255 Leith Walk, Edinburgh
After an excessive few months contemplating how Café Nemrut can still be open considering I don’t believe I have ever seen anyone feasting within its walls, myself and Cake Bot decided it was worth some investigation.
Upon entry my circuits went a bit haywire as – to my surprise – there were other people dining inside. As we were feeling slightly adventurous (I can’t stress slightly enough) we shared a Mezze platter between the two of us, with the promise to the waiter that we would be ordering more a little later. We were met with a plate full of delights that Cake Bot can definitely describe better than my limited-vocabulary self. However, the potato salad with spring onion and egg, and the aubergine and tomato delight – which seemed like a wonderful savoury bastardisation of a Mr Kipling* cake – are too good to omit from mentioning. This was washed down with Turkish coffee which was a simple, but nice, espresso with some exotic ** spices to lift it up a little.
After waiting 10 minutes or so to reorder (the staff were engrossed in a rather exciting game of backgammon***) we received our menus to continue the dining experience. After my original choice had been declined as they had run out, I went for the Kofte kebab as a main course, and Cake Bot ordered pesto chicken couscous. I was met with a plate full of meaty lamb goodness, flatbreads, couscous, a grilled tomato**** and side salad. It did look a little thrown together but it tasted good so I can’t complain a great deal. However, Cake Bot’s chicken couscous had a lot of chicken, not very much couscous, but you know… a lot of meat, with pitta bread on the side.
It wasn’t until I paid and the attendee read the order as ‘one Kofte kebab and one Chicken Kebab’ – promptly correcting himself and stating chicken couscous – that I was illuminated as to why what was presented didn’t sit right in my mind. I didn’t cause a scene or anything a la Michael Douglas in ‘Falling Down’ though, as my programming would not allow me to.
Overall the surroundings were nice enough and the food was tasty, it just wasn’t what we ordered.
*It was exceeding good, surpassing Mr Kipling himself.
**I’m not sure what it was…
***I don’t know how to play backgammon.
**** I’m as confused as you are.
Café Nemrut is a bright and spacious wee eatery specialising in Turkish dishes. With a varied menu of snacks and more substantial fare, there also seems to be a lot of choice for vegetarians, a fish specials board, and a nice array of cakes on the counter. Of course, as mentioned by Beer Bot, I was only feeling slightly adventurous, therefore the thought of baked goods reaching my stomach made me feel a little dizzy and quite panic-stricken. Moving on…
I settled initially for sharing the starter platter Beer Bot talks of, that consisted of Greek salad, feta cheese, a Pacman Ghost-shaped mound of couscous (bearing more resemblance to bulgar wheat in texture), marinated olives, tzaziki, taze fasulye (green beans sautéed in olive oil with tomatoes), a rather tasty aubergine and courgette pie (with some fine-ass pastry) and a spot of arguing over who would get the last of the potato salad – which had not only a good scattering of spring onions added, but a hefty dose of egg. Oh, and bread. Yes. But I left most of that to Beer Bot due to carbohydrate worry, and indecision regarding the next course. Which eventually – after some confusion – turned out to be a nicely seasoned chicken kebab, served again with a small ghost of couscous, grilled peppers and onions, salad, yoghurt dressing and pitta breads.
The main itself was nice enough, just a little lacking in flavour, but considering my problems with eating and food in general, there was little to no guilt. Not too bad.
Finest Hour: That aubergine pie. An overall lack of worry due to the healthiness of the food, a very fancy restroom, and – last but not least – why have we never thought of adding egg to potato salad?
Downsides: The over-enthusiastic server who tried to swipe my Turkish apple tea before it was even halfway finished. Not a wise move. Mind you, it was less apple and more mixed berry…a little confused regarding its identity. Much like my main course, which was supposed to be ‘pesto chicken’.
Ghost Bot liked the aubergine pie and the lamb Kofte, and fact that the staff were taking part in a backgammon tournament, but thought they could have paid more attention to the customers than ‘silly wee discs on a wooden board’.
NOTE: HEDONISM BOT was sadly absent, lying in a gutter off Constitution Street. He apologises for nothing.