This was my second attempt at dining at The Dogs. The first, a couple years ago, was an unfetted failure with no prior reservation for a 10pm dinner. I had heard about this no nonsense clear cut cooking restaurant that was cheap as chips. The owner I was told was unmoved by restaurant reviewers and critics could well, bugger off. David Ramsden cuts an nice smiling character in his press photos, but woah, has now grown out his beard and his gruffalo reputation precedes him. I have to admit that knowing who he was as he came to our tabel to take our order, not a word. He walked over, and we knew we had to order. What?! Change or mind?? … err… he might just take an axe to your head and there’ll be brains on tomorrow’s menu. let’s just stick with whatever we ordered. We’ll eat, and we’ll be liking it.
Walking into the establishment, you are greeted by two massive stone dogs. As you make your way past the couch in the corner (why’s it even there?), you wind up the stairs to be greeted by antlers and a cute dog in a frame. The dining area is brightly lit through the windows overseeing Hanover St in New Town. Get a table by the windows and you can even wave to the busloads of tourists that course through Edinburgh each day.
The menu is a simple one pager of rustic scottish fare. Crispy pigs ears salad with almonds, sundried tomatos and rocket. Pea and smoked ham hough soup. Soup of the day was a thick lushcious pumpkin soup with toasted pumpkin seeds. Devilled ox liver with camerilised onions, bit of bacon on a tost, all slather in this sweet and sour syrupy reduction. Mussels tossed in fennel and pumpkin, with a touch of chilli.
I had the Cumberland sausage stovies, chunks of meaty juicy sausage with potato halves, onion. Sure, sounds like and looks like my occassional sunday lunch conjoured up form saturday’s bbq leftover. But the combination, the delicious mouthwatering rich sauce enveloping the entire dish was simpky awesome. The chicken and mushroom pie was crusted in a fantastic pastry. Flavourwise it was rather mild, but the chicken breast meat was tender and succulent.
And the damage? Lunch for two, under £25. Take that you tofsy high-wannabed overpayers!