Lioness of Leith – A Roast Post

This post is best served with the music of Husky Rescue, enjoy:

Sundays are your final shot at freedom, you can wallow in dread for the upcoming return to work or you can go all out and enjoy the day through overindulgence and a multitude of meat.

EdinBlogger first started over a glass (or two) of wine and a fairly shocking roast dinner, with our final sip of wine and 100th chew of the disappointing piece of beef we decided to begin our blog by hunting for the best roast dinner Edinburgh had to offer. Up until this point all our roast posts have been fairly average, we can easily rustle up our own roasts at home and had not found a reason to leave the flat for some time.

We were keen to find out if the Lioness of Leith would manage to fulfil our strict criteria for Sunday satisfaction (regarding roasts).

We’ve already reviewed the bar for brunch, but a roast is an entirely different experience and worthy of a separate review. In the Lioness, a whole chicken sets you back £17.50, when we asked if this would be an obscene amount of food for two we were told it would depend how hungry we were. I had my half marathon training as a reliable excuse for overeating, I needed to replenish my chicken reserves and there was no way a half chicken could satisfy these needs. The side dishes were where restraint had to be placed, there was no way we could justify ordering them all so we settled on four:

  • Roast potatoes (of course)
  • Yorkshire puddings (also of course)
  • Roasted carrots
  • Cabbage and bacon

At £3 per side we could already see the bill mounting up, but it seemed like the appropriate amount of food for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Well, here she is…

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When the meal came out our excitement soon became uncontrollable, we couldn’t resist diving face first straight into the chicken. The skin on this badboy was ridiculously good, you hear folk (myself included) raving on about the Colonel’s addictive skin but this was a whole new level. Peeling back this crispy skin was like unwrapping a really juicy Christmas present, what was uncovered was the most succulent chicken ever to grace our gravy.

The sides were all delicious, however the portion sizes were smaller than expected – especially considering each side was the same price. This seemed especially extortionate when it came to the Yorkshire puddings, £3 for two seems incredibly steep. To be fair these were amongst the best yorkies I’d had in a restaurant in Edinburgh, they were so light and crispy – the perfect gravy gatherer. I wondered if there had been four of us would we have been served one each? Surely that’s not how it can work, but you’d certainly be short on sides if you work on the assumption that they can go further than 2 people.

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Upon closer inspection of the cavity we found half a lemon, a heap of herbs and a community of cloves all of which had fulfilled their duty of making this a truly finger licking chicken. The garlic cloves were then ejected and smushed on our plates to enjoy with the final crispy potatoes, truly scrumptious.

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I’m not usually a fan of eating chicken from the bone, but this meat just fell off so easily, it’s almost like it wanted to be eaten. We made light work of the half chicken and vowed to keep our word and leave the other half for later, this led to interesting discussions about where the other half truly began. After a few cheeky mouthfuls of the second half we reluctantly decided to call it a day.

So looking back on this meal we’d say the chicken is really good value, it could easily serve four, but you’d be wise to double up on some sides to make sure everybody gets their own personal Yorkshire pudding and an ample portion of potatoes.

I love cooking, but some Sundays we can spend 3 hours preparing a roast and 10 minutes eating it, then a further hour tidying up (I like to use everything when cooking, sometimes stuff we didn’t even know we had). We’re more than happy to spend a little extra money having a roast prepared for us to avoid losing half our day in the kitchen, squeeze every minute out of Sunday to make it a fun day.

Will we be back to the Lioness of Leith for a roast in the future? Most definitely, this was hands down the best roast we’ve had in Edinburgh and will be moving to the hall of fame shortly after this post goes live.

Our 1/2 chicken (minus a few bites) was then wrapped in foil and placed in a brown paper bag for us to enjoy later, we commended each others restraint and took a stroll home – safe in the knowledge that sandwiches were going to be fantastic…

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And they were!



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