Tucked away on Advocates Close, an old Victorian pump house has been transformed into ‘The Devil’s Advocate’. From the same guys behind Bon Vivant, Pep & Fodder and more recently El Cartel, Devil’s Advocate is a bar and kitchen which uses seasonal Scottish produce and aims to provide a modern dining experience. I have been to the bar area for drinks before but had never been to the restaurant for food. On this occasion, I was looking forward to sampling the menu with a friend.
The original stone walls and timber beams create an authentic atmosphere as you enter Devil’s Advocate through the bar area, which boasts an impressive selection of 200 whisky’s. The mezzanine dining area has very soft lighting and dinner candles create a relaxed vibe. There is also the option of outside seating on the decking area under heaters if you prefer. However, I apologise now for my photographs as the candlelight did pose a problem for showcasing the food in all its glory.
The menu is not extensively long; it is one page with approximately 7 starters (some that you could have the option to take as main courses) and 6 main courses.
To start we shared starters of ‘Stornoway Black pudding, Apple, Raisin, Pickled Cauliflower & Watercress’ and ‘Roasted Heritage Beetroot, Bitter Leaves, Goats Cheese, Candied Walnuts & Cider Dressing’.
The Black Pudding was definitely the favoured of the two. The sweetness from the apple and raisins went perfectly with the dominant taste of black pudding. The pickling balanced the dish perfectly and all the flavours married well.
Stornoway Black pudding, Apple, Raisin, Pickled Cauliflower & Watercress
The Beetroot, on the other hand, was ‘ok’. It wasn’t unpleasant by any means but just didn’t leave a lasting impression. The colours were vibrant from the different types of beetroot but it just lacked something. When you did get some walnut and cheese in a mouthful it was a lot tastier but you had to hunt for these. I know Heritage Beetroot is popping up on many restaurant menus but personally I think it is another food trend that always looks better than it tastes.
Roasted Heritage Beetroot, Bitter Leaves, Goats Cheese, Candied Walnuts & Cider Dressing
We both ordered the 7oz Flat Iron Steak, Garlic Purée, Mushrooms, Spinach and Red Onion. This was delicious. The steak, which I ordered medium, was cooked to perfection. It melted in the mouth and was very tender. The garlic puree was not too overpowering and, along with the mushrooms and the charred onion, created a heavenly dish. We also ordered a side portion of chips which were crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle but lacked a touch of seasoning.
Flat Iron Steak
When I booked I was told we would only have the table for 2 hours, which was fine; however, after our main course the plates were taken away. We were then told we only had 15 minutes left at the table but we could have a seat outside. This would not have been an issue but we were not even given the option of seeing the dessert menu. Also, we had waited a while between courses which was no fault of our own.
We did take them up on the option to sit outside but were then asked to go back inside an hour later as guests are not allowed to sit outside after a certain time. Despite all this messing about, the waiting staff had been very attentive and friendly so it is difficult to be too critical.
I was impressed with ‘The Devils Advocate’ and will definitely go back, both for food and for drinks to sample the impressive drinks menu.
Price; Starters £4 – £7 Mains £14 – £19
- Atmosphere - 8/108/10
- Food - 7/107/10
- Service - 8/108/10
- Value for Money - 7/107/10