the apartment, edinburgh, review

Hands up if you love a pub quiz?

Hands up if you love eating?

Hands up if you love drinking?

What if you combined all three? Why no one has thought of this before is beyond me, but the Food & Drink Quiz at The Apartment in Tollcross / Bruntsfield is certainly the first of its kind that I’ve ever seen.

I was kindly invited* along as part of a press table by Charlotte & Joseph PR, headed up by the lovely Jessica who founded the PR company which specialises in hospitality, food and drink. Luckily, she was on our team and her experience in this industry was invaluable for this quiz!

The Apartment is and has been a family run restaurant since 1999, making it, at 18 years old, surely one of the longest standing restaurants that has stayed in the same family in the City? Now run by the sons of the original owners, the quiz was hosted by one of aforementioned sons: Rory Stewart.

I arrived very early and was greeted smilingly and politely by the waiting staff. I very much got the impression that the staff are very customer-centric (as of course they should be) and were very welcoming.

The quiz is hosted once a month; the next one is 30th November at 7.30pm – so there is still time to book! And once you’ve read this post I’m sure you’ll be keen to!

Ostensibly a three course meal with two glasses of wine, the reality was so much more generous. At £25 a head including the quiz, it feels like daylight robbery – us being the perpetrators!

While I was waiting for my team members – Jessica, and the lovely Erica from Foodinburgh – I tried a very nice sauvignon blanc, which was gratefully soaked up by fresh bread on the table and a divine herb oil. I may have remarked afterwards that I could happily bathe in it. No regrets.

After being introduced to our quizmaster for the evening and his assistant Simon from Great Grog – the supplier of the drinks for the evening – we were each given a glass of fizz and asked to guess if it was a Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Spumante or Sparkling Wine; where it was from; what kind of grapes and to answer some fun facts about fizz. I do not profess to be a wine, or any drinks for that matter, connoisseur and so my budget palate wasn’t much use to my team members! This delicious fresh glass of fizz was in fact a very affordable Italian Spumante.

We ate goats cheese and mushroom crostinis to start, followed by a surprise course of tomato and chilli soup, hake with saffron mash accompanied by apples and black pudding and a lemon tart with biscuit to finish.

The star of the show for the night, for me, was the main course: the hake and black pudding combination was excellent and had an almost associative taste of old school fish and chips. Mash so soft and creamy it could almost be a purée.

All of the food for the evening was excellent and I took a peek at their regular menu which is both delicious looking and reasonably priced.

Courses were interspersed with rounds of the quiz – making waiting for the next course far more enjoyable than normal! After our drinks round, there were rounds including intolerances, cookbooks, general knowledge and a beer tasting! By the end of the evening, we’d sampled an Italian Spumante, a white Casa de Cambres, a Geyser Peak Tectonic Red and a Quinta de Alorna dessert wine along with a Japanese craft beer. And our team captain Jessica had a blind taste test of another two wines. All on a school night!

You can by now, I’m sure, understand why I think £25 is such good value. The hosts, Rory and Simon, have a natural rapport which makes for a fun evening – and expect some good humoured food related rants from Simon.

As a food blogger, I have to give props to good lighting in the restaurant too – finally some evening photos that don’t look absolutely horrendous!

I’ll be sure to get swotting and round up a gang to head back and try to get into top place!

If you would like to book a table, please contact The Apartment.

* Although I was invited as part of a press team, all words, material and herb-oil bathing claims are entirely my own.

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