Nestled away on Castle Street lies Badger & Co: a Wind & The Willows themed restaurant/bar. The restaurant serves traditional English-country-kitchen style food and I was lucky enough to be invited down to review their lunch time menu. During the week a set menu is offered from 12pm to 3pm at two courses for £10 or three for £13. We visited at 1pm on a Saturday so we had our choice of the full menu. When we arrived the restaurant was busy but not full and we were shown to our seat, near a big window so lots of natural lighting - perfect for food photos!
As I previously said, the restaurant has a Wind & The Willows theme due to the restaurant's location actually being the author's old home. The restaurant has lots of animal paintings on the walls and even a few mounted heads. The taxidermies were decorated with hats, glasses etc which added a certain hipster vibe to the place. The atmosphere was lovely and my flatmate, Rebecca, and I were really impressed from the moment we arrived.
After perusing the menu for a while we settled on our choices and took to admiring the decor. Rebecca went for the wild sautéed mushrooms with toasted brioche, roasted garlic and chervil butter for her starter. I'm not a fan of mushrooms but I even thought that this looked delicious and the smell was amazing too. Rebecca really enjoyed it and even said after just the started that she'd consider coming to Badger & Co for her after graduation meal.
To start, I ordered duck and blood orange pate which came with tiny little gherkins and rye crostini. Duck pate is a favourite of mine and this was no objection to the rule. Delicious! I didn't really think that the toast was enough for the amount of pate that was given but when a waiter noticed I had finished the toast and not the pate he offered to bring me some more. Great service!
For my main course I had the 11oz Aberdeen Angus bavette which was marinated in red wine and served pink. This was the highlight of the whole meal for me. It was delicious. The steak was so tender in the centre but the outside had so much flavour. The little crunchy bits of red onion added a lovely touch to the steak. The triple cooked beef dripping chips on the side were absolutely delicious. They tasted like chippy chips but much less greasy. Sometimes I can take or leave chips but these were definitely a keeper!
Now our flat has some history with pies - don't ask about the steak pie incident - so for our meal there couldn't not be a pie! Rebecca had the game pie. This changes often but on the day that we visited it was steak and venison. The pie was absolutely huge and certainly a generous portion size. Rebecca really enjoyed it and thankfully no shot was found!
The side dish of samphire, asparagus and lemon was amazing. The lemon was really strong and fresh. It complimented the samphire so much. There are a few fish dishes on the menu and I'm sure that this would accompany them so well. That being said - it also went alongside our heavier dishes too and was a nice little pick up.
The dessert was just something else. I opted for the banoffee crumble which really challenged my steak for the highlight of the meal. I've never had banana in a crumble before but it's a genius combination. The bananas were so soft and tasty which really offset the crunchy spiced crumble and candied walnuts. The cream is came served with was infused with nutmeg. This was the perfect - comfort food dessert. It was a lovely end to the meal.
Rebecca had the Gala Apple & Caramel Pie which again was delicious. The base of the pie was made with filo pastry which was light and the top a heavier shortcrust. The combination of both was nice and added a little something special. The apple went lovely with the caramel sauce and the creme anglaise just tied it all together so well. I tried this and it was also lovely. The filo pastry made it a much lighter dish which was appreciated after all the eating we'd been doing!
Overall we really enjoyed our meal at Badger & Co. The food was amazing, the service was great and the really quirky decor made for a really good atmosphere. The classic British menu would be perfect for those visiting Edinburgh or any Brits looking for some classic food. The menu prices are reasonable for the area of Edinburgh and the food is definitely worth the price. It's also very close to the Edinburgh International Book Festival site so if you're heading along to that this would be a nice place to stop for lunch before or after an event.
Badger & Co is located at 32 Castle Street and you can read their full menu here.