Falko Konditormeister, Gullane

IMAG0723My boyfriend and I had a a weekend through on the East Coast recently, and we may have made a pilgrimage to bakery Falko Konditormeister on both the Saturday and Sunday mornings…whoops. Falko Konditormesiter is owned an run by German master pastry chef Falko Burkert (konditormesiter means the highest state qualification for a pastry chef in Germany). The Falko story began in 2005 with a mega-successful stall at Edinburgh’s Farmer’s Market, followed by a cafe in Bruntsfield, then finally the Gullane branch.

First of all – the surroundings. The café is in a lovely sandstone corner shop, and, with its dark wood paneling and log fire, is the perfect place to wile away a winter hour or two.

IMAG0727

A slice of the the Schwarzwälderkirschtorte (black forest gateau), and the Schokoladentrüffeltorte, with a hot chocolate!

We started off with the Schwarzwälderkirschtorte (black forest gateau), and the Schokoladentrüffeltorte  (chocolate trufflecream gâteau). I also ordered one of their specialty teas, opting for a pot of refreshing lemon, while Ian upped the treat ante with a hot chocolate.

Both cakes were delicious, and far lighter than looking at them would suggest. The only slight criticism I had was that I would’ve liked a more pronounced cherry flavour in the schwarzwälderkirschtorte, but that’s a personal taste thing. 

We also bought two further cakes to take away – the Opera Torte, and the Schoko-Orangen-Kuchen (chocolate orange tart). The Opera Cake has similar flavours to a tiramisu, but with a much firmer texture. The boyfriend fell in love with the chocolate orange tart, with its strong rich flavours and rich thick ganache. I have to say, although our earlier cakes were good, these really knocked our socks off – rich, though not cloying – the opera cake was beautiful to look at with perfectly balanced layers while the tart had a deep, bitter ganache and fantastic, light pastry.

IMAG0733

Orangen-Kuchen and the Opera Cake for afters!

In terms of cost, you are talking around £4 per item – not cheap in itself, but compared to the dried up husks you so often find in cafes, the quality is incomparable. I have seen some comments around about the quality of service (surly staff, orders having to be repeated…) but I didn’t experience that myself – our waiters were friendly, if not overly so, and everything arrived as swiftly as it was ordered. 

The next day we decided we couldn’t resist and had to have one last visit while still through in the east, and ordered the pancakes with honey roast banana and bacon. The bananas had a slight hint of curry flavours, which sounds unusual to a British palette, but I think fruit and curry are a fairly common pairing on the continent, and they do work together well.

For me, both branches of Falko, but particularly the Gullane branch, are really special places to visit – the quality of the cakes and tarts can’t be faulted, and curling up next to the log fire with a pot of tea and a treat feel so luxurious.

ETA: Since I initially started drafting this post, we’ve been back yet again, this time taking friends and their toddler. Due to being with friends, I didn’t take any photos, but I can heartily recommend the black pudding and goats’ cheese open sandwiches we had!

Bread Meats Bread Launch Party and Review

IMAG1098_1

I was recently tweeted by Bread Meats Bread, asking if I’d like to attend their launch party – well, seeing as the boyfriend and I are massive fans of that kind of American style nosh, it would’ve been rude to say no!

Now, we’re not particularly au fait with launch parties and the likes, so weren’t entirely sure what to expect – we rolled up on a chilly Tuesday night at their new premises on St Vincent Street and were greeted with a lovely glass of prosecco to kick off proceedings.

We grabbed a window seat, and took in the surroundings – I really like the décor (I’m a big fan of a stripped brick wall) and the wooden benches also had cute little display areas at the bottom, which was a nice quirk.

Shortly after we sat down, the lovely waitress started bringing us little baskets of food, sampling plenty of options form the menu and she kindly didn’t stop until we were so stuffed we practically rolled off our seats and on to the floor. 

First up was a duo of burgers – the black and blue, and a classic black. I’m not a great fan of blue cheese, but this was a fairly mild one and did compliment the charred flavour of the burger and pretzel style bun. Both burgers were well cooked with a good beefy flavour.

We also tried the New York hotdog – the kitchen make their own hotdogs in house, and this was nicely flavoured, with a texture closer to a regular sausage than a traditional hotdog, and accompanied with nice slow-cooked sweet onions and a mellow yellow (ha, I’m a poet, and I don’t know it!) mustard.

We were particularly delighted to be delivered a piping hot basket of sweet potato fries with sriracha mayo – we’d fallen in love with these when we were in the States, where everywhere seems to serve them, but they haven’t yet caught on in the UK. The waitress apologised profusely as they weren’t as crispy as the chefs wanted (this is a soft opening after all, the purpose of which is to knock out the kinks), but we scarfed them down in double quick time and found no faults.

Sadly, by the time we got round to the samples of the smoked beef brisket we really were needing rolled out the door, but the half I did manage to eat was absolutely fabulous – super smoky and very soft, in a fantastic brioche roll.

Based on the food and service we experience on this ‘soft launch’ night, Bread Meats Bread is somewhere I would happily pay for a full meal, and have suggested it as the venue for the next girls’ night out – good company, a few beers and fantastic food. Perfect!

Many thanks to the Bread Meats Bread team for their kind invite. 

IMAG0038

Amazing sweet potato fries

IMAG1097

The New York Gourmet Dog and a Classic Burger

IMAG0037

Fries with spicy sriracha mayo

IMAG1099

A classic cheeseburger and the bbq brisket on brioche – a highlight!