Crazy cocktails and gourmet pub grub in this contemporary Old Town Tavern


The Devil’s Advocate has quickly become a popular new style bar and bistro for city residents. Located beside the Old Town Chambers, it's perfectly located for guests in these luxury apartments.

We checked into the fabulous Penthouse Suite here, and it was just a short stroll down Advocate’s Close for drinks and dinner.

At the Scottish Property Awards 2014 the £45 million architectural project won Development of the Year which comprises a 208-room hotel, Old Town Chambers, restaurants, bars and offices. The historic atmosphere of the quintessential Old Town with its network of narrow alleyways around the Royal Mile is a prime location for a great night out.

The Devil’s Advocate joins the popular Bon Vivant portfolio of city bars (Stockbridge & Thistle Street). You really would think that this cosy old Taverrn had been here offering refreshments for over 200 years, not just a few months!.

The original stone walls and timber beams of the split level “warehouse” space creates an authentic mood and character. Downstairs, the neon lit, glass fronted bar is the place to gather with friends to sample a few beers or cocktails. Comfy booth seating in nooks and crannies, while upstairs on the mezzanine Attic level is the Dining room.

The Cocktail list is described as Prescriptions. I so agree that a healthy drop of alcohol is truly medicinal. Here, the bar tenders are professional mixologists, inventing crazy concoctions from spirits, fruit, syrups, wines and beers.

I selected the Captain’s Blackbeard combining the Gold Award Havana Anego 7 year old Cuban rum, with a blend of tangy lemon and grapefruit, and sparkling soda for a long cool drink. Havana 7 is renowned for its spicy, dry fruits and vanilla flavours. An exceedingly refreshing cocktail like a sophisticated Rum Punch.

Ken quickly chose the Monkey Puzzle as a lover of dark smoky whisky. This was a short sharp tipple, Monkey Shoulder whisky, with Blackwell stout and the ingenious (or curious?) addition of beetroot and walnut, all blended together with egg white for a frothy finish. Simply divine was the verdict.

I could easily have been tempted to sample another fabulous tipple but time to eat sitting at a booth table upstairs. The A5 paper menu lists around half a dozen starters and mains. Simply described perhaps but this is imaginative, classy contemporary food.

I began with Salmon Tartare and watercress salad - such a fresh taste zinging with flavour. Over the table, Ken also enjoyed his Smoked Haddock and leek tart (“very homemade”), jazzed up with onion chutney.

With this we sipped a glass or two of Tempranillo, a robust Luis Canas Rioja, (14.5%) bursting with ripe dark berries.

Ken chose Fish and chips for his main. What’s so special about this, you may ask? Well, it was voted the best he’d ever tasted. Beer battered Pollock, fresh watercress and pea puree, brown shrimp tartare and chunky hand cut chips. A beautifully presented, superlative re-creation of the homely, humble takeaway.

For me, Pan-fried Coley sitting on a bed of chilli-roasted sweet potato and kale – a hot, hot spicy Mexican-style dish, the white flakey fish cooked to perfection. After this feast we shared a platter of Scottish cheese (Clava Brie, Dunsyre Blue and Mull cheddar) with crisp oat biscuits, until the last drop of Tempranillo was consumed.

Friendly, relaxed, knowledgeable, professional service throughout resulted in a brilliant, fun night out. With such classy, crazy cocktails and gourmet pub grub, we shall return very soon!

Recent reviews from drinkers and diners -

“Some of the best cocktails in town with an amazing range of gins - would quite happily stay all night here just for the martinis.”

“Great wee bar. Really enjoyed recent visit to DA. Buzzing atmosphere, first class, personalised service and the food was mighty fine too”.