This Gluten Free Edinburgh review has been a long time coming. I last ate in The Three Birds before coeliac diagnosis and knowing it was significantly gluten free friendly, have been trying to go back ever since. To be in a restaurant on a Sunday night that is both fully booked and twice over, managing two covers during the evening, is a demonstration of what a great place this is.
Guaranteed to make any gluten free eater happy, the restaurant marks what ISN’T gluten free, but indicates that even they have a substitute option. So it is both an understanding place while celebrating gluten free dining that somehow seems effortless. The popularity has spawned a sister restaurant, The Apiary, so now we have double the opportunities to enjoy the menu!
We dined with friends, the purpose being to celebrate a tremendous achievement of one ot them in completing the Tour de Force, a charity cycle which sees amateurs complete the entire route of the Tour de France one week ahead of the proper race. Months of training, weeks of gruelling cycling and lots of money raised for a good cause. A good reason to drink fizz and eat great food.
To the food: we started with a special of scallops and bacon with pine nuts. A little morsel of sweetness with a flowery home cured bacon, this special was worth every bite. Even more delightful was that our server pointed out that I could taste my husband’s shrimp starter as the croutons were gluten free. Unusually, gluten was in the minority here and as the restaurant was clearly filled with happy “normal” diners, it is a superb demonstration of excellent dining without the need for gluten. Happy days.
For a main course two of us shared a seafood platter: beautifully filleted and presented seabass with roasted vegetables, a large pot of crevettes, mussels and clams in garlic cream and a brown paper bag of chips (yes! gluten free chips!). Crusty bread was also on offer. The only tiny disappointment was that the wheat bread was brought on the same board as the fish, leaving crumbs on the side. We just removed it and I ate from the other side of the fish, but given the absolute excellence of this place, I was surprised. However, it did not spoil it as the shellfish was delicious (particularly the crevettes) and the seabass fresh, tasty and rich. My thoughtful husband waited until I was done with dunking into the garlic cream with my gluten free bread and then went for it, finishing off both breads which were declared equally good..
Puddings were also terrific: an After Eight ice cream and an interestingly flavoured Buckie (ie Buckfast Tonic Wine!) panacotta with cola bottles and biscottii. This very odd sounding dish was fresh, unusual, but really good. The flavour of the After Eight ice cream was interesting, though maybe more one for the boys …
Overall I am in love with this place and in awe of the quality of food, gorgeously friendly service, delicious prosecco and just complete love felt by a gluten free diner who didn’t have to worry about anything, but rather just enjoy the quality of the food and the company.