American-style diner in Leith specialising in chargrilled burgers and steaks. There is also a daily specials menu, a full Sunday breakfast menu and a selection of desserts and ice creams. Seafood and vegetarian options too. in steaks and burgers.
Simple, unpretentious food in a cool, relaxed venue
Reviewed by Neil Broome
Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 7:49am
Diner 7 keeps things simple, playing to its strengths to deliver a no-nonsense menu of crowd-pleasing diner-style favourites in a relaxing setting at very reasonable prices.
When I say simple, I should clarify - there seem to be two kinds of “simple” out there in restaurant-land at the moment.
One is the increasingly tedious mantra of “simple, local ingredients cooked simply” being propagated by supposedly ‘worthy ‘ establishments. Personally, I view this as a bad kind of simple – if I go to a restaurant where the bill might inspire my credit card company to question the validity of the transaction, then I want my food to be mind-bendingly complicated, showing off the chef’s years of training and experience, rather than how intimately acquainted he is with Jeff the artisanal scallop diver. I’m not the Emperor, and nobody’s going to convince me that nudity is the new black.
The second kind of simple is the “Ronseal” kind — does exactly what it says on the tin. A growing breed of cafes, pubs and bistros lifting their game to deliver high-quality, unpretentious food at prices that, in many cases, leave you questioning the sense of cooking at home. Diner 7 definitely falls firmly into this latter category.
The place is pretty unassuming from the outside, but is conveniently located in the burgeoning bar and restaurant hub at the Shore. Inside, it’s laid-back and ‘cool’, with bare wooden floors, local art on whitewashed walls and a hint of Americana that belies the menu’s stock-in-trade, but stops short of the full-on stars-and-stripes bunting style that some grillhouse outfits deem essential.
The printed menu is an uncomplicated affair, primarily made up of a selection of burgers and steaks in different sizes with a choice of the traditional accoutrements, plus a single-page wine list offering a dozen or so reasonably priced bottles (house wine £10.50). This is also bolstered by a pair of chalk boards offering a handful of deserts (£3-4) and daily specials (mains £8.50-11.95), but still both remaining firmly in the realm of familiar comfort food -who can argue with sausage and champ, or a home-made sticky toffee pudding?
My burger (6oz - £10.50, including chips, salad and blue cheese topping), put supposedly premium offerings from the likes of Gourmet Burger Kitchen to shame. The burger itself, which was served ever so slightly pink in the centre, tasted properly beefy and had a lovely soft crumble to its texture, indicating a lack of extraneous binding ingredients, and the bun was toasted to just the right degree to add a slight crunch, without introducing the bitter carbon flavour so often present in griddle-toasted buns. The chunky chips were nicely cooked too, and the portion was more than generous.
In short, the guys at Diner 7 seem to have their formula just right – keep the prices reasonable, the service friendly, the atmosphere easy-going, the food high-quality and uncomplicated, and the menu without pretention – simple!