I had no idea you could have a savoury crumble until I read The Crumbleologist’s menu.
Spoiler: I’ve now had chicken and leek with cheese sauce crumble, which was delicious!
My opportunity to track this mobile van down came when the team became a two-week guest at Edinburgh Street Food. They’re there until the 3rd of December.
The only thing I did wrong was race inside the ESF enclosure at the side of the Omni Centre after pausing to admire the lovely pink neon sign outside. You know the sign and the friendly glow that makes Edinburgh look like a lovely, exciting, contemporary destination.
Why was that a mistake? Well, The Crumbeologist is outside. Thankfully, the weather was mild, and there was a spare seat just by the van.
The Crumbleologist’s food
I went with a large savoury crumble, £13 compared to £8, and wrestled with the three options available today (I imagine the menu changes pretty often) of “Steak Guinness Carrot Onion Gravy”, “Creamy Chicken Leek” or “Mediterranean Grilled Vegetables” and went with the chicken.
I had a cheese sauce and a topping of scallions with that. I also very much recommend the crispy gnocchi crumble toppings!
But I’m happy to report a willpower failure because I also went with an apple crumble with the original recipe custard. That’s more tradition, and it was also great!
If I find myself back before the 3rd of December, I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist the poached plum in mulled wine crumble. How festive does that sound!
Vibe and staff
I think Edinburgh Street Food is worth checking out! Business bestie Birdy and I have TikTok’d it already so you can see it’s busy and loud. I understand why that’ll put some people off, but I’m a bit sensitive to that, and I’ve never had a bad vibe there.
Notably, The Crumbleologist is outside, with more space, fresh air and different biohazards.
There are at least two ways to get your food at ESF. You can walk up to a counter, as I did with The Crumbleologist, or use the QR menu, and I think think you can also ask one of the numerous hospitality staff charging around. The first option means you need a friend to guard a table for you or risk wandering around with your food looking for one, but the second two options mean table service.
As I went to The Crumbleologist van, I met co-founder and head chef Eddie. This dude has cooked for the Scottish rugby team and a Princess; he’s been the head chef at The Lookout and Sous Chef at the Fingal, Scran and Scallie and Tower Restaurant. You don’t do all that if you don’t have a passion for cooking and a tolerance for people!
Eddie was super helpful to me and great to chat with. Frankly, I’ll saunter up and talk inanely about whatever is in my mind (generally digital marketing or tabletop RPGs unless (likely) I’m fixated on the food I’m about to eat), so an encounter with me is never easy, but hey, it makes a good test for the review!
Things to do near the Omni Centre
The St James Quarter is just across the road, with some fantastic shops, some “So expensive that I’ll never shop there” outlets and good food options. This review is going live in what seems to become Black Friday Month / Black Friday Week / All Year of Retail, and so John Lewis attached to the Quarter is likely to be both a visit and busy at the same time.
If you’re really organised, then arrange a trip to Fayre Play across the roundabout. I think that’ll make for a cracking night out.
I was impressed and slightly surprised at how well the chicken crumble worked! Chicken and leek pie is a safely established thing, so should I have been so surprised? The crumble was like that but much lighter because it didn’t have all that pastry.
The traditional sweet crumble was absolutely delicious.
I’ve made a thing about the van being outside, but, of course, you can get a table inside and order your food to the warm place or pop out to the truck and fetch it yourself.
I think The Crumbleologist is good enough that you should bee-line to them if you miss them at ESF and get a chance later at an event.