I am told that some restaurants create lighting and choose crockery that will show off their food to best effect, all aimed at the Instagram generation. I can’t deny that the visual beauty of my gluten free meal at 83 Hanover Street suggests that the restaurant designers, crockery buyers and chef had this in mind!
The whole restaurant has a beautiful design to it, from the drop-in bar seating which overlooks the kitchen, to the completely stunning plates and bowls, it all looks good. However, it also tastes amazing and the flavours were a revelation.
The menu offers bites and plates – one larger than the other and as this is tapas-style eating, you just pick a range of delicious things and the food comes along as it is ready. On arrival I made it clear, as always, that I am coeliac and as a result the super-friendly, professional and helpful waiter, Pete, sat down with us and talked through the whole menu. I was confident we would be ok in his hands as he checked back with the kitchen and also had good knowledge of ingredients.
Most of the little bites are deep fried, so best avoided as the small kitchen does not have room for a GF-only fryer. However, this was not an issue as pretty much all of the larger plates were gluten free. We enjoyed some fabulous scorched peppers; a completely beautiful and zinging chilli and lime ceviche; some beautifully cooked spicy steak and the most punchy and vibrantly coloured swordfish and chorizo skewers. True to form, I had already spotted these on Instagram!
My gluten eating friend had a couple of additional bites, including some delicious looking pork belly – you’d be ok with this if only gluten intolerant. A couple of glasses of sauvignon blanc and we were well set for a great evening with the most exciting food and vibe.
There was something wonderfully clean about the food at 83 Hanover Street. The flavours are punchy, but there is not too much salt or fat in the meals and we left feeling nicely full, but not uncomfortably so. The meals are super-healthy (obviously, this could be in part because I couldn’t eat the bread or the fried bits!) and the vibe was gave us a brilliant midweek pick-me-up. With colours like these and such great, friendly service, I felt really cheery and happy when I left.
My gluten eating friend and I were glad we had booked – the restaurant was totally packed out and super-busy, so it’s worth it. As with anywhere, highlighting your issues is important, but I felt confident that the super-delicious food was going to be ok for me. Definitely up in my top ten gluten free meals in Edinburgh!