Every once in a while, you want to dine out but not stray too far from home.Â For that reason, Redwood Bistro will be manna from Heaven for those living in Corstorphine/Drumbrae and surrounding areas.
Opened around a year ago in a former B&B, Redwood Bistroâ€™s location on Drumbrae Roundabout, is a little unusual, however by the time you are inside and experiencing the cool, contemporary interior, you almost forget about the traffic hurtling by on Glasgow Road.
In fact, Redwood Bistro has an outdoor eating area, which is ideal for teas and coffees with cake, something they are actively promoting.
On the early Autumn Saturday evening we visited however, my dining partner and I were given a window seat indoors with a view of an urban landscape very familiar to us â€“ Tesco car park and PC World.
One of the big selling points of Redwood Bistro is its interior design â€“ Californian-inspired, contemporary and clean. It makes for a refreshing change from fussy restaurants where clutter is the â€œin thingâ€.
Before visiting, I undertook a quick straw poll of south-west Edinburgh residents to find only one couple I knew had already eaten there. They raved about the Spicy Caramel Bacon Popcorn, which is served as a â€œnibbleâ€.
Unfortunately I didnâ€™t share their enthusiasm â€“ it tasted an awful lot like bought sweet popcorn and the bacon was barely detectible.
My courgette fritters starter was what a starter should be â€“ light and enough to awaken the appetite without ruining it. All starters can be main courses, however I would have been a bit disappointed to have this as a main course as it was a little unexciting.
The main courses are reasonably priced at around Â£11-15 each, so dining here wonâ€™t break the budget. My partner enjoyed his hake, although it was a touch on the oily side and served in a bowl so had more of a soup-like quality.
My Asian marinated flank steak with soba noodles and vegetables was satisfying, and the charred edges of the steak delicious, but the final couple of mouthfuls were overwhelmed by the soy-sesame ginger sauce.
Chocolate torte is always a bit of a gamble: much as I love chocolate, it can be too rich in this form. The generous slice served here was enough for two people and was a solid dessert. My partner opted for the chefâ€™s special pear crÃ¨me brulÑe which was the hero of the night. Original, delicious, and just the right balance of flavours, it was gone in 60 seconds.
A big plus point for diners is that special diets are well catered for, from gluten and dairy-free, to vegan and vegetarian. Also, the kids menu is priced incredibly low, with favourites such as mac and cheese sure to go down a treat.
The menu is short with just five mains and five starters/mains, however I think this will work for the local audience popping in for a casual dinner with friends and family once in a while. Iâ€™m not sure that the offering will attract people from further afield, although there is plenty of parking nearby and the sensible prices and convivial surroundings may just entice people to make the journey.
Redwood Bistro, 1 Meadow Place Road, Edinburgh
Tel. 0131 281 2576