As the ‘Beast from the East’ well and truly hit Edinburgh, four days working from home was starting to feeling a little like cabin fever.
Checking with my brother if he felt the same, we went on the hunt for a perfect Saturday lunch in our wonderful city. We wanted somewhere with great food, great service and all the warming comforts of home.
Edinburgh’s city centre offers many wonderful restaurants, but we were after something really special if we were to brave the arctic conditions.
Deciding on Frederick Street’s The Wee Restaurant, we were greeted by a charming waitress, Kirsty, who made us feel very comfortable in the restaurant’s warming chocolatey-maroon décor.
Due to the panic of the cold temperatures, Edinburgh’s local foodies had chosen to eat at home. But this worked in our favour, as we had the place to ourselves.
My brother beat me to it and immediately chose the mussels – swimming in a Parmesan Cream with fresh basil and pine nuts. Following the seafood suit, I chose the scallops which didn’t disappoint – exploding with that uniquely fresh flavour that you get from Edinburgh’s seafood. This was all matched with a gorgeous Organic Italian Pinot Grigio.
Seeking a filling main course, I was advised by our host to choose the Braised Ox Cheek in Red Wine, which was partnered with the perfect amount of garlic mash and wilted greens. John, never one to turn down a steak, opted for a perfectly cooked medium rare fillet.
We popped are heads outside to see if the snow had stopped (it hadn’t) we didn’t want this meal to end. As the lights dimmed we finished off our wine and checked out the dessert menu.
This is where the meal really came into its own, with the Rich Chocolate and Honey Tart tasting absolutely sublime. Polished off perfectly with two espressos made for the perfect winter warming lunch. That lovely feeling of being not too full, but very satisfied. And not too bad for £36 a head.
The two behind the eatery, Craig and Vikki Wood, first met at university, starting out with a North Queensferry eatery in 2006, before opening the critically acclaimed restaurant in Edinburgh’s New Town in 2016.
Speaking to co-owner Vikki Wood, she said the pair have a very clear goal, they aim to “build a restaurant where people come to enjoy the food on any day of the week and not just on a special occasion.” After our visit, this is a target they have very much achieved.
After a quick chat with the lovely Kirsty on where we can find the best whisky and open-fire place combination in Edinburgh, we head back out into the freezing conditions – a task now made very easy with our stomachs full, ready to face the day.
Charming, classy and made to feel right at home, we’d recommend The Wee Restaurant all year round without hesitation. We’re already looking forward to what the summer menu has to offer.
The Wee Restaurant, 61 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH, Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)131 225 7983
The restaurant is located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town and just a short two-minute walk from Princes Street. It is open Tuesday to Friday for lunch from midday to 3:45pm (Last orders at 2:00pm); Dinner from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Saturday from midday to 9:30pm. Sunday lunch from midday to 3:45pm (last orders at 2:00pm); Dinner from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Closed all day Monday.
Type of Restaurant: Informal Fine Dining Scottish Bistro
Price Range: Medium
Insider Tip: Grab a table by the window and order the chocolate tart for dessert.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10
Tim Harfield is a PR Executive and Edinburgh-based freelance writer.
Photographs courtesy of The Wee Restaurant