My first day in Edinburgh was far from pleasant, arriving in the back tail of storm Henry, it was windy and very blustery and I didn’t want to ramble too far from my hotel for something memorable to eat. So I was very happy over that I had done booking from already from Sweden. Only 6 min walk from my hotel.
Cafe St Honoré is one of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets. Hidden down a cobbled lane in the heart of Edinburgh”s New Town only a couple of minutes walk from Princes Street, nearly on the corner Frederick St and Thistle St. It’s not a restaurant that you just walk by and like what you see, you have to know where you’re going.
Café St Honoré
34 Thistle St N W Ln,
Phone:0131 226 2211
Head chef; Neil Forbes
Cuisine: French with a Scottish twist – Brittish produce and organic, ££-£££
Neil Forbes was born into a family of chefs. In 2011, Neil was named the Scottish Restaurant Awards ‘Chef of the Year’, he is a member of the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance and his restaurant holds Sustainable Restaurant Association 3-star champion status.
Cafe St Honoré is a very small restaurant with maybe 20-24 seats in total and all tables were taken when I arrived, just before 8 pm. A very inviting and welcoming little restaurant with white linen tablecloths and napkins, wall mirrors and candles.
I knew nothing about Cafe St Honoré, more than it had very good reviews everywhere. because Neil has made a name for himself after I left the UK in 2009, I didn’t know anything about him either, but he surely know how to cook. *smile
Friendly service and very helpful, not a sign of stress and I had plenty of time to enjoy my vodka & tonic. I just hate when the first course arrives before I finished my pre-dinner drink, and it happens at 9 of 10 restaurants.
I went for their 3 courses set menu for £23.50.
Phantassie Organic Carrot & Mellis’ Honey Soup
Ferneycastle Mallard Breast, Braised Leg, Crushed Turnip, Savoy Cabbage & Our Bacon
Vanilla Crème Brulee, Our Million ‘’bere” Shortbread
Wine; Casa Silva, Pinot Noir Reserva
I love soup, but I don’t eat it or make it often enough. This soup is something I will try to make at home, not a carrot lover, but this soup has converted me. *smile
After first had spotted Duck breast on their a la carte menu, I became a bit disappointed when I was told that they didn’t have any left and I didn’t know that Mallard Breast on their special is duck too. Learn something new every day. So that made me go for the menu. Even if I was told that I could mix and match as I wanted between the menus.
The duck was cooked to perfection and the crushed turnips were so tasty, All flavors was so well balanced and nothing took anything away from the main attraction, the duck breast. Duck leg isn’t one of my favorite meats, but the braised leg on my plate was just so tender – it fell to pieces when I touched it with the fork, loved it
Crème Brulee is a dessert I have started enjoying more and more often. My friend, Anna-Liisa’s, favorite dessert and I promised her that if I travel alone and I see it on a menu I will have one for her.
And I’m glad I kept my promise to her. It was heavenly and so smooth with just the perfect caramelized sugar surface that gave that resistant to get into the calories.
The two friendly and pleasant girls that were provided the service were very attentive, but not over the top. Everything about restaurant gave a sense of a warm and comfortable embrace.
Cafe St Honoré is a restaurant I really recommend – it tick all the boxes for a relaxed intimate (even for a lonely dinner) and tasteful evening.
“To be a good cook you have to
have a love of the good,
a love of hard work,
and a love of creating.”