Monthly Archives: February 2011

Diva does… Dusit Thai

Dusit Thai is far and away the best Thai restaurant I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve been to Dusit too many times to count. Apart from the food which is first-class every aspect of the Dusit experience leaves you feeling warm and glowy.

The welcome from the mainly Thai staff is warm and smiley enough to leave you aglow on the coldest of Edinburgh evenings. Many of the waiters have been there for years and remember us each time we visit.

The restaurant is small and intimate. Some complain the tables are too close together but for me it is perfect. I love it just as it is – cosy, friendly and relaxed with food that makes you go mmmmmm.

On this occasion I visited with six super-fabulous girlfriends to celebrate Laura’s birthday. We decided to take the private room downstairs – a first for me as I’m normally there a deux – and I would certainly recommend it. Up to 8 people can dine there around a round table.

So to the food… After much deliberation, one of our number suggested we try a selection of starters. Dusit were happy to oblige. It was stupendous and came with all the complementary sauces which provided those mouth-watering finishes touches.

Starting platter at Dusit Thai

Mmmm!

When you go to Dusit you will note the er…  imaginatively named starters. Lady in the Garden (king scallops) is one of my favourites. I’m also quite partial to Two Brothers (king prawns two ways) and A Loving Couple (king prawns and king scallops). If anyone knows of anywhere else with such items on the menu please do let me know.

For main I had Gaeng Massaman – a mild curry with potatoes, onion and crushed peanuts. Oooooh it’s the thing I like most on the menu having tried many dishes on the menu. Rich, creamy and exquisitely flavoursome it really is hard to beat. With this I order the sticky coconut rice. Again a real triumph in taste.

Sorry no pictures.

Both the Gaeng Massaman and the sticky coconut rice were introduced to me some years ago by my husband. He knows what he likes! I would tease him about always choosing the same starter (Run Away Fish aka fish cakes) and same main (Gaeng Massaman with sticky coconut rice) while I in my ‘wisdom’ worked my way through the Dusit menu and tried a variety of delicious dishes. I soon noticed on too many occasions that after I’d tasted his Gaeng Massaman my dish didn’t taste quite as good! I’m now a convert to the Massaman cause.

So a beautiful Thai meal with girls accompanied by lashings of wine. A very well spent £40 including tip. Split about £25 for food and £11 for wine.

If you haven’t been yet, you absolutely must go. And if you’ve already been, well you’ll want to go back.

Remember to book though, even during the week Dusit Thai is often fully booked. And there’s a good reason why it’s so popular: it’s simply the best.

EDINBURGH DIVA RATING: 10/10

Dusit on Urbanspoon

DUSIT THAI
49a Thistle Street, Edinburgh  EH2 1DY

Tel: 0131 220 6846

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Diva does… Ondine

Ondine seafood and fish restaurant has been causing a stir since in opened in September 2009.  This is the first restaurant from award-winning chef Roy Brett and on my hitlist for this year.

I went with my friend Ann who parties with Helen Mirren, travels the world, always looks fabulous and ought to write a book. Ann is a blogger, she writes Capital Adventures about her new life in Edinburgh.

Ondine is nestled between Missoni Hotel and Pizza Express on George IV Bridge. The ground floor entrance leads up to the restaurant which is on the first floor. We choose a table for two with views out to people hurrying by below. The restaurant has beautiful light as there are windows right round on two sides.

We had intended to order from the lunch menu – at £19.95 for 3 courses. However, after perusing the lunch menu we decided to share a the roasted seafood platter from the main menu (£38).

The platter was a seafood lover’s dream with crab, lobster, scallops, mussels, cockles and clams. The garlic butter was divine too. Seafood, bread and garlic butter, I get excited just thinking about it.

Seafood Platter at Ondine

Seafood lover's delight

 It was all beautifully cooked. Scallops are a particular favourite of mine and these served ‘in shell’ were superb. Good seafood is fresh seafood and you could taste the freshness. A real joy to eat. 

Seafood Platter at Ondine

The close up

Afterwards Ann went for a chocolate mousse served with alcohol-infused cherries and hazlenuts. As she says, she would have offered me a taste if only it hadn’t been so very, very, very good. This all said in breathy fashion. You can go off a person…

Chocolate mousse at Ondine

It was very, very, very good

Service was lovely, the restaurant itself is pleasing and the food was fantastic.

So what was the damage, you may be wondering? Those of a nervous disposition please look away now. We shared a bottle of wine, the seafood platter and Ann had a chocolate mousse. We paid £45 each including 10% tip.

Was it worth it? Yes, every penny.

EDINBURGH DIVA RATING: 9/10

Ondine on Urbanspoon

ONDINE
2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD
0131 226 1888

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Diva does… Zanzero

I ought really to have called this post The Diva and The Pilot because I lunched at Zanzero with my favourite pilot.  She’s just about to go off for jet training so was fantastic to see her and catch up on all her news. She’s tall and Danish and beautiful with blonde hair down to her waist. She’s amazing. Oh and have I mentioned she flies planes for a living?! I love her.

My relationship with Zanzero is a little more complicated. We have a love-hate relationship. I love, love, love sitting outside in Summer and enjoying a vino and a bite to eat. I love the simple food beautifully prepared. What can sometimes let Zanzero down though is The Attitude Factor.

Darlings I could give you examples of Staff with Attitude but it feels so petty to write a list of past grievances. Suffice it to say that Staff with Attitude at Zanzero have spoiled some of my previous visits and I haven’t been for a little while.

But when my favourite pilot suggested it, I thought why not give it another go. And I’m so pleased we did. Our waiter couldn’t have been lovelier and we had a super time. So here for your delectation a few pictures…

To start antipasti

Antipasti at Zanzero

Rich flavours

The intensity of the flavours took me back to our holiday in Sienna devouring antipasti and a carafe of wine in glorious sunshine overlooking the beautiful piazza and people-watching.  A very, very good start. Zanzero’s overtures were winning me over.

For main, my friend went for the sea bass (if I recall correctly).

Sea bass at Zanzero

A delicious choice

I went for the burger. In my defence, we were choosing from a limited menu and I didn’t fancy pasta (so why go Italian, I hear you cry!). The burger was OK, not bad but not brilliant, perhaps a bit over-cooked.

Burger at Zanzero

A reasonable burger

We were won over with cakes. I asked for cream and our lovely waiter brought us berry topped cream. Little gestures make a big difference.  

My friend went for the chocolate cake

Chocolate cake at Zanzero

Chocolate heaven

And I went for a lemon fairy cake.

Lemon fairy cake at Zanzero

Moist and sweet with lovely lemony goo

It was particularly good value as my friend had a Groupon voucher for our meal. We enjoyed lunch with prosecco, the perfect accompaniment to a girlie lunch.

So we’re back on Zanzero and I. All is forgiven. We’ve kissed and made up.
Lovely lunch with super service.

EDINBURGH DIVA RATING: 7.5/10

Zanzero on Urbanspoon

ZANZERO
14-16 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh EH3 6SX
0131 220 0333
You can find out more about Zanzero on their blog, on facebook and on twitter

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Diva does… Sygn Bar

Sygn Bar is a local and a favourite with Mr Mac and I for long brunches.

I love the the floor-to-ceiling windows which give great light and allow you to people-watch.  In the Summer these glass doors are opened for a lovely alfresco feel.

Recently we popped in for a bite to eat and got a real treat. Mr Mac went for a steak and cheese burger. It was beautifully cooked, juicy and tender on the inside with unmistakable taste of char-grilling on the outside. It was served with chunky chips that were just SO good. I obviously helped out with these!

Sygn Bar Burger

Mr Mac's beautiful burger

I ordered roast root vegetables. Mouth-wateringly scrummy root chunks roasted with garlic and rosemary served with hummus. I also ordered chicken goujons (not pictured) which were great too.

Roasted root vegetables

Crunchy and delicious

The service is good, the staff are beautiful and the setting feels fresh and contemporary after a recent refit. I love it for lunching and early dining. There is a private dining room for up to 30 diners too.

Evenings at weekends are busy and buzzy, great for cocktails and meeting with friends.

The menu is good value. Mr M’s magnificent burger and chips was £8.50 and my roasted vegetables £4.50.

EDINBURGH DIVA RATING: 8.5/10

Sygn on Urbanspoon

SYGN BAR
15 Charlotte Lane Edinburgh EH2 4QZ
0131 225 6060

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The Heeled Brogue: Love it or hate it?

Hello Lovely Readers

My very important topic today is the heeled brogue. Now these shoes have caused some controversy. It would seem you either love ’em or you hate ’em. For me it was love at first sight. What say you?

Duo Heeled Brogues

Aren't they lovely?

These gorgeous specimens are from Duo, which specialises in knee high boots with wider-than-standard calf sizes. As a thin-calved woman that is not of much interest to me.

As a boat-footed woman (thanks Mum!),  Duo’s wide-fittings are heaven-sent. And what’s more, they’re comfortable. Style and comfort those two words seldom come together when it comes to beautiful shoes.

Duo Heeled Brogues

Are you in love yet?

I like them so much I bought them in black too!

These pictures were taken by Victoria on the day she had news of her new job. Big congratulations to you Victoria! And thanks for the pictures.

Champagne

Champagne to celebrate Victoria's new job. Congratulations!

Pictures taken at The Living Room Edinburgh 

So what say you ladies and gentlemen of the jury? Is the heeled-brogue a style hit or a terrible miss? Leave your comments below.

Diva does… The Spice Pavillion

On Tuesday I spent a hilarity filled evening at The Spice Pavillion with eight witty, wonderful, and decidedly mad friends. Well, you know what they say about birds of a feather!

The Spice Pavillion

Image from thespicepavillion.co.uk

The Spice Pavillion has sleek contemporary decor, great service and superb food. My prawn puri starter was very good. And the lamb main was out of this world; succulent, spicy and full of flavour.

The ambiance is relaxed and service is efficient and friendly. The owner Christina has created a wee gem of a place.

The Spice Pavillion has been open since May 2010 and has had rave reviews. I endorse them. Really loved it.

This post is without mouth-watering pictures as I decided to give my camera the night off. The food is fantastic though and for me, The Spice Pavillion is the best Indian Restaurant in Edinburgh.

THE SPICE PAVILLION
31A Dundas Street
Edinburgh
EH3 6QG
0131 467 5506

EDINBURGH DIVA RATING 9.5/10

The Spice Pavilion on Urbanspoon

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I’d love to hear your comments below
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Diva in the Saddle

Hello Lovely Readers

I was so excited to receive a message from Ged Holmyard at Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative asking me to take part in a photoshoot. What me pose for photos? When do you want me? I’m there!

Yesterday I met up with fellow ‘model’, the lovely Joe Shurgold and super photographer Alex Amato to get the shoot in the bag.

Diva in the Saddle

Diva in the Saddle. Just love this picture and the backdrop. Picture by Alex Amato at Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative*

Check out more pictures below…