Breathing new life into the good old spud

Makars Gourmet Mash Bar

When it comes to the ultimate comfort food nothing can compete with good old mashed potato, at least in my opinion.

So you can imagine my delight when I walked down Shandwick Place the other day and did a double take when I spied a new Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, which had seemingly sprung up overnight.

Occupying the site of an old burger restaurant, the new premises appears to confirm the success of the original restaurant located on The Mound – with the original restaurant always packed, a second premises seems like a good idea.

Unsurprisingly, the menu is packed with potatoes in all their guises. Mash, rosti and potato skins form the bulk of the options along with a good selection of meats, a couple of vegetarian options, plus a variety of sauces and seasonal vegetables.

We went for the roasted crispy potato skins to share as a starter following a keenly fought discussion with my dining companion. In my experience, potato skins are invariably the default fodder in high street chain pubs, and they arrive swimming in oil. Thanks to Makars, my opinion has now changed.

Rotisserie roasted, these potato skins were well seasoned and crispy, and topped with freshly chopped tomatoes and a side of cool sour cream.

For mains we both went for the sausage and mash option. I plumped for the traditional skirlie vegetarian sausage with whisky and peppercorn sauce and a side of wholegrain mustard mash, while my companion went for the smoked sausage with cheese and chive mash.

The sausages were substantial and well cooked and the mash was perfection, with not a lump in sight. The pudding menu was a list of classic favourites; we went for a brownie and stocky toffee pudding, both great and a nice way to finish off the meal.

In short – simple, affordable Scottish cooking done well.

91 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, EH2 4SD

0131 226 1178