If you’ve been following my blog for more than, oh, ten minutes you’ll have no doubt seen me mention The Blackbird before. Located just a hop, skip and a jump away from my flat, it quickly became my favourite “local” after opening around three years ago. Amazing cocktails, great seasonal menu and probably the best beer garden in Edinburgh – it’s a winner. A couple of weeks ago The Blackbird invited me down to try out the summer menu and I couldn’t say no to another visit (three days after my previous visit… see, I told you I went there all the time!).
To start, we chose a couple of cocktails from this summer’s specials menu. I went for a The Adventures of Sherbet Holmes and Laura chose a Neo Tiki Punch. Both were interesting concoctions, but no match for our usual favourites – a vodka, strawberry & ginger ale Kick Ass for me and a rum & raspberry Outrigger for Laura. As we sipped our cocktails, we perused the food menu and decided to go for starters and mains. One thing I love about The Blackbird is the fact that their menu changes regularly so there’s always something new to try. This time, I tried the tequila crispy chicken with lime soured cream and it was an excellent choice. The chicken was melt-in-the-mouth and the fresh citrusy soured cream matched it perfectly. The portion was huge so it would be great to share or even have as a nibble with your drinks if you didn’t fancy staying for a full meal. Laura’s wasabi king prawns were equally juicy and delicious, with a crispy panko breadcrumb coating and lemon aioli to go with it.
Next up were the main courses, and my duck was b-e-a-utiful – definitely not your usual “pub grub” sort of food! The duck breast was served with roasted beetroot, golden squash and mandarin with a lemon thyme dressing, and it was the perfect summer dish. Laura went for one of the burgers, a regular feature on The Blackbird’s menu, and topped it with some avocado. I can vouch that the burgers are delicious too, and I usually add some haggis to mine. By the time we had wolfed all that down, we were too full for dessert but from past experience, they’re definitely worth saving room for!
The Blackbird is one of my favourite bars at any time of year, but it’s especially great during the summer. You can’t beat a couple of ice cold fruit ciders in the beer garden on a summer evening – and don’t forget to share one of the meaty sharing boards while you’re at it. The atmosphere is really laid back and great for any occasion: birthday drinks with the family; a chilled Sunday listening to the live music; cocktail catch ups with friends. Essentially, if you haven’t been to The Blackbird already, you need to go!
Have you tried the new summer menu at The Blackbird yet?