It’s about a 90-minute walk from my Granton hideaway to Passey’s in Portobello and then the same back, unless I take a different route away from the coast, as that adds significantly to it.
I know because I’ve done the walk several times, often just to go to Passey’s, and I’ll do it again.
My first trip to Passey’s was because someone stole their rainbow Pride flag from outside. If there’s an expression “No good deed goes unpunished, ” I wanted to find the opposite and lend my meagre support to a bullied local business. I’m glad I did.
The domain and website is Passey’s Coffee Company. I’ve bought a bag of coffee here, and it was tasty. But Passey’s is a small restaurant as far as I’m concerned. I think they say cafe bar and bistro.
You can get booze here, but I wouldn’t call it a bar.
So, I’m sticking with indie restaurant, and I’m going to talk about the food because it’s amazing.
- The starters are amazing.
- The main courses are amazing.
- The deserts are amazing.
- Check the specials board. Why? It’s amazing.
I think you might have to struggle to get me through the doors of a place I considered too posh. I’d expect the food to be good, but I’d worry about snooty service and portion size. Passey’s is the opposite of pretentious; they’re so friendly here, and the food is (amazing) of the quality I’d expect at a posh star-chasing restaurant, but I’ve never once had reason to complain about the portions.
Don’t get me wrong; I wish I had more of it, but that’s because it’s (amazing) so tasty. The meals here are generous and precisely the gastro-event to take friends to, enjoy together and have long enough, but not too long, to catch up around while the food lasts.
It’s a range of food too. I’ve had Asian dishes, and I’ve had British. I’ve had gumbo, so what’s that? Cajun. I think gumbo is Cajun.
Menu rotation isn’t science I’ve cracked, and I’m not sure how or when Passey’s does it but to err on caution, I’d recommend checking online before turning up. I think there’s a non-trivial chance that if you’ve not been for a while, your favourite dish from last time will have shuffled off to wait for its return at a future date.
What’s been constant at Passey’s has been the quality and the quantity. Look, both are important to me. I never feel skimped when I visit this Portobello eatery, and that’s undoubtedly the perfect combination with good food?
I think Passey’s serves food they’d want to eat themselves.
Atmosphere and Service
Quick and friendly but not rushed and in-your-face. Perfect.
Portobello is a weird place. I lived there for a year and soaked up the community, but it’s also introspective. For example, check out the Facebook community, and you’ll see a lot of posts from people who want to park their car precisely where they want or moaning about traffic. You’ll also see people thanking others for random acts of kindness and some lovely neighbourhood ideas. Passey’s is the good side of Portobello.
There are about a half-dozen tables in the high street-facing restaurant (or gastropub, bistro, eatery), and they staff accordingly. There’s perhaps a touch of nostalgia, just shy of ye olde worlde, but the furniture is wooden and solid. This is a building you can retreat to in a storm. D&D games could, and should, be played here.
In my experience, you’ll be greeted (once I even had the door opened for me while I was still popping my mask on outside), and quickly shown to your table.
Oh! And book! If the date is important; you know, like the weekend, I recommend booking. It can get busy, but I’ve never seen it overcrowded, not before or after the re-ordering of the tables.
I think you could take large families to Passey’s but not a coach of people. Could you take two large families or three? Perhaps, I’d speak to the owners first to see if tables could be shuffled around and if the kitchen is big enough.
I’m a fan. Passey’s is… amazing. I hope I’ve made that clear. It’s also in Portobello, which is a surmountable challenge for me, and probably keeps my wallet protected from too many repeat visits.
While the service is great, I’m sorry/pleased to say; it’s the food that’s the hero for me. It’s always so impressive. I can’t imagine being anything less than wowed with a Passey’s visit. It’s a dangerously high bar they’ve set.