It’s so lovely to have another successful, fully vegan restaurant in Edinburgh. Harmonium is not best placed for footfall, but when people find out about it, they make sure to take their friends there! That’s what we did.
Harmonium is located in the Leith area of Edinburgh, near the Ocean Terminal shopping centre and the Royal Yacht Britannia. It occupies the building that used to house the Indian restaurant VDeep, which I reviewed some years ago. Since changing hands it seems to have gone from strength to strength. When I visited in September of last year, the food was gorgeous and the menus hand-written. Since then, it’s become busier with more professional looking menus, but I’m happy to report that the food is still top notch.
We visited on a Thursday night and when we arrived I was very glad we’d booked as the place was almost full up. There were two of us vegans and a couple of omni friends, and we were seated near the back of the restaurant next to the open kitchen. I love seeing the food being prepared and there was certainly lots of hustle and bustle as burger after mac ‘n’ cheese after ice cream sundae was passed to servers by the chefs.
A little bowl of Olives made for a lovely starter, but I had the Soup of the Day, which was Cream of Leek. It was yummy, not too large and was served with crusty Sourdough Bread.
There was also Panzanella at the table; a healthy looking mix of baby plum tomatoes, capers, focaccia, French basil, red onion and olive oil. All were enjoyed at our leisure. The service was really friendly and the place has a great atmosphere.
For our main courses, two of the party ordered burgers, which is probably one of the most popular menu items. It’s a Seitan Quarter Pounder Burger served with the usual toppings, but the thing that really caught everyone’s attention was the Special Sauce. The burger eaters were so enthusiastic about it that the non burger eaters had to have a try! It was utterly delicious.
One of my omni companions opted for the Sausage Pizza, which is probably the sort of thing he’d order in a mainstream restaurant. He declared it to be lovely and his plate was certainly clean at the end of the meal. I went for the Wild Mushroom, Kale and Truffle Oil Rigatoni which came with a topping of super salty Aubergine Bacon. I was not disappointed. I used to adore creamy pasta in my pre-vegan days, so whenever I see it on a vegan menu I pounce on it!
It’s so lovely to know that you can have whatever tastes you want without hurting anyone. Our omni friends are not the obvious candidates for vegan restaurant patronage, but they seemed impressed and best of all they really enjoyed their meal. Of course then, we had to have dessert…
Everyone bar me opted for the Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae. I must admit it looked spectacular. They were not stingy with the bananas either, so one of our friends commented that it was definitely one of her ten a day! If there’s something chocolate-related on a dessert menu, that’s where you’ll find me, so I chose the Sea Buckthorn and Chocolate Cheesecake. It was layered and came with vanilla ice cream and was a delicious way to finish off the meal.
If you’re looking for a place to take those omni friends who may think that vegans eat grass, this is the place. So much classic bistro/pub style food is served here that nobody will feel short changed, as it tastes much the same as the animal-based equivalent.
It goes without saying that all the beer and wine is vegan friendly here too, which makes things so easy. Edinburgh is, albeit slowly, catching up with Glasgow in terms of vegan choice restaurants. Because Harmonium’s in Leith, it may not catch too many passers-by but it will count as a ‘find’ and you’ll be a hero among your friends once you introduce them to this sumptuous food.