the mercat bar, edinburgh, review

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love brunch. It’s definitely one of my favourite things about the weekend – heading out with my boys to fill my belly with breakfasty goodness, but at a more leisurely afternoon hour!

My “wee” sisters, who are now 12 and 15, were up for the weekend so we hunted on the ‘Dugs n Pubs’ app for somewhere dog friendly that we could take the girls before immersing ourselves in all things Fringe.

The Mercat sits on West Maitland Street, that street that connects Haymarket to the west end of Princes Street.
On the surface, it didn’t look too busy but we were advised there would be a wait (of indeterminate time) for food.

I really need to learn that often when this is the case it’s not worth the wait. Ever the optimists, we said ok, took a seat and waited…for even just the menu or for drinks orders to be taken. Menus provided, we all decided what to go for and waited…a little longer. I went up to the bar, as there is a caveat at the bottom of the menu to say you can do so and as they were busy I thought that would be helpful; I was told then that they would take the order at the table. We waited…some more! The orders were taken and we waited…for over ten minutes just for drinks to be brought over. Anyway, without me continually having to write and then we waited some more, our food took around 1 hour 10 minutes to come out.

Lo, behold, the food. Reassuring the girls, it’s fine it’s here now (my younger little sister has serious hanger issues like me) we proceeded to enthusiastically tuck in.


Seriously? If you can’t poach an egg, don’t put them on the menu. Nevermind have various options for eggs benedict which are always popular options and require multiple egg poaching simultaneously. Also, get rid of the stringy tails, please.

By this point, we’re so hungry that there is no way I am sending my eggs back to have to wait another goodness knows how long for replacements so I ate them, depressingly. Eggs aside, the muffins were dry, the black pudding was a bit heavy for me, but that could be down to personal preference and the hollandaise was average, neither here nor there.

The full breakfasts went down a bit better at our table, the haggis was lovely, the fried eggs more successful than their poached counterparts, the bacon was crispy, the toast toasty but the sausages were overcooked and the tattie scone had has something done to it to make it resemble your toes when you’ve been in the bath too long. The beans were beans, the mushroom a mushroom and the tomato a little undercooked.

For the length of the wait and the lack of quality food and cooking, the service didn’t much make up for it. They were both clearly very stressed out being understaffed for the number of customers they had whilst dealing with a coffee machine that didn’t work on a busy Saturday morning. Their service could have made up for some of the other shortcomings but sadly it didn’t.

We left despondently and headed straight along the road to Café Noir to get that much needed coffee.

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