Dulse Seafood : Restaurant Review

Cumbrae oysters at Dulse restaurant
Cumbrae oysters at Dulse restaurant

Nell Nelson loves to eat – it’s a journey – and there is always a story behind the plate. Come and explore with Nell. This week its Dulse Seafood Restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End.


First impression:

Very light and airy – the Dulse Seafood Restaurant’s main dining room is upstairs on Queensferry Street  – the space used to be an opticians – they’ve kept the old sign inside.

Cheers - Nell and pal clinking glasses
Cheers – Nell and pal clinking glasses

Dulse Seafood Menu:  

The clue is in the name – dulse is a red seaweed so Scottish seafood features a lot. The menu is made of small tasting plates and changes daily so very seasonal – sharing plates – you could opt to have your own (£12-£14 per plate) But I like trying new things – quite a strong Asian influence which I like. And you have to like seafood!

We had:

  • Cumbrae oysters with a choice of dressings: au natural, sea buckthorn and gazpacho and lemon.  Huge big fat oysters presented on a bed of stones – already dressed. Sea buckthorn is in season now.
Cumbrae oysters at Dulse restaurant
Cumbrae oysters at Dulse Seafood Restaurant
  • Arbroath smokie tart with dulse seaweed
  • Hake – Goan curry – ok subtle Indian spices
Baked hake with Goan curry sauce
Baked hake with Goan curry sauce
  • Grilled squid with Asian salad – strips of squid easily confused with carrot strips
Asian salad with strips  of grilled squid
Asian salad with strips of grilled squid
  • Bread baked with leeks and curry butter – impossible not to scoff a loaf between two
  • Chocolate pave – fantastic as had a layer of caramel – which we weren’t expecting

Did You Know?

Great Cumbrae is the larger of the two islands known as The Cumbraes in the lower Firth of Clyde in the west of Scotland. The island is sometimes called Millport, after its main town, and it only 10 miles around; great for cycling  – and oyster eating!!

And might come in handy for a pub quiz   – sea buckthorn is a major source of Vitamin C in the winter months for birds  – take a walk out to Aberlady,. East Lothian and you’ll see the bushes with brilliant orange berries, which you can collect.

I love Arbroath smokies – small haddock which are hot smoked and in the Arbroath area – In fact Dean Banks the chef is from Arbroath. He honed his seafood skills at Rick Steins then travelled and cooked – which might explain the interesting international ingredients which pop up on his menu.

Arbroath – take a trip

Its worth a trip to Arbroath on the  east coast – the whole town is devoted to smoking fish and you can buy direct from the supplier – we filmed me discovering cycle trails and Arbroath Smokies for The Woman Who Scotland .

rbroath smokies being traditionally smoked
Arbroath smokies being traditionally smoked  

 Only haddock can be used to produce an authentic ‘Arbroath Smokie.’ The fish are gutted at sea, washed and boxed ready for auction at the fish market. Once back in the fish house, they are headed and cleaned, or ‘sounded.’ They are then dry salted in tubs for a given period. This helps to draw excess moisture from the fish and toughens the skin in preparation for the smoking process. After salting, they are thoroughly washed off, then tied by the tail in ‘pairs’ and hung on sticks.

The smokie pit is then prepared. A hole is dug in the ground, and a half whisky barrel is set into it. The base of the barrel is lined with slates to protect it, and a hardwood fire of beech and oak is lit inside.

Dulse Seafood Restaurant Atmosphere 


Would I go again?

Yes  please, I’d order the Cumbrae oysters 3 £3.50 each and a glass of Cuvee Bianco Brut  £7

Interior Dulse restaurant
Interior Dulse restaurant

Anything else I should know?

!!Yes book online before 31/3/23 for Wednesdays and Thursdays and put ‘Turbot’ in the comments and you will get 20 per cent off your bill from the a la carte menu !!

Dulse Seafood 17 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4QW. Tel: 0131 573 7575



Afternoon Tea in Leith at The Theatre

Beautiful Leith Theatre with art deco flourishes inside
Leith Theatre; a stunning 1930’s building

Afternoon Tea for Four on day out in Leith

A friend was given an afternoon Prosecco tea for four at the secret ladies’ bar of Leith Theatre as her Christmas present.  It was part of the Leith Theatre’s fund raising campaign and her husband obviously thought some good should come from his wife’s love of quaffing fizz and cake with her chums.


Good and Proper Deli: new kid on the Stockbridge block

A new deli – another one?

You may ask has sprung  up in Stockbridge. It opened on 10 April and I was in to have a snout. It looks perfect as if Good and Proper has always been on this spot on the heart of Raeburn Place. It has in fact replaced a rather tired Chinese take away.

 It is all white shiny with fresh salads glistening, fat scones asking to be eaten and a chocolate orange cake still to be cut into. Tables will fill up fast as quite small, I had a selection of three fab salads and as I was in rush to get to my safari at 12, I had them boxed up in a very robust box – which kept the salads in good condition till I managed a chance to enjoy – post safari.

Typical dishes are soup- Sweetcorn Chowder, salads such as Honey roasted pumpkin & kale, dal pea and coconut salad quinoa tabbouleh salad , a bacon & ricotta frittata and a hot dish such as chicken, parsnip & tarragon casserole.

Welcome to the neighbourhood!

Good & proper deli c° 

74 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, , Eh4 1hj



Lazy Jazz Saturday Afternoon @ The Barony

The sun shone, the beer, cider and wine flowed and the jazz band played on….at The Barony Bar, 81-85 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ last Saturday.

The Barony Bar offers jazz on Saturday afternoons 3-5 pm with various guest bands. I was  lucky enough to catch the Martin Kershaw Trio on March 24.One of the leading musicians on the vibrant Scottish jazz scene, alto saxophonist Martin Kershaw played again at The Barony joined by Graeme Stephen (guitar) and Brian Shiels (bass).

There is trad music on Tuesdays 6-8 pm and blues on Sunday eves. There is also a new menu – I was back at The Barony on Tuesday eve for some fiddle and some very good goulash with egg noodle and sour cream. My friends took advantage of the two burger deal for £15 and the fish and chips – looked like a small whale had been battered and deep fried  as it lay on its final resting place of chips with skins on – I exaggerate – but v generous fish portion!

These new changes at The Barony along with fresh flowers and candles mean its worth booking a table for food and music. Telephone: 0131 556 9251 to make a reservation.


Fresh Lemon and Ginger Tea -the perfect afternoon lift

At temperatures hovering around zero, a freshly whizzed veggie fruit juice is never going to hit the spot, but this bottomless cup of fresh lemon and ginger tea at Hyde and Son at the west end of George Street definitely did. Priced at £2.60 you get a pale green, gold rimmed  cup with slice of fresh ginger and fresh lemon, topped with boiling water and a lid to keep the heat in. Once cooled to drink and drunk, the staff will happily refill – so sit quite near the bar – for speedier water replenishment.

Hyde and Son has boutique bedrooms attached, but for the casual shopper and person in need of a hot drink from 7-11 then this airy bar cafe is the perfect stopping off point – good coffee, great sounding cocktails and 12 Triangle pastries 

Hyde and Son

127 George street,Edinburgh, EH2 4JN

Tel: 01312852050 

OPEN Monday – Saturday: 7AM – 11PM Sunday: 8AM – 10PM




Hot Syrian pastries to go

After an hour circuit training at Diamond Gym just off Newhaven road, and with calories at my disposal I smelt the tantalising smell of baking bread. I followed my nose to Taza Bake.

I ordered a few cheese and parsley pastries to take away and before I finished floundering in my gym kit for my purse, the baker was rolling out dough, and filling little circles of pastry with cheese and parsley, then onto a giant shovel and into the oven. Five minutes later, I was tucking in! 

Taza means fresh in Arabic and the Syrian bakery has been going from strength to strength since it started rolling out this traditional Mediterranean flat bread four years ago. The machines were imported from the Middle East and the bread is not only baked on the day but within minutes. Many shops will sell the flat breads pre packed, but nothing beats the fun of turning up to the shop and seeing dough turn into savoury bites in minutes and buying for immediate consumption.

Taza Bake 17 Stewartfield,  Edinburgh EH6 5RQ Tel 0131 629 3833

Open every day 9am -5pm, closed on Sunday



Walking tour with fab hot choc and top view

Just had the best hot chocolate and the best view: I am always telling guests on my New Town food safari how the New Town was designed to be a massive improvement from the Old Town with its narrow closes and high buildings and use examples of London Street’s incredibly wide street – you could easily turn a horse and carriage – whereas in the Old Town we could be talking a nine-point turn! 

Today I took a free Little Fish walking tour of the Old Town  – starts 10.30 opposite St Giles http://www.littlefishtours.co.uk/  and was hugely taken with guide Ben’s humorous and interesting tour with snippets of history but not bogged down with too many dates, we started at St Giles and went down Barrie’s Close – a new one for me to the Cowgate where cows were driven to market, then up through Greyfriars, and great views from upper Victoria Street to end up in the Grassmarket. To warm up after our two-hour walk, Ben recommended Mary’s  Milk Bar for ice cream – too cold for me – and real hot chocolate – Mary of the Milk Bar has worked as a chocolatier for the last five years and she trained in Bologna, Italy. The hot choc was fantastic really rich and creamy and perfect after two hours on the cobbles. Also if you sit in the front of the shop you get the most fantastic view of the castle – my top tip of the day for hot chocolate with a view 

Littlle Fish Tours
59/5 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH11BS http://www.littlefishtours.co.uk/

Mary’s  Milk Bar
19 Grassmarket


The Ivy will definitely flourish!

The Ivy on the Square (St Andrews Square) opens tonight – 20 September  – I went last week to an opening – lovely balmy night – and we found ourselves after several truffle rice balls and steak on a stick at the end of the evening sitting outside in  Parisian style terrace with a glass of Ivy fizz and to keep off the Scottish September chills a lovely aqua IVY embroidered blanket. 

The Ivy, West Street in London opened 100 years ago. This Edinburgh edition will be open seven days a week.  The brasserie will offer all-day dining and an extensive cocktail list and always have some unreserved seats so you can be spontaneous – if you feel a espresso martini on the Square mood come upon you. 

The Ivy on the Square’s brasserie style menu will offer something for all kinds of occasions, serving breakfast, elevenses, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, cocktails and dinner. Dishes include the iconic shepherd’s pie and the chocolate bomb with hot salted caramel sauce. Definitely worth staying on the tram for – which is just across the Square.

The Ivy on the Square – Edinburgh
6 St. Andrew Square, 
EH2 2BD, 

CALL: 0131 526 4777