REVIEW: Foundry 39 in Edinburgh
5 months AGOIain Fenwick
Edinburgh has a plethora of fine dining restaurants stretching from east to west and north to south. I eat out probably 150 times a year and I still haven’t managed to get around half of them. Some of you might be thinking wow, that’s wonderful, so much choice! That is true, but you know what, sometimes I just want to eat somewhere without an Amuse Bouche, without a consommé, without anything cured or puréed! Somewhere that I can go and just eat and drink with no frills, but leave having enjoyed my meal and looking forward to going back there again in the near future.Foundry 39 in the west end on Queensferry Street offers exactly that. I have been in Foundry 39 on a few occasions for cocktails, but never for food, so when I was asked to review I had a good idea what to expect.
A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. The Foundry 39 interior reflects that with exposed metal pipes and beams. The space is very open with one half focused on drinking, and the other half eating. It’s comfortable and offers privacy with booths around the perimeter. The menu is simple, breakfast/brunch, pizzas/burgers, snacks/sides and desserts. Not an abundance of choice, but enough to cater for everyone’s tastes.
We decided to share a ‘Snack’ and half a pizza and a burger between us and get a dessert each. I had clocked some food being delivered to their tables and it was fair to say that the portions were on the large side, so we felt this would be ample. We started off with the Nachos - House fried tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, spicy salsa, jalapeños, sour cream and coriander. The tortilla chips were different from anything I had tasted before. They were large and had a nice flavour. They didn’t have the same crunch that your normal tortilla chip has, but it offered something different. The portion was huge and maybe we could have had a few more jalapeños, but that’s just me. It was a good start.
We opted to share the Lamb & Goat’s Cheese Burger (Double chilli & coriander lamb patty, caramelised onions, goat’s cheese, cos lettuce, tomato and harissa yogurt dressing) and the Spiced Lamb & Aubergine Pizza (Pulled marinated spiced lamb, marinated buffalo mozzarella, harissa roasted aubergine, feta and mint pesto). The burger was tasty, I think the only issue I had was that there was too much goat’s cheese for the size of the patty. It over powered the flavour of the lamb, so I took away most of the cheese and it was a much better balance of flavour. The salad and dressing were lovely and fresh, the bun was the right bun for the burger, all in all it was good eating.
I like a nice thin and crispy base on a pizza, Roman or New York, I love them both. That is what you get at Foundry 39, a beautifully crispy base and a good whack of topping. We had gone for a white pizza, so there was no tomato which was different, but it was delicious. The lamb was wonderfully sweet and spicy, the mozzarella covered the whole pizza and the sweet aubergine worked beautifully with the lamb.
To be honest I was pretty full at this point, however in the interest of being thorough we had desserts too. There are only 2 on the menu, so we thought we would share both. They were the Tropical Mess (Roasted pineapple, vanilla ice cream, coconut chocolate bar, meringue, whipped cream and lime) and a Chocolate Donut Mess (Chocolate hazelnut sauce, vanilla ice cream, honeycomb, flake, whipped cream and chocolate covered donuts). I don’t really know where to start. These desserts were designed and created purely for shock and indulgence. How much can we fit into these massive jars, let’s Man VS Food these bad boys and see what people think! It’s ridiculous. I am not going to try and describe the flavour and textures, because that is not the purpose of these desserts, go and have one and you will understand what I am trying to get across. Enough said about the desserts.
Finally, I want to briefly touch on the cocktails. I managed to get through 2 during the meal, the Ginger Bear (Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey, Brugal Añejo 5YO Rum, Cherry Heering, The King’s Ginger, Maple Syrup, Fentiman’s Ginger Beer) and a Blackberry & Cucumber Smash (Hendrick’s Gin, Chase Elderflower Liqueur, Blackberries, Cucumber, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice, Sugar). The cocktails at Foundry 39 are fantastic, good value and there is a cocktail menu that can keep you drinking for hours.
In summary I think it is fair to say that Foundry 39 is a good, safe, go to bar/restaurant. What you get is good and full of flavour. It’s not trying to push the boundaries too far, it knows what it wants to do, and it does it. The pizzas and the burgers are great, and the cocktails are fantastic. The staff are attentive and the whole experience is enjoyable. Will I eat there again? Of course!
FOUNDRY 39: http://foundryproject.com
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