Apiary restaurant on Newington road has not long opened its doors. A sister restaurant of the popular Three Birds restaurant in Morningside, Apiary is giving diners in the other end of town the experience to enjoy their rustic homely food and laid back atmosphere. The food on the menu is an exciting take on modern British food; a big bonus is that they do their own in-house smoking, preserving and pickling as well as offering a good range of gluten free and vegetarian dishes.
The restaurant had a very relaxed feel. Fairy lights lit up the fireplace, close to the open bar area dominating the entrance. Instantly we were greeted by a very friendly waitress who showed us to our table.
For starter I had crispy whitebait and baby octopus with red chard and rosemary and tomato dipping sauce. The whitebait was crunchy and tender. Unfortunately the octopus was coated in breadcrumbs that fell of as soon as you tried to cut into it. The octopus was overcooked making it chewy and tough. The dipping sauce however, was the saving grace for this dish. Sweet tomato and earthy rosemary complimented the fish.
Crispy Whitebait and Baby Octopus
My husband ordered Confit duck leg and hoisin terrine, cucumber salad and crispy wontons. Of the two starters this was definitely the favourite. A clever take on Chinese duck. The only criticism was the cucumber salad which was basically just chopped cucumber and watercress without so much as a hint of dressing or seasoning. This seemed like a token gesture as a way of getting some colour on the plate.
For the main event, we ordered a sharing plate for two; The Bird and Beast platter. Initially when we ordered this the waitress moved us to a bigger table. I thought at the time this was perhaps a bit excessive but I was proven wrong! The platter arrived on a wooden board and boy it was a meat feast. First there was the succulent fiery tomato Cajun beef ribs. The meat was plentiful and the bone fell off as soon as we tried lifting them onto our plates. A pulled pork cutlet in breadcrumbs melted in the mouth; Sticky sesame and soy sauce chicken wings were delightful and the star anise ox cheek was tender and delicious. To accompany; fries, mustard slaw and an apple ketchup, which worked perfectly with the pork elements. The last side was BBQ bacon beans. Large chunks of bacon and beans in a smoky BBQ sauce. This dish is certainly not for the light hearted. Between us we had no complaints.
I do not know how we managed but it felt rude not to try deserts! I opted for Banana, honey and custard mess. Slices of banana layered with crunchy pecan toffee crumble, banana and honey crème patissiere, honey drizzle and meringue. Unfortunately it was lacking in honey and the presentation left a lot to be desired.
The other desert was a warm sticky chocolate and bourbon cake. The sauce to cake ratio was not quite right. Too much cake. The star of this dish was the chilli and cola ice cream; what a creation.
Sticky Chocolate and Bourbon Cake
If you are looking for a relaxed friendly restaurant with quality comfort food then the Apiary is ideal. With great lunch and pre theatre offers it is sure to be a hit. I can safely say I will return to Apiary and yes I will be ordering the meat platter again but perhaps not having three courses!
Bill for two: £70 (Including 2 glasses of wine)
Food: Comfort with a twist
Atmosphere: Rustic, homely
Overall: 7/ 10
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat out in Edinburgh check out more of my Edinburgh Restaurant Reviews