|Verdant pea and ham hough / hock soup.|
Not that Portobello's The Guild of Foresters could be in any way be described as being second rate. Quite the reverse. Nestling at the more bohemian end of Portobello High Street, I have to confess I have been a regular visitor to this smashing bistro/bar since it transformed itself, some 12 months ago, from the traditional boozer that was The Foresters' Arms. And it has been quite a transformation...
|Bread, olive, hummus, oil, Balsamic. Splendid!|
Altogether, it's a very relaxed and inviting space. But two things really prick my interest about "The Guild". In the comfy bar area of the venue, unsurprisingly enough, there is bar. But this is a really great bar with a fantastic array of draft beers - I know of no other pub in Edinburgh that serves Granada's Alhambra sublimely crisp lager on draft. And in the bistro section there is an industrious open kitchen. And how I love to see my food being prepared whilst I sit, cutlery in hand, salivating. As I have said before, it's always a good sign if a venue is brave enough to sport an open kitchen, as any corner cutting or sloppy prep is sure to be noticed by the punters.
|Tempura oysters with wild garlic mayo.|
The specials, which form an expansive and ever changing part of the menu, predominated in my dining party's choice of starters. My eye was caught by the tempura oysters accompanied by a wild garlic mayonnaise. This was a delicious flavour combination, with moreish molluscan chunks encased in a light, crisp batter just begging to be dipped in the rich, but fresh, sauce. I really liked it, but... There was something that sat slightly at odds with the texture combination - maybe it was the spongy firmness of the cooked oysters set against the outer crunch, but it's a minor personal point.