A Lovely Evening at Anfora Wine Bar, Leith, Edinburgh
A couple of weeks ago we headed into Edinburgh to meet with a couple of friends, who we really don’t see enough of. We met at 7pm in Sofis bar in Leith to have a couple of gins before heading to Anfora Wine Bar, a new place that has opened up under the whisky society in Leith. I have been once before just after it opened and had not been disappointed so I was glad to be going again.
We headed over at 8pm for our table to be shown into the dinning room to the left of the bar to be seated immediately, the only people in the room. Jokes were made around the private booking that had been made for the whole room. This was all quite different to my first visit which had seen a very large private party going on in the dinning room with a lot of noise echoing out into the bar area where we had been seated last time.
Although it was great to be able to talk at normal volumes and hear everything everyone was saying (you would think I was nearing OAP, ha), I would say it lacked a little atmosphere in the room.
The menu is quite small which I really like and the lady serving us showed good knowledge of the menu and had a good amount of chat around the menu which was the spring dinner menu below.
We covered two of the starters, 3 of the main courses and 3 of the puddings between the five of us so we got a good feel for the standard of the food and I would definitely say that Anfora Wine Bar has a talented chef designing and delivering the menu.
I do apologise for the standard of the photos for this review – I am going to have to find a much better app for taking pictures on my iPhone (any recommendations would be appreciated).
For starter I had the pan seared scallops, I was overly eager when it arrived and stuck straight in before taking a picture, sorry. The scallops were beautifully sweet and perfectly balanced with the saltyness of the chorizo jam and the micro coriander really packed a hit of flavour – I would eat this starter every day if I had a choice, I really loved it.
The other starter that was tried from the menu was the octopus carpaccio which was explained from our waitress as pressed & cooked octopus and then finely sliced rather than a traditional raw method everyone would think of when they hear ‘carpaccio’. The flavours in this were very delicate and the octopus was held together by a light jelly. I found that the pin peppercorns were a little over powering for the dish but the toasted pinenuts were lovely.
For the mains we covered the slow cooked pork belly – absolutely amazing with a hit of sweetness across the plate sticking the hazelnut crumb down. The meat was amazingly tender and a bit of texture was offered from the super crispy crackling (I avoided the mash although from looking at it I think it was probably more butter than potato).
The braised shoulder of lamb was rich with creamy mash and the weekend special of the beef wellington was the biggest portion of food I have seen for sometime. Both really great too.
The only thing to really say about the mains is around the service and that there was a good couple of minutes between 3 of the main dishes being served and the final two coming out from the kitchen, it didn’t impact on our night but it was noticed and probably something that you would not expect or accept in fine dining venues.
For the dessert course the men all ordered a dish and a couple of extra spoons – it doesn’t count if you don’t order it yourself.
As standard for me, none of them blew me away and I was glad I didn’t order one for myself – always a cheese course for me. Everyone else did enjoy them though so I am sure they were good.
Anfora is a great place to go for a nice meal and you can really tell that the chef has a true passion for food and I am excited to see the next change to the menu.
I would say that there are still a few teething problems to be ironed out around the service but if they get this sorted they could be onto a winner. As well as the delay in the main courses the balance between being tentative and overly from the waiting staff wasn’t quite perfect and I think there is scope for a little improvement.
The bill for 4 starters, 5 mains, 3 desserts, 5 cocktails, 2 bottles of wine and a couple of coffees came to £250
Value – 7/10
Atmosphere 6/10 (only in the little dining room we were in)
Would I go back – Yes
Hope you enjoyed my review & would love to hear what you think of Anfora Wine Bar if you go and try it out based on this review