The £11.95 2 Course Lunch at Iris

I was super excited to be catching up with ‘Red’ for lunch this week as not only had it been a few months since we last saw each other but she is now positively glowing and well on the path to impending motherhood!

My work’s Xmas party was at Iris last year and ever since I have been meaning to return (in a somewhat less intoxicated disposition) to see if it is as good as it had appeared that day. Nestled in amongst a few other Thistle Street restaurants, with bigger signs or frontages, it is easy to walk past Iris but after this visit I shall find it very hard to do so.

I was a little early but was shown through to the dining area and offered a choice of tables by a very attentive waitress who also furnished me with a menu and a drink (sadly yet sagely a non alcoholic one!). I took the opportunity to soak up the understatedly contemporary decor, the muted colours, sleek lines and quirky prints made me feel quite at home.

The Main menu is a belter, packed full of saliva inducing dishes, starters ranging from £3.90-£5.50 and Mains £9.90-£16.20. However there is a more limited, yet equally as delicious looking Lunch Menu offering 2 Courses for £11.95 or 3 for £14.95. WIN! (a choice of 4 starters, 4 mains & 4 puddings)

Unusually for me (I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth), I glanced across the Sweets and decided to go for a Main and a Pudding, forgoing a tempting Lamb Kibbeh with Guacamole. (? weird! for me) For my Main I opted for the Grilled Sea Bass, served with roast vine tomatoes and pesto and Red went for the Black pudding stuffed roast chicken breast with savoy cabbage and bacon.

As we chatted on and sipped our water, unobtrusive jazz-y music complimented the background ambience and an eagle-eyed waiter, camouflaged round the corner stood on watch ensuring every table was being looked after.

I can’t fault the food, the Sea Bass with pesto was cooked perfectly and is a taste combination I shall be recreating in my own kitchen! The chicken was moist and the black pudding spicy, the cabbage and bacon worked perfectly, lifting the dish well beyond most other Scottish restaurants similar offerings. The fried potatoes a good balancer and the portion sizes spot on.

The dessert, not very often you’ll hear that from me, was a tough choice to make, a plum frangipane, a buckthorn posset and baked fig with a cardammon yogurt all jostled for my attention, the fig winning out after chatting it through with the waiter. Red kindly chose the Plum Frangipane with custard so I could try that too! Again, they were both excellent, the frangipane the lightest I’ve ever tried!

It was a shame to have to finish the meal and return to work, the restaurant lulls you with it’s quiet, comfortable seclusion. The meal was excellent and the service good! I’m pleased to say that in a state of total sobriety it still came out trumps and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. The Lunch Menu is an absolute steal and it feels like the bill should have been so much more! A good 8/10 from us and I can’t wait to return and be able to sample the delights of the robust wine list too!

Iris, 47a Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY. 0131 220 2111

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10 Responses to “The £11.95 2 Course Lunch at Iris”

  1. October 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Hi Nadine
    Another great review. I love Iris too. Scallops an Iris favourite of mine.
    Have you tried Castle Terrace Restaurant, Tom Kitchin’s new place? Pete and I were going to pop in today but I see it’s closed Sunday and Monday. Sounds as though it’d be worth a visit.

    • October 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie! I’ve not tried it yet but would like to at some point, so many restaurants so little time (& money! :o) You’d be very welcome to guest blog it on here if you do go though…….?!

      Funnily enough I’ve just been writing up a blog piece about the show at The Playhouse he was in last week, he came across really well and I was delighted to hear the next day that he had just won the title, Best UK Restaurant, for Kitchin, delighted for him! :o)

  2. October 18, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Nadine, I’m really enjoying your food blog. Perhaps Iris were just having an off night when I went. It was a recommended by a friend and I was looking forward to it. The menu got me really excited. The experience put me off. Our visit went like this: Stale bread heal with hard butter, greasy deep fried calamari rings (not a tentacle in sight), the Langoustines in the shell were delicious but served without a cracker or hand bath (I had to ask for both separately, and was it just me? or did the waiters look say “you really want to eat those?” – the meal also came with stuffed Chicken so perhaps they were meant for decoration only?), the boiled potatoes were hard (I wouldn’t even mention this if I didn’t have such a hate-on for restaurants that don’t include a few boiled potatoes and two stems of asparagus as part of the dish – death to: a la carte side dishes), the service fluctuated between inattentive and overattentive, dessert – literally unmemorable . Paying the bill unfortunately was memorable…our waiter brought over the card reader and took my half of the payment – all was well and we were glad to be leaving. Half way down Thistle street we turned to hear our waiter running after us saying – “excuse me…your payment didn’t go through”. My friend had to leave to catch a bus and I was hauled back to “try again”- how embarrassing. For some reason the card reader didn’t take my payment properly. I am glad he came out after me as I would hate for them to be out of pocket but it was awkward and unnecessary – as he should have known before we left there was an issue. Like I say…perhaps they were having an off night. The problem with a bad experience like this on Thistle street is that there is so many other great choices – I don’t know how I would ever convince myself to go there again.

    • October 18, 2010 at 10:52 am #

      Thanks for your comment Laura, what a shame! I know where you’re coming from though, it’s really hard to revisit somewhere and spend your hard earned cash when you’ve had a bad experience. Customers definitely vote with their feet!

  3. October 18, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    another good blog post Nadine, I like how you take into account the ambience which is so important.
    I think it is going to take you a while to get all the way around Edinburgh! Lots of places to eat!!!

    • October 18, 2010 at 10:55 am #

      Thanks Craig, it’s funny how some of my reviews have actually scored quite respectably despite pretty mediocre food, if the staff were exceptional or the ambience just right it can make a massive difference.
      You’re right, I think it’s going to take me a wee while although, thankfully i have got some guest bloggers lined up as it’s not great on my waistline or my wallet! :o)

  4. October 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Thanks to Nadine kindly allowing me to pick her brain, I had a fantastic night out at Iris on Saturday with my wife and some friends who were staying for the weekend. We were all very impressed by the food and the ambience and wouldn’t hesitate to return.

    As a total aside I realised I had been before, but when it was Monster Mex. I had had dinner with the doctor who had delivered my first born a few hours previously. Somehow seemed appropriate, even if mentioning it here doesn’t!

    • October 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

      Glad it was a good evening Tim!

      As an aside, I too had a (somewhat boozy) lunch in it’s previous incarnation with the (then) Editor of The Drum Magazine which culminated in the waiter smashing a huge jar of flying saucer sweets and us scooping them up and taking them out with us! was very random but a lot of fun!


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