In the sleepy, quaint Edinburgh suburb of Stockbridge, you’ll find the food haven that is The Pantry. Flanked by the pretty Georgian townhouses that decorate this part of the city, The Pantry fits perfectly into the quaintness of the area, offering the perfect spot for a relaxed breakfast. Since opening in 2012 this place has been getting some pretty good reviews, including The Sunday Times who said that their Eggs Benedict was ‘reason alone to come to Edinburgh’. With its impressive reputation preceding it, the bar was set pretty high for The Pantry before I had even set foot in the place. And I have to say, I was not disappointed.
For one, the cafe runs like a well-oiled machine. Despite it being busy when I went for a Saturday brunch, the staff seemed to have everything under control – nothing felt rushed or stressful or hectic. Everything seemed to work in a seamless flow of movement. This was great because despite the busy atmosphere, it didn’t detract from the relaxed aura of the place which can happen in a lot of cafes as soon as they become slightly busy. As well as working like clockwork, the staff were really friendly and helpful. You could tell within a few minutes in the place that the whole cafe radiates a welcoming, friendly atmosphere that is genuine.
In no time, I was quickly seen to, seated on a table and given their impressive menu to gawk over. From first sight, you can immediately tell from the menu that this place is a foodie kind of place. Unlike many cafes or coffee houses where the food is secondary to the coffee or tea or remains pretty basic, at The Pantry food comes first. You can tell its run by food lovers from the menu, as the standard choices of eggs or pancakes/waffles that is the default served by most cafes has been vamped up to a truly delicious level. From the Type 2 Banoffee Pie Waffles to their Benedict with Rubbed & braised pork shoulder and poblano chile pepper, you really are spoilt for choice for well made, interesting food here. No plain scrambled eggs on toast here.
After umming and ahhing over the menu for a good while, I finally decided on the No Small Fry breakfast accompanied with a latte to start my day with. In what seemed like minutes my order was in front of my eyes ready to be savoured. Complete with toasted sourdough bread, a large, juicy cooked tomato, hearty bacon and sausage, an egg however you want (I opted for poached) finished off by a small portion of homemade haggis, my No Small Fry breakfast was definitely the perfect start to a busy day. I loved every mouthful of it, including the haggis which I had never tried before which was beautifully seasoned with pepper . What was great was everything was perfectly portioned so you didn’t feel horribly full at the end of it, which was great become often fry-ups can be too over-facing with the sheer size of them, ruining a yummy breakfast. The best bit of my No Small Fry breakfast was how well cooked everything was. It was clear that no corners had been cut with any part of my food.
In comparison to my delicious breakfast, my coffee was a little bit questionable. For one, it came in a juice glass, like the ones you’d drink orange juice out of in the morning, which to me is wrong on so many levels. And although the coffee itself was nice, it didn’t match the standard set by the amazing food, which was a disappointment but as it’s not a cafe known for its coffee, this wasn’t surprising.
Aside from the mediocre coffee, I was nothing but impressed by The Pantry. It’s passion for food shone through every element of my food, making it a truly impressive breakfast. Combined with the friendly staff who work like clockwork, and a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere, The Pantry is the perfect place for a delicious, well made breakfast and a good ol’ catch up with some old chums.