Lunch club visits Bellini Bistro

In the 1980s television favourites such as Bread, Brookside, Wish You Were Here and Rainbow adorned our television sets. I imagine Italian food similar to which the Bellini restaurant served for our third lunch club outing would, for some reason, have been acceptable back then. Like our TV choices Italian restaurants in Britain have evolved somewhat over the years. Unfortunately it appears the proprietors of Edinburgh’s Bellini either didn’t notice or weren’t told.

Balsamic dressed mixed salad at Bellini, Edinburgh Chicken casserole at Bellini Bistro, Edinburgh

The website for Bellini proclaims that restaurant Bellini is no more - it is now a Bistro. Is this a serious attempt by the owners to bring Bellini kicking and screaming into the 21st century? Not judging by our evidence. I imagine 10 years ago lunch or dinner at Bellini, on Edinburgh’s Abercromby Place, would have been quite a treat. The dining room would have seemed grandiose and the separate bar somewhat impressive. Fast forward a decade and Bellini Bistro are offering a two course lunch for £5, which even at that price isn’t worth the money. The interior looks dark and dated - we had to pull up the window blind to let some much needed light in. For the £5 Friday lunch we were the only group in the large restaurant until two more tables joined a hour later.

The balsamic dressed salad for starter looked as though the contents of a vegetable patch had been uprooted, washed and dropped on a plate. Chunky most kindly sums it up. Our other two starters - Bellini’s bruschetta topped with tomatoes - should not be a problem for any kitchen, but the bread was soggy and it had an uncomfortable taste.

Barely cooked slices of potato, hard and dry chicken, and, a few chunks of pepper defined my main of chicken casserole. I think my mind has made a genuine attempt to hide the garlic inflicted trauma - it was over 24 hours after enduring this dish before the taste finally abated. The two pasta dishes were nothing to celebrate: pasta piccante (tomato sauce) was as bland as it reads, while the cream was overwhelming in the pasta with ham. This certainly was not the finest advert for Italian dining.

The bill predictably came hand written and with mints. The name may have changed and the website may have been updated, but on the basis of our lunch club visit Bellini needs the changes to run a whole lot deeper before it’s a viable contender in Edinburgh’s congested Italian dining repertoire.

Quotes from the lunch club members below:

Dark and dingy with food from an era thankfully long gone.

Exceptionally quiet, plain, good value, but definitely beatable Italian

Plain uninspiring food and surroundings

Bellini Bistro is located at 8b Abercromby Place, Edinburgh,EH3 6LB
Telephone: 0131 476 2602

2 Responses to “Lunch club visits Bellini Bistro”

  1. I had a terrible dinner at this place and would hesitate to recommend it to anybody. A real disappointment.

  2. Well to start the night off here at bellini when myself and my team went along,we found the staff on our arrival meeting and greeting us as we entered through the door,we were then taking and sat down at our tables,Bellini Bistro has changed from what was the last time known as restaraunt,but still its warm welcome and cheerfull inside as ever.We were giving the menu each to look at and our drinks were served in no time atall,Bellini Bistro caters for most persons,if i.e something is not there the chef Angelo will do all he can to meet you requirements as i found out.One of the finest places i have ever eating in the city and it wont be the last either.Bellini Bistro also have friendly staff,My meal i had was amazing as said my work colleuges also.Bellini Bistro shall be seeing more of us again,Thank you all.

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