THERE ALWAYS SEEMS to be a lively atmosphere when you visit Nobles in Leith. The old Victorian building acts as a vessel for an eclectic crowd of both diners and the thirsty alike, with a reputation spread over Edinburgh and beyond.
The opening act for me was saffron and gin cured Scottish salmon for £5.95. It can be difficult to balance the flavours when curing, but this was spot on. The notes of gin enhanced the subtle salmon flavours and cut through the creaminess of a delicious remoulade, with the help of the citrus dressing.
Meanwhile, Sarah tucked into a starter of wild mushroom and goat cheese ravioli with walnuts and a sage beurre noisette (£5.95). The pasta was rolled thinly and stuffed with a decent amount of filling, although it consisted predominantly of the goat cheese, highlighting a distinct lack of mushroom flavour. The butter dressing brought a rich nuttiness to this decent first course.
he haunch was delicious and the earthy sweetness of the carrot puree created a great combo; I particularly enjoyed the apple and almost fruity spice from the sauce. I’m certainly glad I ordered a side of polenta chips (£3.50) because they were cooked to perfection and had a delicious hum of heat from the toasted spices on top.
You can’t fault the ambience at Nobles, though, whether you're dining or just popping in for a drink. It’s spacious, yet cosy at the same time and has a commendable drinks menu too. For now, our evening was nearly at an end as our desserts arrived.
Mine came in the form of meringue kisses with lemon curd, chocolate mint crumb and passion fruit pulp, priced at just under a fiver. The individual elements of this pudding were all well executed and the flavours all worked, and I liked the lemon and mint combo in particular. However, I felt it needed something like an ice cream to bring it together and alleviate the astringency from the chocolate soil.
Sarah ordered hazelnut and Frangelico chocolate terrine with mixed berry marshmallow and Chantilly cream (£4.95). She thoroughly enjoyed the robust raspberry flavour from the ‘mallow, which benefited from not being too sweet, and having a firm texture outside with a wonderfully fluffy interior. The terrine was rich and had a welcome bitterness from the chocolate, while the pistachios added crunch. This pudding was a generous portion, but not so rich that you couldn’t polish it all off.
Good show from Nobles tonight. The standard of food is always consistent and the menu offers a variety of slightly more sophisticated options than your usual pub fayre, while the atmosphere creates a place you’ll definitely find yourself visiting again and again.
0131 629 7215
Mon - Fri: 12:00 pm - 1:00 amSat - Sun: 10:00 am - 1:00 am