Situated on Home Street, The Colony Gourmet is chic, homely, and conveniently located amidst the hive and activity of Tollcross. Perfect for a coffee or leisurely lunch, for a few hours of work or even a light supper, we decided it would be the perfect place to have an editorial meeting.
And, oh boy, did we make the right call. After being guided through all the pastries, pies, and quiches on offer, we settled on eating the cafe’s signature custard tart, glasses of refreshing lime-nade (the lesser known Beyoncé B-side and a million times better than any lemonade). Our favourite delicacy was an esfirra, a dish originating in Lebanon, travelling to Brazil, and ending up in our mouths. A folded triangular pastry, ours was stuffed with ricotta and spinach, accompanied by an olive oil and herb sauce. Our first question was how we could recreate this sauce at home and then slather ourselves in it. Seriously, go for the beautiful mural, and stay for this sauce.
The Colony Gourmet was opened just over a month ago by three colleagues- turned-best-friends. Luis told us about how his wife Andrea and their colleague Andres decided to combine the history and heritage of their respective homelands, Portugal and Brazil. This amalgamation means that the menu is not limited in any way.
The fare on offer is ever-changing and expanding, meaning that it is easier to simply ask for a quick explanation than to pore over the written menu. The authentic and fresh ingredients as well as the variety of options are incredible, and made us entirely forget the drizzle and grey of Edinburgh just outside the door.
Luis hopes to “bring a bit of home to Edinburgh”, and the striking mural, created by Luis’ cousin Ana Langeheldt, means that The Colony Gourmet brand is bright and modern, whilst retaining a connection to the Faria Da Silva family. Much of the furniture has been brought over from Portugal and Brazil, one table even having belonged to Luis’ great grandmother. Whilst the stark wooden stools, bright decor and art contribute to a clean and elegant ambiance, the presence of a DVD library, colouring materials, and a range of books create a friendly and community atmosphere.
We cannot recommend The Colony Gourmet highly enough. To quote Polly Smythe, gourmet extraordinaire: “How can so little pastry keep so much in? How do the Portuguese do it?”
image: Polly Smythe