For a long time I’ve walked by the colourful Meadowood Cafe on Edinburgh’s Bread St, but never ventured inside. It’s often packed with folk of Far East origin, so that must be a good sign. The big attraction is seemingly the pearl tea. Demonstrating the pull of this tea was the table next to ours, who stood up and left when the server told them he’d just sold the last cup. The Edinburgh Blog is no expert on pearl tea, but apparently it’s also referred to as bubble tea and consists of fruit, milk, tea and tapioca balls in a sealed cup.
The Meadowood Cafe billing itself as a “fast food cafe” is like a snail pretending to be a Formula 1 car. If you’re expecting quick service then forget it. With only three tables occupied we had to wait 20 minutes for a can of diet coke and a bottle of water, even longer for our starters and longer again for our mains. It’s no wonder they have a plethora of magazines to choose from. I imagine the racks will be empty when the Meadowood cafe is busy.
Our mixed sui mai starter (Â£6) was enjoyable, although I think the assorted dumplings came out of the freezer before being steamed. That’s perhaps not surprising as Meadowood also offer frozen dumplings to purchase and take home. The wonton noodle soup was the highlight. The pork dumplings were delicious, the soup tasty and the rice noodles plentiful. Very good value for Â£6.30. A double portion is available for Â£3 more, which would surely make this dish large enough for two.
The thick udon noodles in my hot & sour chicken were superb, but the chicken quantity was meagre. I’d also have appreciated more vegetables than a few slices of carrot. At just Â£6.30 it’s hard to criticise though. Despite the Meadowood Cafe’s small size there are a plethora of food dishes to choose from and I think the key to a good experience is choosing the right dish e.g. the fried chicken “rice meal” another table had looked very good.
With a dazzling array of teas, juices and other drinks the Meadowood Cafe is an informed choice for liquid refreshment. For food I’m less convinced. In all cases don’t go here if you’re in a hurry.
Meadowood Cafe is located at 15 Bread Street, Edinburgh,EH3 9AL
Telephone: 0131 228 548