Angelic Tapas from Urban Angel, Hanover Street Edinburgh
This Saturday evening was shaping up to be perfect.
We’d ticket’s to see Puccini’s La Boheme at the Playhouse in Edinburgh and had plans to catch an early dinner beforehand. Nearby Urban Angel was our destination for the first time this year.
Although it’s not a vegetarian outfit, Urban Angel ticks a lot of boxes for us; opened in 2004, the basement cafe/deli has a fair-trade, free-range, organic, local produce policy. The decor is fresh and simple and the owners have managed to retain many of the original features of the building – huge fireplace and polished flagstones for starters. The waitresses are friendly and we have always found the service very quick.
The menu can be a potential nightmare for us if the establishment is not vegetarian – you know how it goes… veggie lasagne or a side portion of fries and salad can often be the only choice, with the proverbial veggie soup made with ham stock – “but it doesny have any meat in it!” offers up the bewildered carnivore…
Urban Angel however proves to be an utter delight, with a huge selection of vegetarian options on the menu, and at least 6 out of the nine specials on the board that night were veggie.
Martin decided on a tapas selection, and I was delighted to join him, selecting 6 tapas between us for only £14, with a side order of exquisite potato wedges and a fantastically peppery rocket salad to share. The tapas included vegetarian haggis pakora (sublime!); lime hummus with pitta; 3 bruschettas (my only complaint – a bit soggy as the topping was over-generous here) with olive pate, tomatoes and garlic and grilled vegetables offered up as one selection; chargrilled artichokes; patatas bravas (always a winner!) and last but certainly not least fried halloumi sticks (simply fantastic)!
The generous portions were just right for us and we felt like we’d sampled a great banquet, without going overboard. Full marks to the chef – the mix of flavours and textures throughout was almost perfect (except for slightly soggy bruschetta). I will definitely be re-visitng that veggie haggis pakora – a fusion of east meets west at its very best!
For those of you who simply can’t go out to dinner without sampling the wine, there is an extensive selection of wines and beers (organic, of course) available, but I’m afraid we can only comment on the green tea, which was generously served in a very well-designed stainless teapot!
We decided against pudding and headed on up to Valvona & Crolla for my favourite indulgence – a ginger beer ice cream float – delicious! My only complaint – they use Schweppes ginger beer from a can. I’m going to contact them and suggest Fentiman’s natural ginger beer in a bottle (see http://www.botanically-brewed-soft-drinks.co.uk/range.php). Now that would be absolutely perfect – with some locally sourced organic vanilla-bean ice cream.
Oh, the Opera? It was great. I managed not to cry, had my first vertigo attack (cheap tickets ;o) ) but managed not to get thrown out for giggling hysterically whilst clutching my chair and praying I wouldn’t fall off! A great production of a tender and romantic Opera, you can catch this one again at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow in May – recommended.
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