Patina is a brand-new Art Deco-inspired marble bar, 260-cover restaurant and artisan bakery, not to mention an events space and music venue, situated at Edinburgh Park Central.
In the restaurant, there’s all-day dining in a futuristic, surreal, and filmic interior – that manages to feel nicely spacious rather than warehouse-huge. Patina has been on a phased opening, and we all but dragged ourselves away from the thriving bakery to sample a lunch menu only two weeks into production and still evolving.
We’re glad we did. There is no other way to describe the feast consumed by myself, and my friend, Sandra, except for lavish. And at least half the blame for that goes to Tiffany our lovely server, who kept encouraging us to choose widely (she was curious about the new dishes, she said, so obviously it would have been rude of us not to help her out…) Seriously, the food was a real treat on all levels: ingredients, presentation and taste.
From a menu of Starters, Pastas and Mains, we began with the vegetarian antipasto – artichoke, olives, pecorino and marinated aubergines – and the arancini. The flavours of the former went together very well, the taste fresh and distinct, drizzled with just the right amount of oil. The arancini was a delight, light but with a nice depth of flavour, crisp on the outside – clearly just out of the pan.
Deciding to share a pasta and a main, we opted for Pici Cacio e Pepe, and the Beef Shin Osso Bucco – nothing if not eclectic in our tastes. Having no ear for Italian, the literal translation of pici (a traditional shaped pasta) and cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) was comforting, as was the dish. Rustic, perhaps a little al dente for some, and an intentionally modest portion for a carb-heavy meal.
In contrast, the osso bucco – a first for both of us – was of immense proportions: braised-for-hours meat that fell off the bone in a rich, thick sauce. We might have added a little more salt (both of us like highly seasoned food) but that’s a quibble; it didn’t stop us fighting over who got to take the substantial leftovers home!
Of course we should have stopped there. But this time, our gluttony was Jonathan (aka Jonty) the chef’s fault. He came over, bearing a plate of Amoretti biscuits – the best we’d ever tasted – which meant we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out the desserts. A Treacle Tart, not too sweet with a lemony touch, and a Vanilla Pannacotta, cut through the cream with tart blackberries just about finished us off.
Coffee. Wine. Cocktails. There’s a substantial list for all of them (plus the bread and pastries from the bakery) and it’s all discussed by a staff team whose enthusiasm and welcome is as inviting as the food. Patina has been brought to Edinburgh – literally – by the successful team behind the Kiln in Newcastle, and it’s clear that they have a vision for this new venture, and a commitment to making it work.
This multifunctional venue is intended to be part of Edinburgh West Town’s transformation into community living. It’s on the ground floor of a net zero carbon building, designed with sustainability as key and powered with renewable energy. A concept that sits perfectly with Patina being directly on Edinburgh’s tram and bicycle network – Edinburgh Park Central is closer to Haymarket than Haymarket is to Leith…let that sink in, if you’re unsure of going ‘out of town’ to dine. And using local suppliers as much as possible, there is a 12-month goal of working with the city’s urban farms to compost all food waste.
Highly, highly recommended. I’m already wondering how soon is too soon to return to fill up on those bakery delights.
Lunch Menu: 2 courses £15.50; 3 courses £19.50
Patina: 1 New Park Square, Edinburgh Park, EH12 9GR
Photos from Sandra Oliveira