Restaurant review: Sweet Melinda’s, Edinburgh

Sweet Melinda's. Picture: Robert PerrySweet Melinda's. Picture: Robert Perry
Sweet Melinda's. Picture: Robert Perry
Sweet Melinda’s is an intimate little restaurant in Marchmont, where, the manager tells me, the emphasis is on “quality not gimmicks”.

The stress here is on friendly neighbourhood dining, and despite it being the post-festival lull period, Sweet Melinda’s was pleasingly abuzz.

First impressions count, and an offering of homemade sundried tomato bread while you peruse a menu will always be a winner in my book. My dining partner and I were pleased to note that there’s something for everyone on Sweet Melinda’s menu, despite its website emphasising the fish aspect of its repertoire. Curious, I selected the pork, pistachio and apricot terrine (£6.50), and found it a refreshing combination, while my cousin kept it simple with a fresh Greek salad (£5.50), laden with all the classics and embellished with an unusual fresh tomato jelly.

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Our starter portions being rather substantial, my cousin rather regretted filling herself up on her starter when a steaming plate of ricotta gnocchi with spinach, Parmesan and basil cream (£12.95) was presented to her. It smelled – and tasted – delicious, though as gnocchi tends to be, a tad heavy. Tuna steak is a favourite of mine, and my chargrilled tuna steak with Nicoise salad (£17.50) was well cooked and garnished. I particularly liked the accompaniment of quail eggs jazzing up the salad.

We loosened our belts and shared a passion fruit and lime posset (£5.50) for dessert, served with homemade vanilla shortbread. Far from an afterthought, it was the highlight of the meal – lip-smackingly tasty and a nice light dish to end the evening on.

Sweet Melinda’s has hit value for money on the head, and while it may be minimalistic in décor, it’s big on service and quality. For those looking for a midweek treat, pop in on a Tuesday, where they offer BYOB. Wine and foodies should look out for the upcoming wine pairing evenings too.