City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland


Average Rating:
Restaurant Photos
Photo of the Edinburgh restaurant
Restaurant profile
Edinburgh Area: 
Bruntsfield, Edinburgh
Serving times: 
Mon-Fri 12:00 - 14:30; 17:00 - 23:00; Sat-Sun 12:00 - 23:00
(0131) 4662543

This restaurant with a butterfly name is known for good value food prepared with care with personal service

The Reviews


£10 Challenge: good food with discreet and casually efficient service

Reviewed by Irene Brown

Monday, January 16, 2012 - 7:47pm

There is a bit of a sense of going back in time when you go through the doors of Bruntsfield’s well- established Italian restaurant, Papilio.  The yellow walls with darkish terra cotta/maroon below the dado rail are covered in evocative images of Italian scenes, some paintings of quirky waiters and of course the eponymous butterfly here and there. Italian songs play in the background and there was a prompt but casual welcome from the staff as soon as we crossed the threshold (no clichéd ‘Have a nice day!’  – just proper service).

The 3 course lunch for £7.95 was well advertised on the sandwich board just outside as J. and I approached.  I confess to breathing a private sigh of relief that Papilio was open after the holidays as some eateries were taking an extended break, so was especially pleased to be ushered in and settle in at a window seat as the restaurant gradually filled up with lunchtime diners.

The soup of the day was chicken and vegetable and on such a cold day as it was on our visit, was an excellent choice for J.,   my lunch companion. It arrived in smooth form, was garnished with cream and went down a treat.  I chose Antipasti Vegetariano that came as sun dried tomato, olives, rocket, perfectly roasted aubergine and red pepper.  We had been offered bread but as it had not come as a matter of course, I assumed there would be an extra charge, so declined so as to stay within the £10 Challenge. However, there was really no need as each starter was substantial as well as very tasty.

From a good and varied menu, J. chose as a main course the salmon in a cream and white wine sauce which although just slightly over cooked for her taste, was a delicious and substantial meal. I chose chicken fillet in pesto and what a treat this was.  The pesto was sharp and cheesy and the chicken was topped with loads of lovely garlic and rocket.  Each dish was served with gorgeous golden crinkle cut chips and a portion of fresh salad of tomato, peppers, red onion and finely cut lettuce.

Tiramisu is always hard to resist (for me!) and this one was moist, light and delicious although the drizzled chocolate sauce and cream felt like gilding the lily to this delightful near end to a very satisfying lunch. The coffees that did end the meal, espresso and Italian white, were just right.

The brown wax cloth table covers are not the most inviting, but everything else about Papilio more than makes up for that.  They have been in business for 15 years and clearly know their trade, offering good food with discreet and casually efficient service.  This was my first visit, but it certainly won’t be my last.