Whatever might be the general opinion of Leith and Leith Walk, speaking from a personal experience I have to say that it’s actually a good place to live. The rent is reasonable, communication routes are numerous and there’s plenty of food and drink venues on each side of the long street. I have already reviewed a fair amount of those, but there are still a few that I have been wanting to visit for their very welcoming appearance – and the proximity to my own home, which is always a bonus.
Café Nemrut is a fairly new establishment towards the Foot of the Walk; from the outside it looks rather cosy, with comfy sofas and often a pair of Arab-looking men playing chess, drinking Turkish tea – certainly something to my liking (the atmosphere, rather than the sickly sweet brew). If I hadn’t visited before, it was because of another Arab-style café (Moroccan to be precise) towards the other end of the street, opened sometime before this one – Ecos Café. Once a furniture shop, it kept some of the beautiful cabinets and tables, lamps and pictures still on sale when it was turned into a deli, which worked as a magnet for me one rainy summer morning about two years ago. At the time I had a mocha and some coconut cake; it was an OK start to the day, but the coffee didn’t wow me – hence my skepticism towards Café Nemrut.
Funny enough, this was another rainy morning and yet again I didn’t feel like cooking breakfast at home so I convinced my partner to take a short walk to the nearest deli that would appeal to both of us – which meant the choice was down to me, as I am the more picky one in terms of food. This was a perfect opportunity to visit Nemrut who serve all-day breakfast (OK, it wasn’t exactly morning any more…).
Of course, keeping in mind my experience of Ecos, I wasn’t expecting an amazing coffee, but I was slightly excited to try a Turkish-style breakfast, with feta cheese, salad and – because I forgot to ask for it to be taken off – salami. I really didn’t want to spoil the food by filling up on the brew that arrived early, but I was starving at the point and couldn’t help myself: starting with indulging in the whipped cream, which crowned the coffees because, yet again, I forgot to order them ‘without the cream’; I then took a careful sip of the mocha beneath it, in case it was scalding hot. Not at all – the temperature was perfect, the strength of the coffee just right, and most importantly – the sweetness was just divine. Whether the cream had worked its magic or whether they were using very sweet cocoa, I couldn’t tell – but neither could I stop myself from drinking most of the coffee before the food got served. It might not have had a creamy consistency but it was still smooth and easy on the tongue.
Although the staff are not all Arabic – the waitress seemed more Eastern-European to be frank – and the venue is not as richly decorated as the furniture-shop-tunred-café: Ecos, it still is a lovely place to come in for good food at reasonable prices, or a game of chess over a delicious cup of coffee – although you might need that whipped cream to prove my words true!
Verdict justification: Peaceful and atmospheric venue with a really good coffee. The place to visit when you’re strolling down Leith Walk!