The Huxley, Edinburgh: Where game-day food meets hotel chic

Imagine a place where you can sit down for a meal with an elegant cocktail in hand, take in the posh surroundings of a city-center restaurant, and devour an entire plate of pork-laden nachos. Does such a place exist? With restaurants that promise a fine-dining experience (à la small plates, naturally) popping up left and right, there seems to be little room for those who focus on true comfort foods.

The Huxley, however, delivers the best of both worlds: a truly classy setting alongside indulgent, addictive food (where size really does matter). Think bar classics and game day food all served in a modern hotel venue.

Located just off of Princes Street in the uber-hip West End, The Huxley takes up some prime real estate, perfect for a pre-rugby drink or a quick lunch after a long day of shopping. The Huxley is the kind of place you wouldn't (and shouldn't) think twice about popping into- the value for both the size and quality of the dishes is unmatched by anywhere else in the city.

The Huxley's outlandish interiors include half of a cow sculpture, various exotic ceramics, and highlights from the menu emblazoned in block letters on the walls. Somehow, it all works. The medium-sized venue is made intimate with little alcoves of tables, cozy booths, and a raised up seating area that separates diners from the expansive bar area. Despite being in the bustling city center, you'll feel right at home at The Huxley.

But that doesn't mean this restaurant isn't buzzing. On this particular Tuesday night it certainly was. Both bar-goers and diners alike filled up the space, as dance tunes upped the cosmopolitan bar vibe. Seated by the window, we relished the extended sunshine of the start of spring while deliberating over the cocktail list.

From classic mixes to quirky concoctions, The Huxley has you covered when it comes to drinks. Even its beer menu is rather impressive, and the wine by the glass prices aren't too shabby either. But for us, cocktails are always on the cards. The tempest was my drink of choice, owing to its feature of aperol- a favourite liquor of mine since visiting Venice. Ben, ever a fan of any rum-based drink, went for the raspberry and pear mojito. The tempest was as tempting as it sounds; tart and bursting with citrus (blood orange to be exact) it was the kind of drink you would order twice in a row. The mojito, though filled to the brim with ice, was strong and sweet.

The Huxley's menu will make you rethink what it means to have a meal. And by that I mean, it isn't so simple as choosing a starter, main and dessert. With burgers and hotdogs standing in as their only true "mains," you shouldn't be afraid to go off the beaten track when it comes to what to order. Nachos and wings are fair play as proper mains- the portions are hearty to say the very least. And isn't a plate of nachos all to yourself what dreams are truly made of?

Keeping in mind the big portion sizes, a light charcuterie plate was ordered up to keep our hunger at bay. From spicy salami to salty pastrami, this small chopping block of meat was well-composed yet unpretentious. A rarity for a starter with such a tongue-twister of a name. The most unusual complement? The pickled, caramelized baby onions- don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

Nachos are a bit of a lifestyle for us Edinburgh University students. Our student union offers up an overpriced plate of nachos that's consistently mediocre, yet us students consistently eat them. So let's just say I hadn't had a good helping of nachos in a long time. But if there's one place to hop back on the good nachos train, it's The Huxley. With classic nachos such as chilli cheese, alongside more exciting creations such as buffalo ranch (all served with salsa, sour cream and guac) you'll truly be in nacho heaven. I went for the "whole hog" and never looked back. Topped with a heaps of barbecue pulled pork, and scattered with bacon and pork scratchings, it was absolutely sinful. But the best part? The proper tortilla chips- blue and yellow corn, just like at home! I could've had them plain easily.

A true burger guy at heart, Ben took one for the team and ordered the most indulgent burger on the menu. For purely journalistic purposes, of course. The "High Cowlorie" burger is just as it sounds- it's a lot. Two burgers topped with pulled pork, swiss cheese, and caramelized onions, squeezed between buttery fried toast. I'd never seen anything quite like it. But the chips it came with were just as memorable. Crisp, fluffy, addictive- I can't even imagine what their infamous "filthy fries" would have been like (FYI, these special fries are topped with loads of extras- don't miss out!).

By some miracle, we managed to leave some room for dessert. The small dessert menu might indicate that sweets are an afterthought here, but you'll just have to order one of these few treats to realize that its just the opposite. A classic apple crumble for Ben left him feeling satisfied and warm. The addition of coconut to the crumble made it more unique than the standard.

I had my eyes on the ice cream sundae from the second we sat down. And it wasn't just any ice cream sundae- but a chocolate chip cookie dough banana sundae. Essentially all of my favorite things packed into one trendy mason jar and topped with whipped cream and decadent hot fudge.

The Huxley achieves the perfect balance of chic yet playful, with its sophisticated ambience and a menu that satisfies every tastebud. And the best part? You can afford it. Whether you're a student, a young professional, or a family of four, The Huxley is the ultimate one-stop-shop for game-day favorites and fabulous drinks in the heart of the city.    

Thank you to The Huxley and Crimson Edge PR for inviting me for a review! You can find The Huxley's full menu here, and more information about the restaurant here  

1 comment:

  1. You couldn't pay me to eat Teviot nachos and finally someone agrees with me!


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