Soon after retuning from Italy I started a placement in northern parts of Leith – before then I hardly ever found myself in the Shore area; which is a shame, because every time I’m there it is as charming as it was the first time I discovered it. Tucked away in the not so reputable neighbourhood, this area is a culinary heaven, with two Michelin star restaurants in close proximity and an abundance of cafes and atmospheric pubs.
That particular time I went to the Shore, although it wasn’t on the way, but I’ve been wanting to visit one of those cafes that had caught my eye last time I was rushing past it. I actually didn’t remember what I liked so much about it; but it proved to be all that I needed that afternoon.
After a two hour session at the Victoria Swim Centre (which is a lot for a person who’d not been at a gym for years, you have to admit), I was craving a good, healthy lunch, and a sweet coffee to crown the afternoon. Making my way past the likes of Martin Wishart’s and Pizza Express I reached Patisserie Marmalade – my post-workout haven.
I am so glad I made the decision and the rather long walk, considering my rumbling stomach and trembling muscles, because I discovered a gem of a deli. With their selection of sandwich and salad ingredients one can compose their own lunch just the way they want it. I asked for a tuna wrap with cheese and salad, toasted, and was utterly satisfied – especially considering the price of £2.50 for this rather ample lunch.
And coffee? I wouldn’t have expected much for £1.70 mocha. Also, when I saw Matthew Algie on the cup, I was surprised, but then had mixed feelings – due to mixed experiences. Although I heard good things about the Glasgow roaster and barista training centre, my request to see the process with my own eyes was declined; but the mixed feelings come rather from the mochas I have tasted made by their trainees – with fluctuating outcomes. The first sip of this mocha was also worrying: the coffee seemed too hot and with a thick layer of foam on top. And yet, despite the high temperature, it was still drinkable, even more so: it turned out to be delicious.
The foam wasn’t dry and frothy as I feared, and it blended well with the rest of the brew; it was wonderfully sweet and smooth. This was one of those scarce times when after downing the cup I was still craving another one – although you could probably partly blame this on muscle craving.
Adding to this, the very friendly and non-problematic service and the fresh, open space indoors, it is certainly a great place that deserves more attention than it is getting. As for me, it became my regular lunch destination whenever I’m around doing my placement – and I never leave disappointed.
Soy mocha: £1.70
Verdict justification: Fresh and yummy food and great coffee at low prices – plus, lovely service. The place has it all!