The Herringbone has a good location at the junction of Ferry Road, South Trinity Road and Goldenacre. I’ve walked past it on numerous occasions and have often been tempted to give it a try. I wish I had done so earlier.
My trip to The Herringbone, the Edinburgh partner to a North Berwick based restaurant (or independent watering hole), was prompted by a hastily arranged need to entertain visitors at the tail end of the lockdown. Therefore, I was very pleased to discover that the website had a booking function.
I nearly missed it, but it’s there. Scroll, squint and look; you should find the link from the homepage. Once into the online booking, you pick your party size, the day and then the system knows what times you can book a table for. It was easy.
The Herringbone’s systems then got me to confirm my attendance the next day or the day before my visit, which I was happy to do so. It was painless, and given the horror stories we’ve been hearing of people booking tables at restaurants and then not turning up despite how hard it is for places to operate during the biosecurity crisis, entirely fair of The Herringbone to ask.
So, far, so good. On the day in question, we got there about 30 minutes early. It’s all due to the challenge of travelling in the city, with people who didn’t know it very well, transport out of whack due to the weekend lockdown and trying to judge walking speed.
On this occasion, being 30 minutes early was no problem. The Herringbone staff didn’t even arch an eyebrow; there was no tssking at our foolishness; they found us a table and looked after us.
Food at The Herringbone
We had the Laksa, with chicken, which was spicy and gorgeous, the Bass Rock salmon burger, a dramatic looking burger with its black and white sesame seeds, and that was delightful, and we also had the Hake with mussel and confit potato vinaigrette, with chargrilled corn.
Simply put, all three of us loved our dishes.
Yes, I was with my parents on one of those last-minute visits, which means you have to arrange entertainment. They are well travelled, have eaten worldwide, and far harsher reviewers than this mere blogger. To impress my folks is quite impressive. The Herringbone, I think, was a significant discovery for them.
It wasn’t just that the food was scrumptious; it was quick and well presented. Sometimes you can tell when good ingredients have been sourced and prepared well, and that’s the sense we all got here. Food came from an expertly managed kitchen, and appropriate diligence was paid.
I flip-flopped on desserts, which is very unusual for me. I shouldn’t have had anything, but I couldn’t resist an affogato in the end. Vanilla ice cream with a shot of expresso to splash over it. I think next time, I might try the house coffee liqueur instead of the expresso.
Well, next time, I might try the sticky toffee pudding!
Service at The Herringbone
I really can’t fault the service. Everyone working there was wearing masks and all good masks. It was already a fairly warm day, too, despite being early lunch and humid with a storm approaching. It’s the sort of day a heavy mask is a pain, but the staff remained stalwart.
While The Herringbone’s team never lurked, never become overbearing or intrusively watchful, they were quick to respond to our needs. It wasn’t hard to get their attention.
The conversion was polite, helpful and friendly. As much as I adored the food, I think the friendliness of the staff is a big lure not just to return but to make the venue a frequent stop for me.
When it was time to pay, the bill came quickly. Thank you. I hate waiting.