Home » Scotland: Edinburgh » David Bann’s, 56-58 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX (just off the Royal Mile), Scotland

David Bann’s, 56-58 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX (just off the Royal Mile), Scotland

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What: Vegetarian restaurant which seems to aspire to fine dining.

 Prices: Mains around £12, soup £3.60, salad £7.65.

 Vegetarian menu: Everything is vegetarian.

 Drinks: Juices, coffee, wine and more.

 Service: Awful. The waiter came over to take my order before I had even had a chance to look at the menu. He neglected to pour water for me, though I did see him pouring water at other tables. At no point did he return to fill my glass. My starter dish was not cleared from the table until the waiter brought the main and even then he seemed to think that I should help him to move the plate. At no point was I asked if I was enjoying my meal. When I dropped my fork nobody came to offer assistance and I had to spend a while trying to attract attention. When a waitress did bring a new fork it was in her hand and not on a tray, as I would expect in a restaurant. When I was leaving four staff were gathered around the door gossiping and could clearly be overheard swearing. They did not say goodbye to me or wish me a nice evening. Among the worst service I have ever encountered.

 Comfortable? Yes. The table was big and solid, the tablecloths and napkins were of good quality, the chair was comfortable and it was pleasantly quiet. There is a generous amount of space between tables.

 Was the food good? Less than adequate. The olive starter consisted of seven big olives in plenty of olive oil and were of good quality. The bread served with them was okay, it could be better, and was also served with olive oil. It was enjoyable. In comparison the main was a big disappointment. Aubergine was listed as the main ingredient but one could barely taste it. The lentils were bland. The gravy was okay. There was a bizarre piece of puff pastry placed on the top. It wasn’t integrated into the meal, it was just a plain piece of puff pastry resting atop the rest of the food. I have no idea what the chef thinks this adds to the meal. Overall, it was a bland meal of potatoes and gravy with some lentils wrapped in barely-there aubergine (it was sliced as thinly as it could have been and there were only two slices). Very disappointing and boring. The water jug was nice and had some fruit in it. The wine was good.

 Toilets: Very poor. Down many steps. On the dingy side and they didn’t even flush well.

 My advice to the chef: There is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in Brighton called “Terre-a-Terre”. I suggest you look to their menu (they also have a cookery book available) where you can learn just how inspired vegetarian cooking can be. The menu here is boring.

 My advice to the manager: In my opinion all of the staff here need extensive training. The toilets need to be done up to match the price of the food.

 Overall: Understaffed and overpriced. Very uninspired menu. This reviewer won’t be returning. Edinburgh is very vegetarian friendly. It’s easy to do a lot better than here.

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  1. Helen says:

    I love this blog! Im a long suffering veggie from Middlesbrough which is bereft of any decent food nevermind veggie! Im in yorkshire now but its only a bit better, if I have to eat ONE MORE VEGGIE LASAGNE!! and why why whyyy do people think Parmesan cheese, fish sauce, chicken stock are ok for veggies? good god, and why are we charged the same price as meat eaters? Thank god for Indian food

  2. I know! I would like to see veggie lasagne and veggie risotto banned. I agree about the Parmesan, fish sauce and chicken stock. It’s astonishing how many chefs think that these things actually are vegetarian. It really makes you wonder about the standard of education in the industry, doesn’t it?

    Thank you for the encouraging comments. It’s always nice to know that vegetarians are finding the blog helpful 🙂

    In the future we’ll be paying more attention to the needs of vegans too.

  3. Helen says:

    Cool, I wish you got over here a bit, UK restaurants need a good grilling!

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