Did you know that Camera Obscura visitors get a tasty 10% discount at Maison Bleue? Located on Victoria Street on the way to the Grassmarket, Maison Bleue is convenient for those Camera Obscura visitors who are looking for a nice lunch or dinner in a cosy restaurant at reasonable prices. My colleague and I decided to take a wander and sample the menu for ourselves….
You’ll be warmly welcomed into a room full of comfy stools and big cushions where we waited for our table, but I think you can sit there for coffee and a cake. The staff were all friendly and relaxed and are a real asset to the place. There is even a canine host in the form of Rosco the dog!
The restaurant area is made up of two small – but not squashed – levels. The stone staircase on the lowest level curves around one corner of the room, with archways in the middle over wooden floorboards. The design is the perfect balance of the old and the new.
The attention to detail is carried through in the menus, which are prettily designed as well as offering a varied choice of food. Most of the chefs are native to France, North Africa or Scotland, and their skills influence the menus. The lunch menu includes starters from mussels to haggis balls and main courses from salmon to steak.
For our starter, we decided to go for the haggis balls, ‘deep-fried in stout batter, with clapshot potatoes and whisky sauce’. Now I have to confess that, despite being a Scot born and bred, this was the first time I had tried haggis. Although I had been put off by the idea of what was in it, it was actually quite good. Guess that’s why it’s popular! The mash was amazing.
As for mains, although portions look reasonably-sized, they are actually mammoth-sized portions on a bigger-than-usual plate. It’s an illusion worthy of Camera Obscura. I’m aware that in a restaurant review when we talk about the dishes it’s normally to refer to the food, but even the plates themselves are worth a mention here. They look a little bit like UFOs.
I had tagliatelle with aubergine, cherry tomatoes, tomato pesto, rocket and parmesan and my colleague opted for ‘Daube de joue de boeuf’ with a side of garlic and Gruyère mash. Everything was well presented and tasted great, but unfortunately we had eaten so much that we didn’t have any room for dessert. Looks like we’ll just have to go back!
Written by Lauren Robertson
N.B. larger groups are recommended to book