Situated just off Leith Walk, Pomegranate is an unpretentious bistro-style cafe serving Middle Eastern cuisine. The bright vibrant decor gives the place a cheery atmosphere, but be warned, the only wines and beers on offer are of the non-alcoholic variety, so if you want to drink something more punchy with your meal, bring your own. (No corkage is charged, which makes eating here even better value for money.)
There were three of us to dine and we were all very hungry. For starters we chose Soujek (Spicy Lebanese sausages sautéed in tomato, green pepper, garlic and chilli), Baly Merishke (barbecued lemon-scented chicken wings) and Kubba Halub (Seasoned minced lamb, mixed with sultanas, encased in crushed rice.) All three starters were lovely – the sausages were enveloped in a rich spicy sauce, the chicken wings crisp yet succulent and the Kubba Halub had a crunchy exterior and a melt-in-the-mouth centre.
On to the mains – I sampled the Joujeh (half a chargrilled chicken marinated in lemon, tomato and garlic), Susan went for the Chargrilled Whole Sea Bass (marinated with lemon and Persian sumac and served with a side of bamya – a beef and okra stew, or tapsi – an eggplant sauce). Our companion, who’d eaten here before, went for his favourite, Qozy Lamb (braised lamb on the bone, served with tapsi or bamya.) Once again all dishes were note perfect and came accompanied with generously-sized mounds of clean-tasting basmati rice and the restaurant’s own naan breads, thinner and somewhat crispier than their Indian brethren, but absolutely delicious.
Did we eat everything that was put before us? Yes, we did and licked our platters clean. Did we have any room to sample the selection of great-sounding desserts on offer? No we did not. But one thing’s for sure. If you’re looking for great tasting middle Eastern cuisine in the heart of Edinburgh, this is where you should come. Outstanding! Oh yes, and I promised to mention our waitress for the evening, the charming and friendly Alicja, who looked after us in friendly but unobtrusive style!