The Contini family businesses have always felt like part of my childhood. I regularly used to go to Valvona & Crolla (an Italian deli in Edinburgh) with my dad as a child and I’m sure that is probably where my love of Italian food started. Centotre (now Contini Ristorante), which opened about 10 years ago, has been the scene of many family meals and I would definitely class it as one of my favourite Italian restaurants.
Now that I don’t live in Edinburgh anymore I don’t get to visit as much as I would like. However, last weekend when through visiting my mum and dad we decided to go to lunch at the Scottish Cafe & Restaurant. Situated in the Scottish National Galleries, the Scottish Cafe offers the same great ingredients but, as the name suggests, in the form of Scottish cuisine.
Ingredients are sourced from farms and businesses all over Scotland and, like all the other Contini restaurants, the quality of food shines.
The menu is a good size (as in not massive – a pet peeve of mines is large menus) with a couple of options for each course. It is also seasonal, which I love, and changes regularly to reflect the ingredients in offer. There is a selection of main meals as well as sandwiches and sharing platters. You can also just go in for some tea and coffee, and not to mention some of the lovely looking cakes.
As we were there for lunch we just opted for one course each. Mum and dad went with the carrot and caraway seed soup and the Cullen skink. Delicious flavours in both and very generous portions. The smoked haddock flavour in the Cullen skink was incredible, a perfect dish for a cold, wet, Scottish day.
I opted for the pork belly (above). It was beautifully cooked and just fell apart. It was served with delicious Mayan gold potatoes, creamed kale and a spiced plum. The spiced flavours really worked with the pork and as you can see from the picture it was beautifully presented.
CB can never resist a Christmas meal and opted for the turkey (above). Have you ever seen such a beautiful Christmas dinner? Even I thought it was delicious and it’s normally the meal I dread most in the whole year.
We were all really impressed with the Scottish Cafe and it was evident from four clean plates. Next on my list is the Contini’s newest venture, Cannonball, of which I’ve heard nothing but glowing compliments.
You can find out more about the Scottish Cafe and the other Contini restaurants here.