Edinburgh’s Royal Mile isn’t short of traditional pubs, which pull in the tourists all year round. The Albanach Bar ticks all the tourist boxes, with a traditional Scottish pub at the front and a homely dining room at the rear. The latter has a lovely table situated in the overhanging alcove, which affords great views over Cockburn street. The menu of the Albanach Bar is as traditional as the surroundings, with a best seller of chicken balmoral lining up alongside beef stew, fish cakes and steaks. There are a range of lighter bites too, including sandwiches and salads.
The service at The Albanach Bar was very friendly and accomodating; its multinational flavour a stark contrast to the Scottish heather on the walls. Deliciously smokie Auld Reekie sausages from Crombies were the star of The Albanach’s sausage and mash (¬£7.99). The mashed potato was a little lumpy and the gravy over generous, but on a cold Winter’s day the dish served its purpose. The Albanach’s haggis, neeps and tatties (¬£4.99 for a starter or ¬£8.99 as a main) was the Albanach’s most accomplished offering. The whisky sauce (served separately) just added to this most traditional of dishes appeal. A side dish of vegetables (¬£1.99) was good value and contained a healthy amount of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
A “slice” of chocolate fudge cake for dessert at ¬£4.99 sounds excessive, but this could easily have passed for a whole cake, so easily enough for two to share. Its chocolate and goo overload was enough to satisfy our dessert cravings, although I doubt it had been lovingly prepared here at The Albanach. The superb Japanese lager, Kirin Ichiban was a welcome, if somewhat unexpected offering (¬£3.78). But for those seeking the genuine Scottish experience there’s a good range of whiskies and Belhaven beers on draught.
The Albanach offers a good dose of traditional Scottish setting and food on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The food does have room for improvement, but generally it’s priced sensibly and the quality is about what you’d expect. A fair choice for tourists and informal family meals.
The Alabanch is located at 197 High Street, Royal Mile, Old Town, Edinburgh, EH11PE
Telephone: 0131 220 5277