Girdy & Birdy had plans that would require a decent amount of walking and energy, so a pitstop at Mimi’s Bakehouse was a necessity.
Birdy: Let’s be real here; neither of us are new to Mimi’s Bakehouse. However, it was our first time visiting here together – which is quite unbelievable when you think about it, considering Girdy’s love of cake!
I suggested we meet at Mimi’s because it happened to be the perfect location for getting to our planned event afterwards, but just the fact it’s Mimi’s was a huge bonus and a total no-brainer for us.
Girdy: Most of my Mimi visits are to the secret hatch at their Granton HQ, although I used to live near the Shore branch. My cake addiction was nowhere in sight back in those days, just as well.
When Birdy suggested Mimi’s on Market Street, I put up no resistance whatsoever, was excited, and, spoiler, the location lived up to my hopes. Edinburgh’s Old Town Mimi’s!
Birdy: I arrived first, and as expected for brunch o’clock on a Saturday, it was pretty busy. Luckily I managed to grab us a decent table – and it was lucky number 13! Girdy was late, so whilst I was waiting, I perused the menu and enjoyed the assemblage of pink, black and white umbrellas on the ceiling. I don’t know if it’s just due to this Mimi’s being literally inside Edinburgh City Art Centre, but there’s an appropriately arty vibe about it – but the cake does kind of steal the show for me.
Girdy: On the way, I had to rescue a small child from Godzilla, a dragon from a Princess, and stop a zombie outbreak, so by the time I got to Table 13, I was pretty tired. Fortunately, the vibe in the bakehouse was busy, fun, busy and sugar-promising.
My main tip is to pay attention to your table number, not rush straight to the cakes and order as quickly as possible. Ahem. Why? Mimi’s staff will ask for your tablet number when you order, and you’ll look dumb if you have to squint across the busy location to try and spy it.
I had in mind a plan before I arrived at Mimi’s, and that was to order my favourite avocado toast with the halloumi, crispy onions and chill flakes – and a cupcake! HOWEVER, whilst I was waiting for Girdy to haul ass across town, I got my head turned by the french toast, bacon and maple syrup most people seemed to be ordering.
Now, Girdy doesn’t know this, but I was a French toast virgin until this day – I don’t know why, I’d just always managed to avoid it for some reason. The idea of fancy toast just didn’t seem like that big a deal to me. BUT THIS?! THIS looked AMAZING. Suddenly I felt like I had an inkling of what I’d been missing all these years.
So, I bravely ordered it, and decided that something so extravagant should probably mean skipping the cake. I felt a pang of jealousy when I later returned from the loos and discovered Girdy eating the exact cake I’d wanted to order – however, after wavering for a second, I remained firm in my no-cake choice. I was later glad I did.
The French toast with bacon and maple syrup was INCREDIBLE. Light, fluffy, just the right amount of syrup, and the bacon was crispy perfection! What a perfect pairing. I washed it down with a latte and a San Pellegrino orange, and although I was starting to feel quite full, I was determined to finish my brunch of champions – and I did! I will definitely go back and order this again.
I had done no research, not even looked at the menu because it was Mimi’s, and I knew what to expect. I would order on impulse and whim. I would try and get protein from something that would pass a main course and then get the biggest and most pretty and/or badass cake I could get.
So I went for a sprinkle-rich cupcake (in honour of the dragon) and a bacon and black pudding (or was it haggis? – squints at the photo) roll (in honour of Godzilla) plus a diet cola as I’m trying to watch the calories.
Both were perfect, although the sprinkled cupcake would hardly be described as a giant cake. I always have cake envy. For every cake I order, I don’t order most cakes, and perhaps I should have gone for the creme egg brownies. It might be the case where there’s no right or no wrong answer.
Birdy: As always, and despite the busyness, Mimi’s was quick and efficient with our order. Everything arrived in a timely manner, and despite Girdy stressing, we had absolutely heaps of time, which meant we could enjoy our brunch without feeling rushed to move on to our next planned event. Thanks, Mimi’s!
Girdy: Each Mimi’s is different. I mean, comparing Market Street to the Granton Hatch is hardly fair on the Hatch. Equally, I think Mimi’s in Corstorphine and Leith are the big two where you can book your tables in advance. Market Street is in a super popular location where you have to fight for a table with tourists with taste or be lucky enough to have a switched-on Bronwen in your life.
The counter service at Market Street is excellent, and no doubt the staff there are thankful if you know your order, table number and aren’t an angry tourist. However, given the setup I can’t recommend it as a solo eater; I don’t see how you can protect your table and order at the counter.
Mimi’s Bakehouse as a place to eat in the city centre
Due to its location inside the City Art Centre, and directly across the street from Edinburgh Waverley Station right in the centre of town, there’s usually a mix of people there for art, impending travel (you might spot some luggage), just for the fun of it!
The Fruitmarket Gallery, is nearby but if you’ve not yet done the Edinburgh Dungeons, then here is your chance! Edinburgh Reviews recommend doing the Dungeons first if you can, so you’re light in the belly, and then going to Mimi’s as a reward afterwards.
This Mimi’s is also within shouting distance of the Royal Mile, Coburg Street and about a dozen Festival locations and the Christmas markets.
Birdy: I really enjoyed my brunch at Mimi’s – French Revolution? Try FRENCH TOAST REVOLATION!!! This was a perfect introduction to French toast for me, and I WILL be having it again. Will I be having cake with it next time? Probably still a nope, although maybe I can get a cake to take away for later next time.
Girdy: I’ll acknowledge that some people find Mimi’s baking too sweet, but I don’t and look at how many times they’ve won baker of the year. I enjoyed the vibe and the food but wished I had more cake. I might try the French Toast as I think Bronwen enjoyed hers.