If I was an estate agent (fun fact: I do work in property but I’ve never technically been an estate agent), I would describe Otro as “a restaurant situated in the highly desirable area of the West End; occupying the corner of a delightful Georgian crescent with dual aspect windows bringing an abundance of light into the tastefully decorated dining room which boasts high ceilings and stunning cornicing and period features”. This will hopefully paint you a little picture of how lovely this setting is but doesn’t even do it justice for how nice it is in reality. The newly refurbished restaurant is fresh and welcoming retaining its period charm whilst also feeling modern.
I was invited* to try out their Sunday lunch something which I feel Edinburgh lacks in, thus far I’ve not been terribly impressed with the Sunday roasts I’ve tried so while I was feeling optimistic, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much as they’ve been dashed too often now! However, having seen the likes of Plate Expectations, Little Lady of Leith and Edinburgh Instascran post their pictures of the delights on offer here, I just knew it was going to be good!
The staff were incredibly warm and ensured our satisfaction at all times – including ensuring my meal was entirely dairy free. Rather than being offered one or two dishes, I was told to peruse the menu as normal and they would then enquire with the chef if the dish could be altered to be made dairy free – this was a nice touch as normally it’s just “oh you can have the <insert one meal here>”.
In addition to their Sunday lunch menu, they are also offering a special Christmas lunch menu during December. Both the regular and Christmas lunch deals are incredible value for the quality (and quantity) at £19.95 and £21.00 for two courses or £24.95 and £26.00 for three respectively.
We went in with all intents of having three courses but were pleasantly comfortable after two courses (and by this point had a cranky baby on our hands!) so we had a starter and main course each.
My boyfriend went for the starter I would have chosen was I not dairy free – the wild mushroom arancini. Just look at that cheese pull!
The chef very kindly made a salmon starter up for me with hot smoked salmon and a lemon salad. The salmon was so expertly cooked, it literally melted in the mouth and it was refreshing to have such a light zesty salad to go with it.
We both went for the roast beef – it was Sunday after all and I was hopeful that Otro could redeem Edinburgh’s poor rep for Sunday roasts. I was not disappointed. I need to make a disclaimer here: I’m not really into beef. I have never before enjoyed roast beef. Until now. I will do my usual disclaimer at the end about this review being all my own words yaddy-yaddy-ya-da but I just need to say that although we were invited here free of charge for the purpose of a review – I really, really enjoyed the beef like I never before thought I could.
The beef was accompanied by some duck fat roasties (divine) and fresh green vegetables, soaked in a rich beef gravy. Unfortunately due to my dietary requirements I couldn’t have the Yorkshire pudding but my boyfriend can confirm it was both crispy and light and fluffy. The meat was so tender.
The staff were all charming and the service impeccable it’s no wonder why this place was almost packed to the rafters come 2pm when the Sunday lunchers descended – people of all ages too not just one particular crowd.
Although we didn’t pay on this occasion, I can’t quite believe the value for money – a decent roast can cost you upwards of £16.00 nowadays so you’re essentially getting a starter for a couple of pounds.
We were seriously impressed with our lunch and it was a lunch of firsts for me – the first time I’ve enjoyed olives (they make their own marinade), the first time I’ve really enjoyed salmon and the first time I’ve ever enjoyed roast beef. Superb.
*This meal was complimentary but the compliments come directly from the horse’s mouth and all words, gushings and claims over having never liked roast beef before are entirely true and my own.