largely unoccupied when the sun is out (aside from a cat or two who took a wrong turning past the food bowl). I have no problem with working late at night if it means I can spend my days enjoying the great outdoors!

I decided to surprise my Grace with a picnic during her lunch break…I got some rather odd looks setting up on the pavement! How lovely is that picnic basket by the way? I picked it up during the Meadows Festival for a paltry £35! What a bargain!

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Grace was delighted with her feast despite the unconventional picnic setting…

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I must admit due to a lack of time that morning, it was ‘catered’ by M&S and the wee Bruntsfield baker ‘A La Carte. I had to cram the mini sausage rolls into the cups that came with the picnic set, and the teeny filled rolls went over rather well…

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Of course no picnic is complete without scones with proper clotted cream and strawberry jam…

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…and a nap in the sun!

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Review: MILK, Morrisson Street

A few weeks ago, after a frustrating morning choosing flooring for the hall, I found myself at a loose end on Morrison street when hunger pangs set in. If I’m honest, the promise of ‘good food fast’ was what enticed me into MILK. That and the laid back diner feel of the place, with its crackle glazed subway tiles, jade green industrial bar stools and quirky repurposed golden syrup tin cutlery holders.

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Spiced apple juice and a lime and mint cooler? Oh yes please?

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My warm slow roasted pork wrap was just what I needed, filled with perfectly seasoned spiced shredded pork and fresh herbs, homemade slaw with just a touch of mayonnaise (I dread the heavily mayo’d coleslaw). I could taste fresh coriander and sweet, crunchy red cabbage, shredded carrots and tender pork…all wrapped in a warm, soft Lebanese flat bread. No complicated flavours, just simple and incredibly fresh.

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I couldn’t resist grabbing a key lime and coconut cupcake to go, which was certainly worth it with a filling of perfectly tangy lime curd and shavings of coconut atop a buttercream frosting. I’m not usually a fan of buttercream, as it’s usually over-sweet and lacking in taste, but this was lovely.

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What a fabulous find, and so close up Haymarket station…

MILK
232 Morrison Street

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Arty nonsense on Lothian Road

I was cycling by and noticed this lady painting the Sapphire Room facade.

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Shoes, glorious shoes

I’ve been searching for the perfect dress to wear to my friends M and C’s wedding next week, and after an afternon wandering around Harvey Nicks and George Street I was nearly ready to give up.  Say sod it and rustle up something from my own wardrobe.  Ok admittedly my wardobe is better stocked than some shops, but there is something about a wedding that really requires a new outfit.

Or so I keep telling myself.

Well, several hours and a champagne lunch with D later, we found this great little shoe shop on Castle Street.  I’d heard about it before but had never wandered in as it’s usually by appointment only – guess that’s just a subtle way of saying ‘we’re only open Thursday to Sunday, so if you want us any other day of the week phone and make sure someone will be in’.  Says on their website drop in times are Thursday to Sunday anyways, so luckily for us it was a Saturday!

Now I am a total design geek (amongst other things), and one thing I have always been a little obsessed with over and beyond my usual geekery is architect-designed objets d’art.  I don’t mean buildings, but anything that utilises the knowledge an architect has over a designer of structure, engineering and form in alternative mediums from concrete and glass just kinda makes me swoon.

United Nude is a label I’d heard about over the past couple months, but as Edinburgh isn’t exactly a fashion capital (I think we have cobbled streets to thank for that) I had never seen their shoes in person.  I did know however that they designed a line of ‘EAMZ’ shoes with a structural heel inspired by the works of Charles and Ray Eames and had seen them online.  I think once you look at the shoes close up it doesn’t come as any surprise that the guys behind these beautiful shoes are a Dutch architect and an British shoemaker.

So today I will be going back to bring these babies home.  Moulded carbon fibre sole and 5″ heel and designed as a structural frame for the foot (a little like the steel beams that hold up skyscrapers).  Rest assured I will be snapping a photo of my own wee feet once these darlings are mine!

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Resources:

United Nude: designed by an architect and a shoemaker

Shhh…: concept New Town shoe shop, Edinburgh

KidViskous: Style breakdown, 9 of spring’s strangest heels

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The Good Samaritan

I had to write about this, it’s put a big old smile on my sleepy wee face!

I was at the lovely new drinks shop in Bruntsfield, Drinkmonger…stockpiling beer for tomorrow night’s festivities!  I’m sleep deprived as it is, weakened by the relentless report-writing and endless facebook-checking (or other procrastination more imaginative).  So after asking the guys in the shop to load me up in a box, I thought it might be a good idea to trek the 200 or so metres home with: 2 wine-sized bottles of Fraoch heather ale, a couple bottles of Birds and bees pale ale, a bottle of single malt, a bottle of dark rum, and 13 bottles of Peroni.

I think I made it about 50 metres before I had to lean against a fence, staggering.  Which is where the lovely lady found me, slumped against a box of beer, maybe looking a little like a hobo.  Instead of laughing at my predicament and driving off in a cloud of dust, she asked me where I was headed…and offered me a lift.  Now I only stay another 150 metres away, so she drove me 30 seconds up the road and dropped me off outside my door.

Now you would have to be a pretty good samaritan to help a sleepy looking student-type schelp beer across the Links!  I may not have made it otherwise.  I would probably still be there, leaning against that fence, snoring away with my head rested on my box of beer.

I’m so classy…

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Things that made me smile this week

I still consider it to be Sunday, so it’s time for another ‘Things that made me Smile’ post! So without further ado, here are the things that made this week great.

1. Doing a nice thing, aka Spreading the Love. Inspired by the lovely Michaela Noelle

2. Bumping into the boy I like and hanging out with him for the afternoon. A total lovely accident and one that made me smile so much…

3. Realising midway through our conversation about cycling that I actually knew what i was talking about! Trust me, nobody was more surprised than me…

4. Discovering we have oddly similar taste in cycling helmets…

5. My friend MB and his lovely fiance inviting me to their wedding. They’re not asking any people from school because it’ll cost them a fortune (and they’re both students), but they wanted me to come. They’re possibly the sweetest couple, both such amazing people, and I’m honoured they’ve invited me!

6. Still planning that epic night out with some of my friends, and finding out even more people can now make it! Including one of my best friends, who originally couldn’t get the night off work…Like I said, this night is going to be epic!

7. Spending the day cycling with my good friend JD, who I haven’t seen in months. We managed to catch up, have a giggle and cycle about 7 miles yesterday. Oh, did I mention JD is possibly one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet?

8. Cooking a latenight dinner for JD and M last night of garlicky roast lamb, rosemary potatoes and honeyed parsnips. We were pretty tired by the time we ate, but it was worth it!

9. Chatting to the guys at Pedals (the bike repair shop in Bruntsfield) and them lending me one of their own bike lights so I could get home in one piece.

10. Hanging out with my flatmate.

11. Remembering the words to ‘Cool Rider’ from Grease 2, the singularly cheesiest film on the planet…and therefore fabulous!

12. Getting chatted up by a friend AND being the responsible one by reminding him why we shouldn’t hook up. A year ago, or even a few months ago, I would have found it exceptionally difficult to turn him down. BUT I AM A STRONGER and SMARTER VERSION OF MY FORMER SELF 😉

13. Watching BMXers… ;-P

14. Brandi Carlile’s ‘the Story’. Oh I love that song!

15. Cuddles with my doggy, who really is a total prince. I can’t even express how much I love the little guy. The cats can take me or leave me, but my wee man is always there for me.

and finally…

14. After being insulted by my ex for having a blog, mocked and basically slagged off at any opportunity to the point that I was unable to even tell my best mates…I told two of my friends about this place. And they were so interested I nearly cried. But a good kind of cry, so I think it counts!

Now roll on next week!

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