Last week, we were invited to visit Hemingway’s, a brand-new bar and restaurant overlooking The Shore in our old stomping ground, Leith. (It replaces what you may remember as Giuliano’s.)
Hemingway’s offer a menu of cocktails and seasonal small plates from their library-inspired bar and restaurant. Open daily from 11am (10am at weekends) until 1am, Hemingway’s promises to be a stylish hangout for Leithers from morning till night, whether guests are after a casual lunch spot or a lively night out.
Small plates with big flavour
The all-day small plates menu encourages relaxed, social dining, with a range of mouth-watering garden, land and sea plates, as well as flatbreads and sharing planks of charcuterie and antipasti. While they recommend three small plates between two, we decided that to really make a balanced judgement, we should order five…and a flatbread. (Gluttons…!)
Starting from just £4.50 per plate, the menu allows diners to mix and match to create their perfect selection. We opted for Korean Fried Cauliflower with black sesame, gochujang mayo, spring onion; Loch Duart Cured Salmon with seaweed, lime, charred cucumber, and yuzu; Confit Duck Leg with Toulouse sausage and cannellini bean cassoulet; Serrano ham with roast peaches, feta and rosemary and finally, Crispy Fried Bang Bang chicken thigh. Oh, and of course our raclette flatbread with caramelised onion, bacon, potato, sour cream and cornichons. I mean, honestly, there’s really no need for such greed in life….but oh my, it was good.
The Bang Bang chicken was tender, succulent and packed a real punch of chilli. The confit duck just fell off the bone and was rich and hearty, and honestly a big enough portion for a main meal for one person. That’s something I would note about Heminway’s, the dishes are very generously portioned.
The salmon was light and delicate, definitely a nice balancing act to our other much richer dishes.
Flatbreads to impress
The flatbread was absolutely delicious, just as we had imagined it would be. If you decide to visit (and I suggest you do), a flatbread must feature. A nice alternative to all the pizza we have been enjoying recently, the flatbread was indulgent, but light and a brilliant accompaniment to the other sharing plates we had ordered.
Now we did go on to order desserts, but to be honest, this is where the meal was let down a bit for me. Overly chilled, I’d give these a miss next time and focus on the brilliant small plates and flatbreads.
As the name suggests, the venue has been inspired by the great Ernest Hemingway. You’ll even find a delicious Hemingway Daiquiri on the cocktail menu (tucked inside an old novel by the man himself), made with Banks 5 Year Blanco, Pampelle, Luxardo Maraschino, lime and grapefruit mist.
Excitingly, you’ll soon be able to enjoy food and drinks on the new terrace, overlooking the Water of Leith. Set to open this autumn, the picturesque terrace will be transformed to suit each season, with outdoor heating allowing it to be used all year round.
We know we’ll be back soon – we just hope the Bang Bang chicken is still on the menu.
Find them: 1 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6JA