I’ve been to the original Leith Lynx a few times and this new, re-opened, Leith Lynx a few times and rather strangely they feel different. The décor is the same and the cook is the same so the change in ambience is hard to pin down.
When the Leith Lynx re-opened I asked the waitress about the new owners. She explained that the chef from the original Leith Lynx was leasing the building from the owners from the first attempt. I’m pleased to see it back but recognise the effect of the chef being the boss has on key items like the menu.
The Leith Lynx is larger than it looks from the outside and very comfortable on the inside. You can eat properly from one of the padded benches without feeling awkward.
The latest trip to the Leith Lynx came about while looking for a breakfast / brunch place to test. The chalkboard outside proclaimed that the Leith Lynx offered a full Scottish breakfast and so we popped in.
As usual, the place was quiet but not empty and a waitress met us quickly.
Over the course of the meal more diners popped in and it actually got quite busy. The Leith Lynx has an odd location on Constitution and although a pessimist might say it’s off the beaten track for tourists or even locals looking for food an optimist would point out that the restaurant is just off Leith Links and the Shore.
The location may explain why I often see a pushchair in the building when I peak through the front doors. On this occasion, the brunch test, we actually had two pushchairs turn up. Fortunately there was not much screaming.
Allowing pushchairs and offering breakfasts are, no doubt, part of the strategy to keep the money coming in. Both feel like necessary ideas however, I do feel that the Leith Lynx wants to be an upmarket restaurant. This is not a pub that sells food. This is a restaurant.
I wonder if the desire to be upmarket resulted in our great Scottish breakfast debate. For our brunch solution, I went for slow cooked beef brisket and my dining partner took a “pick and mix” approach from the Scottish breakfast option. There was one catch – no beans.
Do you expect beans with a Scottish breakfast? Wikipedia suggests that Scottish breakfasts have beans. My dining companion was flabbergasted that anywhere could offer the full Scottish but fail to provide beans. To the full credit of the Lynx’s serving staff, not only did they allow us to skip items there were supposed to serve with the breakfast but also went back to the kitchen to check with the chef to see whether beans could be found. They could not.
My beef brisket was very tasty and as appropriately tender as you would hope brisket to be.
I’ve never had a bad meal in the Leith Lynx nor any reason to complain about the service. I tend to favour simpler places over the more stylish and I suspect that’s the only reason I don’t eat at the Leith Lynx more often. It’s not the location – it’s the position. Leith Lynx feels upmarket. That said; it strikes me that the Lynx is the sort of place that could build up a loyal base of diners through some careful social media advertising. I can quite imagine popping in during the festival to find someone famous eating their with their agent.