Apart from questions on sightseeing, we also had to decide where to eat haggis in Edinburgh on our first trip there. Our search ended with the Howies Restaurant, Victoria Street Edinburgh. Haggis is a classic Scottish dish containing various parts of sheep. It has acquired quite a reputation as various parts of the animal (including its internal organs) are used so that nothing goes to waste. The “spare parts” are traditionally simmered in sheep’s stomach. Nowadays, it seems that it is more commonly cooked in a casing (like a sausage). Sounds disgusting, which made us even more curious.
Howies Restaurant has three branches in Edinburgh. We visited the Howies Restaurant Victoria Street outlet which is listed as #251 of 1,858 restaurants in Edinburgh on Tripadvisor. It was crowded and the atmosphere was lively in a nice way. It is best to make a reservation beforehand. We would soon find out why. The lunch deal (£12.75 and £15.75 for two and three courses respectively) was amazing value for money and the food can rival those from more fancy restaurants.
Howies Restaurant Victoria St Menu
Here are pictures of the Howies Victoria menu for lunch and a page from the whisky. Sorry about the fuzzy picture. We must have been excited to try the haggis. We decided to a quick 2-course lunch so that we could have more time to explore the nearby Royal Mile.
Our starters were Scottish mussels of the day and haggis. The mussels were very good. They were medium-sized and extremely delicate and sweet. We could go on eating many pots of these.
Here is a picture of our haggis, neeps and tatties. According to Wikipedia, “neep” is a type of turnip and “tatties” refers to potato. We were pleasantly surprised to see how civilised it looked. We were expecting a rough dish. The taste of the haggis was also better than what we had been led to believe. Or perhaps this was the “beginner’s version” for visitors. Haggis tastes like braised minced beef rolled into a cylindrical shape. The meaty brown sauce was nice to go with each of the components of haggis, neeps and tatties. There was no weird taste or smell.
It is traditional to eat haggis with a dram of whisky. This option was offered at Howies for an extra £4.10. The dram of Glenfiddich 12 years was served neat and it went well with the dish.
Our selected main courses were both fish dishes – the catch of the day (sea bass) and fillet of Shetland salmon.
We enjoyed both the main courses. The seabass in particular was extremely fresh and perfectly cooked. The skin was done to a delicate crisp. The salmon was good but was not so memorable. Overall, it was a surprising good lunch at the Howies which looks like a very average restaurant in Edinburgh.
We were glad to have arrived at this conclusion when deciding where to eat haggis in Edinburgh as the other types of food were very good. Service at the restaurant was helpful and friendly.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
10-14 Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2HG
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog