Review: The Huxley, Edinburgh

THE SUMMER SUN was finally shining on this teasingly mild Sunday morning. The expansive Georgian windows at The Huxley combined with the weather make this the perfect spot to watch the world go by.  I’ve enjoyed the odd burger and hot dog here before (and maybe a pint or three), but today was all about breakfast.

The Huxley is one of two restaurants (steakhouse Kyloe being the other) that can be found inside The Rutland Hotel at the west end of Princes Street, the whole package being the flagship venue of the Signature Group.  We reviewed breakfast at Badger & Co., another of their city-centre ventures, last year and were left very impressed with the whole operation.  That has heightened expectations for this sitting.

Let’s chat about service.  Service is a bit like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.  It can elevate an average meal or bring frustration to even the finest food.  I was really impressed by the young team at The Huxley.  I’ve noticed over the past year that young staff on the whole barely know anything about the area surrounding their workplace.  Where is the nearest cash point or bus stop? *Blank look* followed by “I dunno”.  Not here, though.  On entering I asked our server about traffic restrictions, vaguely remembering my brother (he’s a councillor) fighting to stop Sunday charges being introduced.  Our waitress demonstrated sound knowledge of the surrounding streets and was very attentive all morning, as were her colleagues. They all seemed to be trained well and singing from the same song sheet.

I ordered a decent coffee beforehand, and Sarah a tasty raspberry smoothie (£4.50). It was so delicious that I just had to have one.  I particularly liked that it was served at the optimum temperature – not brain freeze cold, not too warm -  to maximise the flavours. 

Under the circumstances, I will always order the full Scottish. Breakfasts like this always remind me of getting up at 7 a.m. when I was still a nipper to make Sunday breakfast for my family. The key to pulling it off is using quality ingredients, especially if the price tag is hovering around the tenner mark. The Huxley’s offering is priced at a competitive £9.50 and I begin by diving in to the two types of sausage – one skinny beef, one chubby pork – both clearly from a trusted butcher.  The black pudding is tasty and well-cooked and the bacon is mildly smoky and doesn’t overpower. Eggs are cooked as you like; in my case, fried, which is executed flawlessly. A full Scottish wouldn’t be a full Scottish without a tattie scone and I’m glad this one isn’t just an oily, hard piece of cardboard.  Finally, there’s a disk of inoffensive haggis that I find a bit mushy but tastes fine.

Sarah ordered the smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs (£8.50) and added bacon for a further £1.85.  This dish is a bit pricey for what it is but that’s fine if it’s perfectly done.  And it was.  My pet hate is ‘ripe’ supermarket avocados that are about as ripe as a bowling ball.  Thankfully, this attempt was bang on the money.  The acid test technique would always be the poached eggs.  They were neat in shape and on cutting achieved a pleasingly oozy centre.  There was a welcome smattering of chilli flakes just to add a little life to a very simple but expertly put together breakfast.

I slump into a bad mood if my food isn’t to my satisfaction and that would have been a terrible waste of a beautiful day.  Fortunately, all aspects of this breakfast shone equally as bright.  The service was highly commendable and the cooking competent. I’d happily eat here again.

Twitter: @TheHuxleyEdin
Address: 1 Rutland Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AE
Phone: (0131) 229 3402

Breakfast is served daily from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Daily menu served from 12 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

The Huxley - The Rutland Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato