When I think of Spanish cuisine I tend to think of tapas. Rafael’s Bistro provides an alternative to this by producing rustic, hearty dishes, inspired by Chef Rafael Torrubia’s Spanish roots. This basement restaurant situated in Stockbridge Edinburgh is family run and aims to charm diners by making them feel part of the family.
The restaurant itself is very intimate and cosy. When entering the dining area you feel as though you are in someone’s home. The dining tables are dressed in white table cloths which adds to the warm ambiance. We were immediately welcomed and made to feel relaxed.
Instead of a traditional menu, a large blackboard was positioned at the bottom of our table with the menu choices. Chef Rafael came to the table to introduce each dish on the board and was on hand to answer any questions we had. Throughout he was very enthusiastic and passionate which was such a quirky and personal touch.
To start I opted for ‘Pan-fried Morcilla Casera on a bed of Green Lentils’. The lentils were flavoursome and had bite to them which I enjoyed. The black pudding was tasty but I thought it would have had more flavour and overall lacked an everlasting impression. The rich sauce brought the ingredients together.
Pan-fried Morcilla Casera
This was not the case with the main course of ‘Pan fried Merluza served on a bed of Dauphinoise Potato and a White Wine, Tarragon and Lime sauce’. The Merluzza (Hake) flaked as I put my fork through it. It was cooked to perfection. The potatoes were creamy and packed with garlic. The sauce brought the two together but overall the delicate fish was the star of the plate. A dish of simply boiled vegetables were served on the side which, for me, lacked seasoning. Unfortunately the lighting in the restaurant did not make for good photography so I feel that the image below doesn’t do the dish justice.
All the desserts sounded delightful so I went with the waitress’ recommendation of a mango mousse. I was pleasantly surprised at the presentation and all the desserts in our party were beautifully plated. The mousse was light and Moreish. The dish had a perfect balance, both tangy and sweet, and I would definitely order this again.
To finish off, we were given petit fours of salted caramel chocolate. These were frozen bites of chocolate heaven.
Salted Caramel Chocolate
Throughout, the waitresses were very friendly and faultless. Rafael again came out of the kitchen to see us leave and make sure that everything had been ok. Both he and his family’s passion is in abundance and this shines through with great hospitality and good comforting food. With a set price of £27.50 for three courses the experience of Rafael is such great value. It may not be fancy food but it is definitely flavoursome and Rafael’s certainly provides a unique dining experience. I can safely say this is one of the most friendliest and charming restaurants that I have ever been to.
Price: £27.50 for three courses
- Atmosphere - 7/107/10
- Service - 7.5/107.5/10
- Food - 6.5/106.5/10
- Value For Money - 7/107/10