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The Dogs, Edinburgh – Review

We went to The Dogs last night.  No, not the dog track at Powderhall but the eatery on Hanover Street, Edinburgh. Having enjoyed dinner at ‘Rogue’ we were keen to see what David Ramsden had created for the Edinburgh dining scene this time round.  We arrived upstairs to a bustling restaurant packed with punters all there to enjoy the reasonably priced “gastro pub” food, without the pub. The two rooms are white with minimal decor and furnished with random, odd tables and chairs to give it a bit of a cobbled together kinda feel – reminding me of Pierre Victoire days. We were seated in the back room, which is smaller and therefore I felt pleasant as there was a buzz but our foursome could chat comfortably over dinner.

The menu is short and to the point but a few of the tasty sounding dishes only available if ordered by two people, which was a little disappointing.  David Ramsden is still as quintessentially eccentric as ever, a charming if slightly imposing host.

The menu does take some consideration to find something you “feel like” eating, I eventually chose the Pork Chop, roasted carrots and apple sauce which was cooked nicely although the carrots were rather tired and mushy and there was also a portion of Black Pudding for some reason I couldn’t fathom… which I don’t eat. The Kiwi had Slow Roasted Duck with creamed cabbage which was deemed tasty although the Duck was dry, so in all it was given an “fine, ok”.  My cousin and his partner shared beef rib bone which when asked if it was a good meal for two Mr Ramsden said was an “elegant portion for two”… hmmm, not so much elegant but a rather mean meal for two, especially for the price of that course! When David was asked if certain courses were good we were informed that it would not be on the menu if it was not!… of course.

Dogs Dinner

Dogs Dinner

When it came to dessert us girls were concerned chocolate was not represented – when my cousin’s partner enquired about chocolate of Mr Ramsden, he said “do you want chocolate?” to which she said yes… and as if by magic a chocolate dessert was produced!  I tried the date and ale cake with golden syrup cream which was very tasty but an “elegant portion”, the Kiwi had the iced berries with white chocolate sauce which did exactly as it said on the tin, the magicked chocolate dessert was lovely but the cheese was just two pieces of cheddar, with a tasty fig chutney and lovely home made oatcakes – with so many lovely, local cheeses out there that seems a considerable cheese shortfall.

When we booked we were told that they would need the table back at 9.15pm and at 9.20pm David Ramsden arrived with the bill for our table, apologising but reminding us that he needed the table back… all nicely done but to the point, as you would expect of him! I agreed that we had overstayed our agreed welcome and he thanked us for being so nice about it… which was gracious.

For the price point I think you can have a satisfying dining experience here, with homely food served with wit and charm and in a comfortable, easy-going environment.  Quite a change from Rogue, but I am sure it will be a huge success, and why not!

Posted in Restaurant Review.

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