Review: Badger & Co., Edinburgh

A BREAKFAST REVIEW was a first for me and I had heard positive things about Badger & Co. prior to this morning’s visit.  The Signature Pub Group spent a cool £1.35m to give this former office block on Castle Street a swank makeover, and first impressions suggested this was money well spent – but will the food live up to the smart interior design job?

The private dining room
This restaurant come bar (or bar come restaurant) pays homage to Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, who was once housed here, and I’m fortunate enough to get the grand tour from a very professional and efficient waiter, Art.  The beer garden looks a tasty spot to sample a delightful cocktail list and I’m a little bit gutted that it’s only 10:00 a.m. Sampling will thus require another visit.  There is also a private dining space that Art explains can be used for parties, slightly more formal dinners, or even just to watch the footie on the big projector screen and drink a few beers with mates.  It’s a fun-looking space, indeed.

I believe Signature are Scotland’s only remaining independent pub chain and have added Badger & Co. to their other nearby ventures, Element and Copper Blossom, as well as their flagship venue, The Rutland Hotel to name but a few. I’ve always admired their interiors and this space has achieved a cool, spacious vibe that has been very tastefully constructed.  Without waffling on, this lot know what they’re doing. 

I chose ‘The Full Sett’ which came with a lofty price tag of £11, on par with my favourite breakfast spot,  Noble’s.  Expectations were high as a result, so it had better be up there.  What was essentially a full English arrived on a handsome plate sporting bacon from the Border’s, pork sausage, a fried duck egg, a roasted vine tomato, two Portobello mushrooms, toasted rye bread and the house baked beans.  The rich and creamy egg was expertly cooked and provided a fine sauce for the meaty components, both of which were of satisfying quality.  The ‘shrooms brought an earthy nuttiness and were perfectly cooked, while the tomato brought a slight acidity and freshness. The bread was delicious and I appreciated the pre-buttering.  The beans were the standout component for me; they needed a little salt but that tinge of paprika just elevated this from a very good breakfast to an outstanding one.  My only gripe was that the pretty plate wasn’t very practical when it came to eating from it, as it slid around the table when I tried to cut up.

Sarah decided to sample the beans on toast (£5.50) and added poached eggs and sausage for an extra £2 each.  “I don’t know who ended up getting the better end of the deal here, Phil”, proclaimed Art when he delivered our grub. I could see what he was getting at when Sarah’s mound of beans and mushrooms arrived on top of the toast, enhanced by a generous duo of duck eggs and a couple of bangers. £5.50 alone would have represented great value, such was the quality of the dish.  I’m not always mad on mushrooms but in this instance, they were very tasty and respectfully cooked. The extra add-ons created a huge portion that Sarah regretfully couldn’t finish... It would have been rude of me not to help her out in this task.

I couldn’t help but notice a pair of office workers at the table up from us compliment their breakfast and thank Art for his efforts – it’s important to see other diners receive the same high standard of cooking.

The bar was set high at the beginning of this meal but it was met in every way. The outstanding knowledge of the food and exemplary service was matched by excellent cooking and ingredients and, the surroundings were truly a comfy place to dine in. I think I’ll make dinner reservations …

Twitter: @badgerandco

Phone: (0131) 226 5430
Address: 32 Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3HT

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8 a.m. - 1 a.m.

Badger & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato