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The offering on the window said “Public House with dining” so we dropped in on the offchance midweek. The bar has a very Scandinavian feel with whitewished pine clad walls, stripped wooden tables and candles in silverbirch logs. We arrived at quarter to eight and were assured of a table in the dining area in ten to twenty minutes.
An hour later we were the only people left in the bar and there was still no sign of the promised table so we agreed to eat where we were. Bereft of fellow diners, blasted by air conditioning, with not even a back to the bench seat, our only point of solace was a provenance map promising mussels from Shetland, Highland lamb shoulder and North Sea fish pie.
At last food arrived. A shared portion of mussels (£12) were piled high enticingly but unfortunately lacked flavour and were overcooked and rubbery.
Jeremy’s lamb hogget (£15) presented as a ball of shredded lamb on a pea and carrot soup and was lukewarm. He had expected the dish to be more substantial so had not ordered “bits and bobs”. My grilled monkfish tail with garlic and herbs (£18) was served so cold that it had to be sent back. Served on a bed of spinach, the fish was overcooked on the bone, very tender but very rich, with garlic oil seeping out to fill the plate. I had ordered potatoes with chorizo (£4.50) to accompany the fish but they were cold by the time the replacement mains arrived. Our shared rhubarb and orange fool cheered us up as the creaminess of the fool was delightfully offset by the tartness of the stewed rhubarb. The bill was £55 excluding drinks which we felt was on the high side and certainly made for an expensive midweek supper. Axel our waiter was excellent in describing the menu, with great knowledge of the provenance of each course and can be congratulated for his good service.
The Scran & Scallie, EH4 1DT
Tel: 0131 332 6281