City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Bia Bistrot

Average Rating:
Restaurant Photos
Photo of the Edinburgh restaurant
Restaurant profile
Edinburgh Area: 
Morningside, Edinburgh
Serving times: 
Tue - Sat: 12:00-14:00; 17:00-22:00
(0131) 452 8453
Restaurant Established: 

Fresh, seasonal, local, sustainable,homemade food offered at this Irish/French restaurant.

The Reviews


£10 challenge: Excellent food, ethos, service and value - top class

Reviewed by Irene Brown

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 11:22pm

There’s a fine résumé on the back of the menu of this relatively new Irish French restaurant in Colinton Road.  Here it is:

“bia bistrot is a couple run restaurant, Roisin & Matthias Llorente are the chefs behind the stove, where we guarantee you to be as true as possible to our ethos : fresh-seasonal-local-sustainable-homemade.

Roisin is Irish with Scottish parents, Matthias is French with Spanish heritage, and we met in Edinburgh in 2000 and then cooked our way around the world (Switzerland, Singapore, New York…)

bia is Irish Gaelic for food, bistrot is the French way of spelling bistro. It sums up what we want to provide our customers: bistro atmosphere and good food.”

Well, let me tell you from the get go that they certainly attained that goal when my serious foodie lunch chum R. and I ate there.  Her text to tell me she had arrived said that so far it was VERY nice, and of course that was just the décor of plain cream walls, plain dark brown wooden floors and tables and brown leather chairs that created an atmosphere of understated sophistication.

From the choice of 4 starter dishes on the Set Menu R. chose the beetroot tartlet, with Ragstone’s goat cheese.  This was beautifully presented and took the form of a small piece of light herbed pastry, a generous slice of gorgeous goat’s cheese and diced beetroot that was piquant but not at all vinegary.  My choice was Arbroath Smokies with Granny Smith apple and potato salad.

The fish, a real Scottish delicacy, came in delicate flakes served on a mound of potato salad flavoured sharp apple and garnished with delicate rocket fronds. Joy.  We shared a plate of homemade wheaten stout bread, that was dark and lightly boozy, and butter from the Bites menu. With a glass of Sicilian Catarratto, we were off to a great start.

There was also a choice of 4 main dishes and our selection was rather impressively served by the chef himself.  R. chose the coley gratin in a white wine and herb sauce with a dish of sprouts and bacon from the Sides menu to share.  This dish was full of interesting textures and flavours though the sprouts were just a tad too soft for her taste, and she may have a point.  I elected the pork fillet with mash and red wine sauce.  

There were three slim, but ample slices of divine pork fillet, perfect creamy mash with just enough sauce to mop it all up. Perfection on a plate!  I asked if we got lollipops for having cleared our plates which was a bit of a cheap joke to get a sweet taste after such fantastic food, as a pudding would have defeated us, tempting though they were. (Dark chocolate pot, frozen mango parfait and ginger biscuit, ice cream and sorbet selection, Aged Mull cheddar and chutney or Scottish cheeseboard). 

Enough really is as good as a feast. However, coffee was de rigeur, and where better to air my theory that a good espresso should be judged like a good Guinness by the rings of golden foam that rest down the inside of the cup than in a review of an Irish French resto?  This was a top of the range end of meal beverage.

Bia bistrot offers blackboard specials as well as a thoroughly tempting à la carte menu as well as an extensive reasonably priced drinks menu that includes local ales and ciders as well as drinks from the faultless Fentimans range.  A look at the website will show their list of suppliers.  They really put their money where their mouth is. 

As well as the 36 seats upstairs, there is a private dining room available downstairs with 24 seats. They have beautiful perfumed loos (I can only speak for the Ladies – sorry, chaps – but am sure they are equally fragrant.)

The set menu price just squeezes in to the £10 challenge offering 2 courses for £9.50 and 3 courses for £11, but by gum, it is worth it!  This establishment deserves more stars than I have at my disposal. It offers excellent food, ethos, service and value.

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