Educated Flea, Edinburgh


Educated Flea

32B Broughton Street, Edinburgh EH1 3SB

0131 556 8092

Educated Flea

The Bill


2 courses £20.00

A la carte

Starters  £6.00 | Mains £15.00 

 Sharing Plates (for 2) £30.00 - £60.00 | Desserts £6.00


Starters  £6.00 - £10.00 | Mains £18.00 £26.00

 Sharing Plates (for 2) £36.00 - £60.00 | Desserts £6.00

The Score

Cooking  4/10 | Service 4/5

Flavour  3/5 | Value 4/5

TOTAL 15/25

Lest you be confused about the name, the proprietors are not trying to boast that their fleas went to uni, while yours failed their fourth year exams. There were once three restaurants in the group, three birds, The Apiary, and this place. Get it now? Birds do it, bees do it... OK, go and look up the Cole Porter song book.

The Apiary is no more. The queen has left the hive. You can, however, still break bread at three birds, in Bruntsfield. I had reviewed the others, but somehow missed out on this place, until I was recently invited to lunch by Dr C. (Don't confuse him with long time lunch partner Mr C. It appears the latter no longer speaks to me because of a disagreement over the naming of turnips. Nowt as queer as folk.)

The place is cosy, and clearly aimed at the neighbourhood, though they open only four days a week, to ensure no staff issues. It's full on a Thursday, Dr C and I being the only representatives of the male gender. The food is difficult to categorise. There are a lot of eastern influences. For example, from the Sides section you could have dukkah, rose harissa and basil hummus, or pistachio and feta dip. The main menu includes tajine, tempura and miso. In other words, a bit of a mish mash. Nothing wrong with that if well done.

What jumps out at you are the prices, in a good way. At lunchtime, mains are just £15, with two courses available for £20. Most remarkable of all is the sharing platter for two, known as Big Cow. That includes 600 grams of fillet steak with a lot of sides. It will set you back, wait for it, thirty quid a head! All fine on paper. How does it translate on to the plate?

We shared a starter of Charred aubergine and watermelon, babaganoush, pine nut, feta and mint oil. We also had some good sourdough to aid with the mopping. It was all fine, though you did need a magnifier to spot the feta. Flavour wise, it was all a bit timid, and I couldn't detect the mint oil at all. On to mains. What was described as a lamb neck tajine, wasn't really a tagine at all. The neck had been very slowly cooked, then the meat had been shredded and shaped in to a ring. The seasoning was Moroccan enough, but it was a bit one dimensional. The lemony rice was OK, and there were green beans on the side. Dr C and I discovered another thing in common - we both have a hatred of beans which haven't been topped and tailed. Spicy butterscotch chicken sounded intriguing. Sadly as it was rather dried out it was hard to detect precisely what the coating was made of. Advertised accompaniments, were chilli, cos, avocado and sun blushed tomato salad, blue cheese dressing. The all pervasive flavour was the blue cheese dressing and I left most of the plate uneaten.

In these hellishly difficult times for the restaurant trade, the team behind this are trying to do all the right things. Sensible, staff friendly opening hours; a good location and neighbourhood vibe; prices cut to the bone; pleasant front of house folk. It's just the food. Still, they've been here since 2016 and at Bruntsfield since 2012. In restaurant terms that just about qualifies for a telegram from the King. They're clearly keeping their regulars happy, so what do I know?

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