All-inclusive holidays are all fine and well, but you sure do get sick of the food eventually (especially when the quality dredges up memories of school dinners). As we sipped on our 42nd Mojito Royale on the Sun loungers we’d got up early to claim (is 10:30 early?), we discussed at length where we’d be eating as soon as we returned to Edinburgh.
We were both craving flavours, the one thing our all-inclusive break didn’t seem to include. Everything was so damn bland. Even the flies didn’t stay on the food that long. I realise I’m painting a terrible picture, we actually had an amazing break, the service was splendid and most of the meals were edible.
Food became two things on our holiday, firstly it was fuel, something to keep us alive and give us the energy to visit the bar, and secondly, it was a topic of conversation and an exciting reason to return home.
It’s a good thing we had separate seats on the flight home, otherwise, we’d have spent 4 hours debating our first Edinburgh meal even further. Nobody should produce that much drool at 35,000 feet.
We decided on day three of our holiday that we would visit The Shore Bar and Restaurant, somewhere we’d been for drinks in Leith many moons ago, but never for food. What a mistake that was. Not only was the food edible, it was bloomin’ delicious (apologies for the foul language – I’m excited to share this with you).
Within minutes of arriving home, we’d ditched our bags and started running towards The Shore with excitement. Genuinely, we actually ran there – it was our first time out of flip-flops and the longest distance we’d travelled on foot for over a week.
When we arrived at The Shore, we swung the door open and tried to remember how to use the English language with strangers. They got the message. Emergency food was required, food with flavours.
There was bad news. An influx of Leithers meant that it would be 15 minutes before we could order. We’d waited 4 days for this, another 15 minutes wasn’t going to stop us. Plus there was bread to chew on whilst we waited. Bread that wasn’t stale. Bread with a delicious green herb and oil dip, our taste buds didn’t know what hit them.
The bread was followed by a delightfully crispy duck egg, the golden yolk oozed across the plate and smothered the asparagus and chorizo. This is what we’d been missing.
We’d usually share a starter, but this meal was going to be pure indulgence.
Our other starter involved some Tempura Soft Shell Crab with an Asian salad, drizzled with a soy and wasabi dip. Succulent crab, covered in a crispy batter with a flavoursome salad. Lovely stuff.
I had it on good authority that the steaks were fantastic at The Shore Bar and Restaurant. It was. A huge chunk of meat, a little unevenly cooked due to the shape and size, but still tender, juicy and magnificently meaty.
After a week of refusing ‘burgers’ from our holiday buffet (the beer mats looked tastier), I was keen to try The Shore Bar’s burger. It’s the kind of burger you either have to cut, or forgo manners and dive face first into (obviously I opted for the latter).
£15 for a burger is pretty pricey, but you’d need three hands to hold it comfortably and it did come with some chunky chips, super crispy with a fluffy interior. Perfect.
The service was friendly, relaxed and often humorous. We definitely overate, but this was always one of our aims. We’ll almost certainly be back to The Shore Bar, the fish and chips looked pretty tempting, as did the fish pie. The atmosphere in the bar seemed pretty inviting, we would probably have stayed around after dinner if we weren’t both absolutely shattered and in urgent need of a lie-down.
This was everything we could have hoped for after our holiday away from flavours, we’ll be back for Shore.
Our bill came to £78.10, including a bottle of wine, two starters and mains and service.
The Shore Bar, Leith
3 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6QW (0131 553 5080)
Expect hearty meals at The Shore Bar in Leith, with friendly waiting staff and a cosy atmosphere. You're unlikely to pass by the restaurant if you're having a donder around Leith, but we urge you not to overlook this hidden gem.