REVIEW: Laila’s Mediterranean Bistro in Edinburgh

over 1 year AGOAdministrator Restaurant Reviews

Sometimes when you visit a restaurant for the first time, especially when it’s on impulse because the sun is shining, and you can eat outside, you simply sit down, order your food and whatever will be will be. Well on Saturday afternoon, we were enjoying a rare day of Edinburgh sunshine, and as we walked past Laila’s on Cockburn Street, we did just that.


Laila’s is part of the Hanam’s Restaurant Group, that includes Hanam’s Middle Eastern Restaurant, Pomegranate Restaurant and the new addition to the family, Souq Restaurant. For those of you familiar with the group, you will know that Hanam’s and Souq are home to the Belly Dancing hot spots in Edinburgh, and having eaten at both this year, I was looking forward to what Laila’s had to offer.


The menu at Laila’s is a blend of the Middle East and Europe, you can enjoy a taste of the Middle East with Baba Ghanoush, Stuffed Vine Leaves or Falafel as an example, or if you are looking for a more European flavour, then there are options such as Grilled Chicken Skewer, Aberdeen Angus Beef Burger or Home Battered Fish & Chips. The menu is extensive and there is certainly enough choice to suit everyone’s palate.


Having just left the Scot Gin Fest in The Caves on Niddry Street, I was a little peckish, so I decided a 3 course lunch was in order… Venison Salami with Rocket & Parmesan Shavings, Laila’s Special Chicken with Chips and Salad and a Carrot Cake to finish.


The Venison was a perfect starter, a very tasty slice of salami, accompanied by a light, fresh salad. The Venison was subtle but with enough flavour to carry through the salad, a very tasty start to warm you up for the main course.


Laila’s Special Chicken is  two boneless chicken fillets, marinated in a Laila’s special spice. I have to be honest, I don’t normally go for chicken when eating out as it is something I cook regularly at home, however, I was sold by our waitress and I am so glad I gave in. The chicken was absolutely delicious, perfectly cooked and packed full of flavour. The juiciness of the chicken, mixed with the blend of spices was quite honestly enough for me to reflect with sadness my own pitiful attempt to create an exciting home equivalent. The skin was left on (hooray!) and the flavours oozed on to the plate. The tenderness of the chicken was a triumph and hats off to the chef for this creation and the execution. Oh, and the chips were lovely and crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside!


At this point I was feeling a little full, and perhaps the carrot cake was a plate too far, however, never one to dodge a dessert I dug in. There is not too much more to say about this. A beautiful light cake that was packed with crunchy walnuts, and a decadent cream that made it impossible not to finish! I was done and in need of a nap, definitely no dinner required!


In summary, Laila’s has it all, quick and friendly service, a menu with much choice and food that delivers in flavour and creativity. I loved it and I cannot wait to go back.


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