I’ve been cautious about writing this review in fear of creating a jinx. The Elbe Room is in the corner location between Elbe Street and Salamander Street where The Galley, The Wine Barrel Steakhouse and other brave attempts at commercial success have had a go – and failed. The Elbe Room, though, is still going, has an interesting proposition and great food.
The Wine Barrel Steakhouse had great steaks but you have to imagine it was fairly expensive to run. Imagine the cost of uneaten steaks at the end of the day. The Elbe Room keeps things lovely but simple; it’s a café by day and a pub by night.
That means once the doors open (10am) you can pop into The Elbe Room for snacks and coffee. I think The Elbe Room serves one of the best crispy bacon rolls in all of Edinburgh. On weekends I think you have until 3pm to get in for a brunch bacon roll. They expand the menu for lunch and I wholeheartedly recommend the Malay Chicken Curry. You don’t know what’s available on the special lunch menu until you get there but the static menu includes toasties and burgers.
The range of drinks is pretty good. There’s a few pints on draft; right now Innis & Gunn and Grolsch Blonde and there’s a wide collection of spirits behind the bar.
What makes The Elbe Room attractive in the first place is the quality of food. This is good food, kept simple and cooked very well. If you work or live in Leith and want to invest 180 seconds in walking a little further for lunch or dinner (after 6pm) and trying something new then The Elbe Room should be a no brainer.
What makes The Elbe Room popular in the long term is the vibe. The owners are friendly people who take the time out to make sure you’re happy. If you’re even semi-regular then they’ll start to remember what you like or dislike.
There’s a small group of people I see returning to the venue again and again. It’s a great atmosphere and this group is growing as people learn about the quality and friendliness of the place. Visit over a holiday and that feeling is ramped up. The Christmas decorations were good but the Halloween decorations were amazing.
Live music and karaoke wrap up the end of the day. The corner by the bar is geared up to support small bands playing and open mic nights. It’s not my thing (can’t sing, won’t sing) but I’ve popped in for a drink while it’s going on and the professional singers have been great, the amateurs having a whale of a time and the whole bar in high spirits.
I’m an Elbe Room fan now. I hope it lasts. I’ll keep going back for the bacon rolls if nothing else. Tell a friend. Check their Facebook page for more music event details too.