Event Review: Taste of Edinburgh, 31 May, The Meadows, Edinburgh

31 May

Taste of Edinburgh

It’s a scorching day here in Edinburgh and I’m just back from an afternoon at Taste of Edinburgh 2008.

Taking place in an impressively large area of the Meadows, the place was filled with a few hundred visitors all sitting, queuing and getting slightly singed by the glorious sun.

With so many restaurants present, trying to work out where to start wasn’t easy. After buying my crowns – you don’t use actual money at the stands but tokens instead – I took a wander around to get a feel for what was going on.

Stands offered up samples of coffee, soups, whisky, beers, olive oil (yes, olive oil) and, of course, lots of lovely food. With a fair amount of Scottish fare, a healthy dose of French and Italian samples alongside the odd vegetarian offering, choosing where to spend those crowns was a bit tricky.

I ended up starting with a main “meal”, smoked haddock fishcake on organic Arran leaves frrom Creelers, and my taste buds thanked me soon after the first bite. I don’t eat enough fish and this small amount made me wonder why that is…I’ll be trying to rectify that soon.

After the main I went for a starter (what can I say, I’m a rebel) over at the First Coast stand. I’ve been in to the restaurant on Dalry Road a few times over the years, mainly because it’s about 2 minutes from my flat, and it never fails to impress. The chilli, coconut and sweet potato soup I tried today wasn’t enough to fill me up, but left me wanting more.

Finally I had my just desserts, a lovely little dark chocolate and Pedro Ximénez pot with roast hazelnuts and sugared doughnut at Duck’s at Le Marché Noir. I’m interested to know what the “full” version of this one is like as the rich flavour and smooth (make that ultra smooth) sauce was only available in a teeny plastic pot.

A bit more of a wander after my feeding frenzy led to some free wine and chocolate samples before I had to head off to meet a friend for a laze in the Meadows proper.

It was a superb way to spend a sunny day in the capital and I could have spent much longer in one of the beer gardens had I decided to meet up with others. It’s also left me eager to try out one or more of the restaurants present, which is surely the main aim of the event.

Review by Jonathan Melville

Visit Taste Festivals 2008 for more information.

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