Cafe Marlayne

Price guide: Mid-range

76 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN

Price guide: Mid-range

Cafe Marlayne

By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#17 of 40
expert-rated restaurants in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.5 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.6
4.6
Ambience:
4.7
4.7
Service:
4.5
4.5
Location:
4.9
4.9
Value for money:
4.3
4.3
Recommended for:
Families with teenagers, Singles, Relaxation, Romance, Special occasions

Expert review of Cafe Marlayne

An intimate French bistro with a great atmosphere and delicious food.

Tucked just off Hanover Street, Cafe Marlayne is a lovely spot for lunch or dinner. There are only nine tables and the chairs and tables are rustic wood. The food is great. The menu, changing daily, is presented hand-written on paper menus and you know you are getting the freshest market produce cooked with flair and imagination. They make the ordinary extraordinary. For example, a recent trip here I ordered scallop on boudin noire - it's not like British black pudding, the charming waitress explained, it is very French. Intrigued, I ordered it and it was, without a doubt, the tastiest black pud I have ever had.

The cafe itself is small and very popular, so chances are you will be very close to other diners. However, in my experience, proximity to fellow diners is quickly forgotten as the warm enveloping atmosphere eases the reality of life away as you are cocooned in this charming little restaurant.

Food and drink: 

French bistro fare: mussels, boudin noir, casseroles, liver, sauces, creamy lyonnaise potatoes, side salads, sliced baguettes and butter in bread baskets. You get the picture.

Recommended dishes: 

The choice changes daily but the fish is always cooked perfectly.

Ambience: 

Intimate and quirky, with one wall-papered wall and higgelty piggelty, genuinely shabby chic but comfortable furniture.

Service: 

Informed, informal, helpful and eager to please. Unable to decide which house wine to order, I was able to taste the two I was considering.

Location: 

Just off Hanover Street, on Thistle Street, next door to Joseph Bonar - an excellent antique jeweller. Beware, his window looks even more attractive after a few glasses of vin blanc.

Price advice: 

The set lunch and dinner is incredible value and you can go off plan if you desire.

Tables to book: 

There are only nine so take what you can get.

Other useful branches: 

Cafe Marlayne has opened a second restaurant opposite The Playhouse at the top of Leith Walk.

More information on Cafe Marlayne:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Bistro, Brasserie, Restaurant
Food:
French
Address:
76 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN
Telephone:
0131 226 2230
Website:
http://www.cafemarlayne.com
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Daily noon-2.30pm, 6-10pm
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Essential at peak times

Have you been to Cafe Marlayne? Would you recommended it?