I love December. All of your friends come out the woodwork and insist to meet up for a “catch-up before Christmas”, which I absolutely adore, however, it does mean I have a LOT of restaurant and bar reviews to get through! Still, it’s a great opportunity to see folks that I haven’t seen in a while, which was the case at the beginning of last month when an old friend and I went for dinner and a blether at The Potting Shed.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Potting Shed as you go in is that the interior is very, very cute. Revolving around an earthy, garden shed style feel, there are lots of quirky little details like old lamps and garden tools hanging from the walls. I fell in love with it instantly.
But things were about to get even better. Recently I’ve been trying to eat vegan where I can, so you can imagine my delight when I noticed there were not one, but two vegan options on the menu! However, my joy quickly subsided when I noticed the first option was ‘hand rolled gnocchi with basil cream and parmesan shavings’. The second “vegan” option also had dairy in it: ‘pumpkin risotto with toasted hazelnut and a parmesan crisp’,
I asked the chap to go and check whether these items were actually vegan and after a quick run to the kitchen, he confirmed indeed they were not they were not. Ho hum. But still, he offered to make the pumpkin risotto vegan for me, which was very much appreciated.
My dining companion, who is not as fussy as I am, went for the gnocchi with basil cream. It was quite a generous portion and but she polished the whole dish off quite happily – and it certainly looked quite tempting from where I was sitting.
Meanwhile, I had the modified pumpkin risotto. As I took pictures before I tucked in (regular protocol for these kind of trips – thank goodness most of my friends have got used it it now!) I noticed that something wasn’t quite right. The dish has been sprinkled with parmesan.
I felt awful for being so awkward but I called the chap over and asked him to fix it. Thankfully he did, and quite quickly too. Less than five minutes and a fresh batch of non-cheesy risotto was at my table.
Once I got the right risotto it was quite nice, and I really enjoyed the added flavour of the toasted hazelnuts. It can be quite a strong flavour depending on the dish, but in this instance it paid off. Just like my dining companion, I quite happily finished off my whole serving.
To finish, we had a couple of cocktails. It was a while ago now, but I think I had Moscow Mule or something similar, while my friend asked for a fun sounding cocktail covered with sweets. Unfortunately the bar at the Potting Shed had no candy to hand, so it was topped with a frozen strawberry instead. Nevertheless, both drinks were thoroughly enjoyed and it was a great way to finish off the meal.
The Potting Shed is a brilliant place to meet up for cocktails. With a varied menu and a really cute interior, I would love to return with friends for a couple of drinks. However, given its mixed reputation for food and its confusing menu labels, I probably won’t return for dinner.
The Potting Shed (website) is at 32 Potterrow, EH8 9BT. You’ll find it near the main complex of Edinburgh University, just across the road from the Potterrow Student Union. To get to it from the city centre, walk up Nicolson Street and turn right up Nicolson Square. Turn left and at the crossroads and you’ll soon see the Potting Shed on your left hand side.