Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh’

Imperial Palace, 36 Inglis Green Road, Edinburgh, Scotland

Imperial palace outIt was important to find a good restaurant for Mother’s Day. There were various requirements: Mother had to like the food, that excluded Indian, Italian and Mexican restaurants, so Chinese it is. The restaurant had to allow wheel chair access: that ruled out restaurants Kowloon, Rendezvous and Lune Town (reviewed on this site 16 December 2013). However, step forward the Imperial Palace. Imperial Palace inside

The Imperial Palace, 36 Inglis Green Road, Edinburgh, Scotland is very close to one of the main Chinese Supermarkets in Edinburgh and is well frequented by patrons of Chinese heritage. The menu at the Imperial Palace is extensive and interesting. Many of the traditional classic dishes you would espect from a Chinese restaurant sit comfortably beside more unusual offerings including Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce and Tofu and Fresh Fish Head Soup Garnished with Colianders.

imperial palace foodWe were a party of five, Mum, my sister and I and ours husbands. We chose a variety of starters. Mum went with chicken wings, my husband with spare ribs and the rest of us chose vegetarian spring rolls. They were all delicious. Our main courses included Mum’s favourite, sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice, my tofu and vegetables with black bean sauce, my husband’s cantonese style duck and my sister and brother-in-law went with special fried rice, deep fried aubergine,  Singapore Thin Egg Noodles and Mixed Vegetable with Pickled Ginger and Pineapple. We all enjoyed our meals very much. The boys managed desert and my mother was encouraged to a little ice cream.imperial palace food 2

The Imperial Palace allows easy wheelchair access. The table we had was round, giving easy opportunity for everyone to chat. The staff are attentive but not intrusive and there is ample parking nearby. We all had a delicious meal at the Imperial Palace and will certainly use this restaurant again.

Valerie Penny

Olly Bongo’s, 4 Teviot Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 2QZ

christineI met a friend for lunch recently. She works at The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland and suggested that we meet near her work so that I could catch up with her during her lunch break. As I was not familiar with the area, she chose Olly Bongo’s. We were greeted by a friendly waitress on arrival, who gave us a choice of seats. I like getting the option rather than being told where to sit, so that was a good start. The decor was nice with a Mediterranean feel and posters advertising music nights.

We ordered our drinks quickly, but took time choosing lunch from the varied menu. I chose a spinach, tomato and mezzefeta cheese bruchetta while my friend chose a mezze. When our meals arrived, I was amazed by the size of the portions. Our meals were enormous and delicious. The food was freshly prepared and served with a side salad by polite and attentive staff. I certainly could not finish my meal. The portion was so big. However, I did enjoy it very much and my friend finished every crumb. I subsequently discovered that she is such a regular customer she qualifies for a discount!

Access to Olly Bongo’s is easy for those with mobility issues and the cafe is spotlessly clean. We finished our lunch with tea and coffee. Again, it was freshly brewed and outsideserved with individual pots. I had never heard of Olly Bongo’s, but, for the price, it was a real bargain.  This inconspicuous little cafe on the corner of Teviot Place is one of Edinburgh’s fun and quirky places to sit down, have a chat and enjoy a great plate of food. You could easily walk right past it as it does not look like much from the outside. However, if you step through the doors you will get a different impression entirely. I highly recommend Olly Bongo’s.

Valerie Penny


Jimmy Chung’s Chinese Buffet, 17 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1BQ

jcJimmy Chung’s is a restaurant in Edinburgh that provides affordable buffet dining experience for friends and family to enjoy Asian cuisine in Scotland. Jimmy Chung’s have Chinese Buffet Restaurants in Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Inverness in Scotland, and Dublin, Ireland. My friend and I met for lunch at the branch on Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh.

The restaurant offers a buffet meal at a set price for lunch or dinner. Young children are charged a reduced price of £3.00. The restaurant claims to pffer an authentic Chinese cuisine experience presented in a buffet style. It is certainly a buffet, but I have visited China on buffet 2several occasions, and do not consider this authentic Chinese cooking. However, it is very tasty.

Upon arrival, we waited for a member of staff to show us to our table. We ordered drinks. (Of course, these are charged in addition to the meal.) My friend and I were then free to help ourselves to the wide variety of buffet food. I am vegetarian and, even for me there were plenty of choices for buffetboth starters and main courses. I started with a selection of vegetarian spring rolls and onion rings while my friend chose some chicken wings and chicken spring rolls. For main course I have noodles, bean sprouts and steamed vegetables while my friend had sweet and sour pork with rice as we helped ourselves from the delicious starters and main courses. I admit, as it is a buffet, we did go back for more! I then finished buffet 3off my meal from Jimmy Chung’s selection of cakes, jellies and icecreams. There was nothing very Chinese about the puddings. friend did not have any room left, but we did both manage a Chinese tea. I was slightly disappointed that this came from teabags.

However, we both enjoyed a tasty lunch and the service was courteous and attentive. I will certainly be back to Jimmy Chung’s. The meal was very reasonable as, including drinks, it was less than £15.00 a head.

Valerie Penny

MacKenzie’s, 2-4 Bridge Road, Colinton, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH13 0LF

I recently went to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit my Mother. It was lovely to have a few days relaxing, chatting and Mackenzie's outsidecatching up with her. During the visit she hosted a Sunday lunch for us to be joined by friends and family. She chose MacKenzie’s, located in Colinton to the southwest of Edinburgh’s city centre, for the occasion. MacKenzie’s is on Bridge Road and is an intimate cottage-style pub and restaurant serving traditional Scottish cuisine that my Mother found as being very nice. She had been there previously with friends. None of her guests had been there before. I enjoy going to new restaurants to review them, so I was thrilled.

MacKenzie’s looks quaint outside and smart inside. It is named after Henry MacKenzie, an Edinburgh lawyer and writer, who lived in the cottage adjacent to the restaurant in the eighteenth century. He is best known for his novel The Man of Feeling. MacKenzie, was editor of a magazine, The Lounger for a while and wrote an article praising Robert Burns poems in 1786. This enhanced Robert Burns’s reputation in literary circles.

macKenzies insideThe restaurant claims to be child-friendly, although there were no children there during our visit. It is certainly accessible to wheelchair users: that was important to us as my Mother is disabled and has mobility issues. MacKenzie’s also claims to be able to cater for vegetarians and those with gluten-free requirements. I cannot speak to the gluten-free claims, but I have a lot to say about their vegetarian catering. The restaurant specifically boasts a vegetarian selection. That was not true. The vegetarian choice of main course was take it or leave it. This was singularly inadequate and very embarrassing to my mother.

MacKenzie’s had been advised in advance that all my mother’s five guests were vegetarian, including a member of the nationally acclaimed band Broken Records. The Sunday lunch menu, the only menu offered to us, included three vegetarian choices of starter amongst the offerings. They included tomato and red pepper soup. Apparently this was very tasty. The melon fan and tomato and mozzarella salad were also very fresh, but all were singularly broken recordsunimaginative. My mother had a black pudding starter and she did enjoy that.

The entrees were the real issue. There were 8 on the menu. Only one, a roast vegetable tart was suitable for vegetarians. This, not withstanding that the restaurant had been advised of the number of vegetarians in my Mother’s party and its advertisements claim that it caters for vegetarians. The claims do not match my experience. The tart was perfectly pleasant, but again it was a choice that lacked both flair and imagination. My mother had the lamb. She said she enjoyed it, but she ate less than half. The selection of vegetables and potatoes offered was varied, but not plentiful for 6 people. I was still hungry at the end of two courses. That is very unusual for me.

So, five of us had desserts. These are homemade and, apparently, change daily. I had the chocolate and black cherry macKenzies tablecheesecake. It was delicious. Others amongst us had the lemon tart and the creme brulee. We all enjoyed our puddings but some of the portions were very small. We finished the meal with coffee or tea and mints.

Service at MacKenzie’s was very poor. Something was overlooked or forgotten at each course. I also got the impression that some tables contained regular customers. There was clearly more attention paid to these other tables and more pleasantries exchanged. MacKenzie’s will not extend its bank of regular customers if they treat first time guests with the disdain our table received.

While we all really enjoyed the company and the occasion, my Mother did not feel that MacKenzie’s offered her value for money. The menu and service also fell far short of my expectations. I cannot recommend this restaurant. There are too many other restaurants in Edinburgh in this price bracket that offer a more varied menu and better service.

Valerie Penny


Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, Main Road, Luss, Dunbartonshire, G83 8NY, Scotland

My mother came to visit us from Edinburgh, Scotland. She is disabled by mobility issues and cannot get about so well but still enjoys traveling and visiting new places and familiar places she is unable to visit on her own now. After chatting, she mentioned that she liked the village of Luss, so we decided to take our time and go up to the Loch Lomond Arms loch lomondHotel, Main Road, Luss, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Luss is on the west bank of Loch Lomond. It is a pretty conservation village of Luss is situated almost 10 miles south of Tarbert within the Loch Lomond National Park.

This beautiful Loch Lomond hotel remains true to its tradition as an 18th century village inn but with the comfort and facilities of a modern hotel. The hotel has 14 individually designed bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, as well as a weddings and events suite. The newly refurbished Loch Lomond Arms Hotel has one of the best locations of hotels in the Loch Lomond area in the heart of beautiful, historic Luss.

loch lomond armsThe short walk from the car park and entrance to the hotel is on the level. That made it an easy walk for my mother. Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is owned, and now operated, by Luss Estates, the hotel looks forward to establishing itself as one of the friendliest and most affordable hotels on Loch Lomond.

This hotel has a rich and varied history as a hostelry and hotel, welcoming locals and visitors alike for at least two centuries. Indeed, William Wordsworth and his sister

Dorothy are reputed to have stayed during their tour of Scotland in 1803. Naturally, times have, of course, changed. Today the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel has reopened following a significant £4 million refurbishment which will ensure its position at the heart of the community, situated near the banks of Loch Lomond itself. During the recent refurbishment, the mid twentieth-century extension to the rear of the property and the historic main wing of the building have been upgraded throughout with those 14 stylish and room at loch lomondcomfortable new bedrooms, a new restaurant and bar area, and a smart new reception area.

The staff are friendly and helpful and we had lunch in the traditional village pub and restaurant, offering fine Scottish hospitality and fresh, seasonal food. We sat in the bar as the access was easy for my Mum. It is very

much at the heart of the village, a place where locals can catch up on the day’s news and relax. With its warming log fires, rustic furniture  and traditional décor, the bar restaurant is a welcome haven for travelers stopping off on a long journey or hotel guests enjoying special west coast hospitality. The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel is just 24 miles from Glasgow and easily accessible from all over the central belt of Scotland. It is the ideal place to relax all the way from breakfast through to dinner.





We had a delicious lunch. Mum and I shared the appetizer of olives and breads. The breads were varied and fresh: delicious. My husband was tempted by the traditional Scottish fish soup, cullin skink. He thoroughly enjoyed it. For our main course we all chose different things. My husband had scampi, my mother chose belly of pork and I chose a vegetarian wellington dish with salad and a side order of hand made fries. The meals were as tasty as they were varied and we were made to feel like welcome guests throughout our visit. We finished the meal with fresh coffee as none of us had any room for pudding. It was a lovely visit and we all plan to go back the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel soon. I highly recommend it.

Valerie Penny


Happiee Daze,100 Marchmont Road, Marchmont, Edinburgh EH91HR, Scotland

happiee dazeMy friend, Manigeh Hoyland, has always been an amazing cook. I have never been served a bad meal by her. So, when she decided to set up her cafe, Happiee Daze, in Marchmont Road, Edinburgh, Scotland, I was sure it would be a success. Others expressed skepticism citing the number of other eateries in the vicinity. I had no such worries.

It is now 4 years since she established her business and I was right. She serves soup, home made every morning and her range of hot and cold sandwiches, rolls and panini is as delicious as it is varied.

Happiee Daze offers the opportunity to sit in or take away your choice of meal. The range of coffee (with or without flavoured syrup) is wide. Tea is also served! I enjoyed my latte. The coffee beans are freshly ground and the flavour full and smooth. I had a cheese and vegetable panini. It was freshly made in front of me and included a generous portion of cheese as well as vegetables carefully chosen to complement each other. It was delicious. I sat in for my meal. Access is easy for the disabled and those with mobility issues.

I took out a portion of soup and a bacon roll for my mother. The roll contained far more bacon that Mum would usually expect. She was very surprised by that. She also really enjoyed the soup. As she had not been keeping very well, it was good to see her enjoying her food.

It was clear from visiting Happiee Daze that Manigeh has a very loyal clientele. She knows many of them by their happiee mapfirst names and serves many more without them actually ordering! Like wise, she values her customers: each and every one of them. She does not make the same soup every Monday, because she has ladies who come in for soup at the beginning of each week and she does not want to serve them the same soup each time they come. Such mutual value and care is unusual these days. It is nice to see.

I highly recommend Happiee Daze, not only because Manigeh is my good friend, but also because the food is delicious, competitively priced and I am sure you will enjoy a visit to this little cafe. It is a gem.

Valerie Penny

The Salisbury Arms, 58 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh EH16 5AD, Scotland

Many years ago, when I attended the  University of Edinburgh, this pub traded as The Gold Medal because it is near the swimming pool salisburythat was built for the Commonwealth Games when they first came to Scotland, to Edinburgh in 1970. The front of the building faces Queen’s Park. There is outside seating for the smokers in the pub.

Recently, the building has been thoroughly renovated and it serves not only a wide variety of drinks, but also meals. It looks very smart both inside and out. There is ample parking and access is easy for the disabled and those who have mobility problems.

My mother discovered The Salisbury Arms when her friend invited her there for lunch around the time of her birthday. She enjoyed the meal and the company. It is always nice to find a new haunt to visit. So, Mum booked Sunday lunch for herself, me, my sister and my nephew, (who had a few hours off from rehearsing with his band, Broken Records).

On Sundays, the pub serves a variety of Sunday roasts including nut roast for the vegetarians amongst us. The usual menu is also served. My sister and I are vegetarians. The choice for us was not wide and rather uninspired: it revolved largely around cheese, particularly goats cheese. My mother chose the roast pork and my nephew had fish and chips. All the portions were large and we enjoyed our meals well enough, although the vegetables served to my mother looked very dry and the crackling she was under-cooked. The service is courteous, but thoughtless. However, we booked the table ten days in advance and were told we could get a table for no more than 4 people at noon or 3pm. We chose the earlier time but had to vacate the table by 2.30pm.

We arrived promptly at noon, before the doors of the premises had opened. There was one other patron going in atthesalisburyarmsedinburgh-int-content-1 that time. There were no other diners. We were shown to a table for 4 where the sun shone into the eyes of two of our party. While it is lovely to enjoy the sunshine in February in Edinburgh, there were many other tables where we could have enjoyed the sun without it adversely affecting our table. When we left only another 3 tables were in use. I still do not understand the restrictions on booking or the lack of thoughtfulness when we were shown to that particular table.

I was my mother’s guest, therefore I did not complain about the inadequacies of the meal or the service: had I been the hostess, it would have been different. The Salisbury Arms has been beautifully restored. Unfortunately, neither the food nor the service met that beauty. I would not return to this venue by choice, nor can I recommend it.

Valerie Penny