Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Indigo Yard

A sunny afternoon, and after a lazy hour or two of wandering round town, we needed lunch, a drink or two and a comfy space to lounge about and chat. Cue Indigo Yard: perfectly placed in the west end of the city, it's a stylish bar with an impressive 8 page drinks menu and a wallet-pleasing 2 for 1 deal on main meals. There are different sections within – an outdoor wooden deck; a glass canopied bar with greenery and glowing lights; a dining area with booths and exposed brickwork; and a small mezzanine level. The bar in particular makes the venue stand out – it is airy and the natural light from the glass ceiling lifts the whole space.
We arrived for lunch on one of Edinburgh’s sunnier days and the outdoor deck was full with people enjoying the good weather (though when we left it was predictably grey again) and so we asked to be seated in a booth. Lunch is served from 12-6, with breakfast all day on weekends. There’s a good selection of bistro style lunch options and, with all main dishes under a tenner (aside from an 8oz steak with chips), the 2 for 1 deal is budget friendly. 

We decided on relatively light lunch options: the steak sandwich with onion rings and horseradish (£7.50) and crisp coated chicken with lemon and chilli noodles (£8.95). I was originally going to order the mussels starter in white wine, cream and garlic (£4.95) to share but they had run out. The portions were so large that this was a blessing in disguise. The sandwich I ordered came with fries so there was no need to order sides, however when I go back I will definitely try the zucchini fries with basil mayo (£3.00) which sounds delicious. 

The steak sandwich came in a supersize ciabatta with perfectly cooked minute steak, plenty of lettuce, horseradish and onion rings inside the sandwich. Onion rings inside a sandwich! Along with the skinny fries, it was greasy decadence. A bit more salad would’ve worked here, but it was delicious dripping juicy meaty goodness.
As for the other plate, this seemed like the neverending noodles – it was a huge portion for lunch but was surprisingly light. The chicken pieces was indeed crispy, and peppers and other veg were mixed in with the noodles. The lemon and chilli sauce was the slippy slurpy kind (technical term) that suits udon noodles so well, with fresh chilli. My boyfriend rated it very highly and finished the whole plate, a testament to how good it was (whilst I cannot bear to see uneaten food wasting away on a plate, he just stops eating when full – a happily symbiotic relationship which means I get to sample his leftovers).
As a cocktail lover, their drinks list is one of the big draws of Indigo Yard for me. The list is already impressive with a large range of range of reds and whites (ranging from £16.50 - £37.95 per bottle), 13 types of champagne, a variety of draught and bottled beers, and I’m very happy to see there is a 2 page list of cocktails available. There are mostly the classics to be found with a few specialties such Preston’s Fizz is a mix of vodka, Chamboard and raspberries, with Prosecco to top it off (£7.95), and Pretty in Pink, which sounds as supergirly as you would imagine it to be with muddled strawberries, melon and butterscotch liqueur (£6.95). We opted for the simple summery classics of a mojito (£6.95 or £8.95 with premium rum) and raspberry mule (£7.25, pictured). Both were yummy and very drinkable indeed.
After all of my talk of gut busting portions, you may be surprised that I ordered dessert. There was football to be watched at the time, and looking at the options, my extra dessert tummy kicked in and I couldn’t resist the passion fruit tart with clotted cream (£5.50). My boyfriend, sensibly, ordered a single espresso (£1.70).  The slice was not hugely satisfactory. The passion fruit curd layer was thin and the top of the tart had been bruleed but not particularly thoroughly - there were clots of unburnt sugar sat on the surface. The passion fruit flavour was nice but not enough to rescue it from a poor rating. Next time I would just order another cocktail instead.

Overall though it was a good meal and though the service was somewhat slow it was still attentive, and we left refreshed and ready for a l-o-n-g walk. Indigo Yard isn’t pretentious. It’s the kind of bar I would go to for after work drinks (and it gets very busy with these) and it’s in a great location for post-shopping refreshment. It’s not trying to be a high-end bar for city folk or a fine dining establishment and that’s just fine. This isn’t destination dining but their tasty bistro food and cocktails mean that it’s definitely worth keeping in mind for those lazy weekend afternoons.


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