Middle Eastern promise at Baba, Edinburgh
Carine Seitz is bowled over by BABA...
Located within The Principal Charlotte Square, BABA offers a bold menu of Eastern Mediterranean mezze dining. Our eagerly-anticipated visit lived up to expectations – drinks, food and service are all brilliant.
Olive Oil Negroni, £9, and cauliflower fritters, zhug and crème fraîche, £3.50, whet our appetites; and our selection of eight dips including beetroot hummus; whipped feta and hazelnut dukkah; labneh, cherry tomatoes and harissa, and babaganoush with pomegranate and mint, served with hot pitta straight from the grill, £17 for all, were an assortment of extraordinarily good authentic flavours from the Levantine region, and beautifully presented.
Mains featured intensely flavourful squid with merguez sausage and salmorejo, £9.50; tangy ptitim (giant cous cous), preserved lemon and harissa, £4, and smoky chicken shawarma, grilled over hot coals and served with hummus, harissa tomatoes, garlic tahini and pitta, £9.50.
Excellent desserts include homemade ice cream (cardamom coffee, and tahini, were both standouts); and an olive oil cake to die for. A bottle of Lebanese Blanc de Blanc, Château Ksara, Bekaa Valley, £29, was the perfect accompaniment to our meal, which was rounded off with another excellent cocktail: an Arabiaca Pick-Me-Up: a frozen shot of dark matter Scottish spiced rum & aged semillon raki infused with coffee, £5.
BABA is a very welcome addition to the George Street dining scene and is not-to-be-missed if you like the full flavours of the Middle East. I booked my next visit as soon as we left.
130 George St, EH2 4JZ. Tel: 0131 527 4999, baba.restaurant