Yeni is a Middle Eastern Restaurant based in Hanover Street and in my opinion a hidden gem. I have questioned on whether or not I want to share this review as I know I run the risk of filling the restaurant and not been able to get a table as easily but hey, I’m sure the owner won’t mind! If mezze food is your bag then you will love this.
When you step inside, it's like being transported to Morocco. From the whitewashed walls which are covered in various different Mediterranean holiday resort posters, to the euro-pop gently playing in the background, it really didn’t feel like Edinburgh and it was gently soothing to escape the cold, dreich Edinburgh weather.
We were quickly shown to our table and the staff were quick to recommend the specials on offer and to tell us how many dishes they thought we should order. We were dining early so we decided to order from the pre-theatre menu. Whilst quickly assessing other diners plates we all plumped for 3 each. The food is very reasonably priced and we sat back and waited in anticipation for our feast. One point to mention is that the food can arrive at different times as we were assured that it was all cooked fresh.
First to arrive was the hummus and pitta breads. The hummus was delicious but if I had one small complaint was that some of the pitta bread was cold whilst the rest was hot. I think in the haste to get something out to us, they decided cold was better than nothing. Not that we were waiting long, but the waiting staff were very attentive and almost looked anxious as we had no food in front of us. Just as we were finishing the humus our sucuk (spicy Turkish sausage), feta pastries and calamari turned up.
The calamari and pastries were tasty but it was the sausage that had us intrigued. The sausage looked like a extremely crispy Mathesons smoked sausage but I was surprised to find out it wasn’t, it was delicious and had a exquisite chewy barbequed pork flavour. There wasn’t enough of it for us and we were about fighting for the last bit and were very close to ordering another portion when the next lot of food appeared. Next up was the Lamb and Chicken Kebab which were more like main meals as it was accompanied with a large portion of rice and after a few chunks of each we both had to admit defeat, we were stuffed.
We both felt incredibly guilty at not being able to finish everything (we did finish the hummus and sausage), especially when we seen the waiters face and had to explain repeatedly that we loved the food but we were full. He still insisted on us taking the dessert menu which we duly took but advised we would need a break which raised a smile from the waiter. Sure enough he left us to rest for 20 minutes and then we decided to order a sorbet and nut baklava to share between us. Thankfully that took about 15 minutes to arrive and when they did, they were quite small portions in comparisons to the earlier feast. I don’t eat nuts but my friend said the baklava was surprisingly sweet. I opted for the passion fruit and mango flavoured sorbet and after the hearty meal it was a welcomed palate cleanser.
A meal for 2 with 2 soft drinks was £42 which given the portion size was extremely reasonable and I would absolutely recommend this restaurant. It’s a hidden gem and well worth a visit especially in the grey cold months, it makes me want to book a holiday….