The entrance to Tiles Cafe Bar is located at 1 St Andrews St, it’s on the corner of St Andrews St and St Andrews Square. Tiles Cafe Bar is nice in Summer, when you can sit outside with waitress service, while watching the folk of Edinburgh go about their daily business. However last night it was Winter and my objective was a quick after work drink and a cheeky bite to eat.
Tiles Cafe Bar is ok inside. It’s got a horseshoe shaped bar and seating around its periphery. The ceiling is high and impressive to look at. However the interior of Tiles, like so many bars, is just too well lit. It’s like entering someones living room with all the lights on. More atmosphere would be generated if Tiles dimmed some of their lights, albeit at the expense of the detail in the ceiling. A bit of mystique. It’s not too much to ask. Is it?
Mulled wine, which was decent, is currently on offer at Â£2.80 a glass. This is a nice touch for Christmas. Though, I settled for a pint of Becks - thus making Tiles one of Edinburgh’s few bars where Becks beer is served on draught. We opted to sit on the tall chairs and began browsing Tiles Cafe Bar’s laminated menu. All the usual suspects were present including steak, fish, burgers, salads pasta and sandwiches. The pricing was fairly standard for an Edinburgh city centre bar meal, all hovering around the 7/8 pound mark. I opted for the Paso burger. At Â£6.95 this offers a home-made burger with chili, cheese and jalapenos along with fries.
The order process was confusing. I went to the bar only to be told it was waitress service. So off I wandered back to the seat, with the waitress following. Once seated she seemed happy to take my order. The burger was delivered in double quick time, which was a little suspicious given its size. However the burger itself was the highlight of the meal; it was packed full of high quality, succulent beef. The chili was plentiful, yet uninspiring - it had dried out a little, making its taste very bland. The jalapenos were ok, providing a little kick to bites of the burger. However, the chips were distinctly average - some were a little soggy and one of them had gone green on the end. I’d have hoped the kitchen would have removed this from my plate.
It’s a shame Tiles Cafe Bar isn’t better than it is. The bar has a great location and an interior which could have the wow factor. Therefore it’s a shame, perhaps a crime, that Tiles falls short on atmosphere. I’ve had a very limited view of their food, but based on the evidence I saw it would be impossible for me to recommend Tiles for a meal. Though if you’re having a few after drinks, their nachos looked ok.
Tiles Cafe Bar will, through its location, always do a brisk trade but it could be so much better. I guess because Tiles will do good trade regardless, there’s no real incentive for them to go the ‘extra mile’. Which is a shame. Overall an average bar.
Tiles Cafe Bar is located at 1 St Andrews St, Edinburgh.