I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Published September 17th 2013
Amazing afternoon teas and luscious lunches
When the schools are off, and the time is right for a lazy afternoon lunch, where do you go? If you live in Leith, or indeed anywhere nearby, then you'll probably have found yourself heading over to Mimi's Bakehouse. And if you haven't, then you should.
Mimi's combines two marvellous things: friendly service and gloriously indulgent food. The portions here are more generous than similar teahouses and cafes, and the staff of the family-run restaurant are welcoming and always willing to offer a recommendation on which of their delicious treats would most suit your mood, and your appetite.
The afternoon tea is a firm favourite with my family. It's a traditional British affair: 3 types of sandwich, 3 or 4 types of petits fours, and my favourite: mini-scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream. The fruit scones have a touch of cinnamon and they are delicious. The afternoon tea is slightly too large for one of my daughters, so our waitress kindly let them share one between them, with the "tea" provided as two cups of apple juice instead.
My husband and I like to try different savoury treats. Being diabetic, he can't indulge in the sweet ones. Fortunately, the main courses are of the same large portions as the slabs of cake, and thus still satisfying for someone who can't eat sugar. There are soups, salads, and tarts that change on a daily basis, and this time he tried a cheddar and ham tart. Even knowing the portions err on the large side, I was still astounded at the huge slice that came his way. He pronounced it delicious.
I tried the quesadilla. It came along with nachos, and some sour cream and salsa. My two girls tried the nachos dipped in the jam and cream that had been intended for their scones, giggling the whole time. "Surprisingly good", was their verdict of that combination, although I wouldn't recommend it unless you are the kind of person that likes bacon and jam sandwiches (I am). The quesadilla itself was generous on the filling, and had just the right amount of heat from the jalapenos, offset by gooey melted cheese.
On previous visits we have tried the coconut chicken, which is crispy and light, and the Edinburgh answer to a Bratwurst hotdog, which sources a sausage from local butcher Crombie's. Both of these are well worthy a try, neither better than the other, I would recommend any of the Mimi's menu depending on your personal taste or what you are in the mood to try.
The ambience itself is bustling, but not overly crowded. The walls are covered with interesting touches – pictures of the Bakehouse family, a cheesecake burlesque-inspired wallpaper, and various chairs and tables that add to the vintage feel. Mimi's was so popular - it's always full in the busy afternoon period - that they extended into an office next door. I'm glad they did, because it adds an airiness to what used to be a very small space.
I'd always suggest booking, especially if you are going at a weekend or at the afternoon tea slot, or at a special occasion. If you're happy to wait and can't book, then you might get a table, but you might be unlucky. They do offer takeaway options, so you can still get a cake fix if the Bakehouse is full.