I’ve lived less than 3 minutes walk away from The Pantry for the last year now and it’s taken me all this time to pay them a visit.
I pass it most days and it’s always busy especially at weekends and on days when the sun shines you’ll be lucky to find a free table and seats outside.
It is one of the dining destinations in Edinburgh that always comes up in lists of ‘The Top 10 places for brunch in Edinburgh’ or ‘Best places for breakfast/lunch’. They have a few other venues across Edinburgh too like Finn and Bear on the Shore in Leith and just recently opened The Pantry in the Dovecot on Infirmary Street, city centre.
So it was with very high expectations that we went here for brunch. I was hankering for waffles with bacon and maple syrup and TartanSpoonie Carmin wanted eggs.
The place was fairly full and bustling already at 11am. Seated next to the window we immediately ordered tea and set about reading through the menu.
It’s definitely the place if you are a Benedicts fan. Poached eggs served on sourdough bread which can be accompanied by honey roast ham, hot smoked salmon or kale, spinach and spring onion.
I loved the sound of Pimp My Fried – Rare breed pork sausages, streaky smoked bacon, Stornoway black pudding, Campbell’s prime haggis, smoked paprika and thyme tomato, beans, confit mushroom and a free range egg on sourdough. Wow!
The V-guy also caught my eye which is Veggie haggis, crispy halloumi, smoked paprika and thyme roasted tomato, confit mushroom,tattie scone, free range egg on sourdough and Heinz beans.
I would have chosen this had I not wanted waffles – the U.S.A! (Ubiquitous smashed avocado) – Avocado, roasted pepper pico de gallo, chunky sourdough toast and a poached egg.
I have to say their food and dishes are what Instagram dreams are made of. They are beautifully presented, colourful and well thought out. You can see that they take the time to lovingly prepare the food.
So here we have the Eggs Benedict with the Pantry Honey Baked Ham, 2 poached eggs on sourdough.
Two perfectly poached eggs that retained a slight wobble and the yolk was runny. The ham was sweet and thickly cut.
The hollandaise sauce was beautifully smooth and well seasoned. The only gripe is that it was serve warm instead of hot.
As for my waffles, I interpreted the menu incorrectly. It reads – Homemade deep Belgian waffles, blueberry compote, fresh blueberries, 100% Canadian maple syrup and add bacon for additional charge. For some reason I thought you could choose between – the compote with the berries and the bacon and syrup. This is the case in most places, but here at The Pantry, you get all four components on your plate.
All this on a place is a little confusing for the tastebuds – the salty smokiness of the bacon doesn’t sit well with the tartness of the blueberries but kinda worked with the compote which was sweeter. Having syrup and compote was weird, a fight between the thin and thick viscosity of the syrup. There were mouthfuls that brought joy and mouthfuls that I tried not to replicate. Again the dish was only slightly warm.
The service was efficient to start with but there was no check back so we couldn’t inform them that our food was only slightly warm. Our server was a little curt at times but maybe due to it being so busy. I would go again, just to give them the benefit of the doubt; I think they were just having a bit of an off day!
The Pantry, 1 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh EH3 6ST. Tel : 0131 629 0206 www.thepantryedinburgh.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Bronze 7/10. The food was good, just slightly cold and the service was okay with room from improvement.