It’s all a matter of timing at Iris

Ever had that moment where you’ve been impressed by the menu outside a restaurant, gone inside, been shown to a table and, when you’ve sat down, you look around and realise you and your dining partner are the only ones there?

Have you made a big mistake?

We found ourselves in that situation in Edinburgh the other Friday.

Looking for an early evening meal but no booking made we headed for a restaurant we like and have visited quite a few times in the past.

They could taken us - but we’d have to be out by half-six.

Now we quite like to savour what we’re eating and drinking, but on the other hand we’re past the stage of spending much time gazing into each other’s eyes. But this was just a bit tight for us.

We’d noticed the small restaurant across the road, but hadn’t given it a lot of attention.

I must admit it was the lunch/pre-theatre menu that drew us inside – an attractive looking £11.95 for two courses, £14.95 for three.

The welcome was warm, yes they had a table – but we’d need to be out by 7.30. That was a bit more like it.

She showed us to our table and took our coats. It was then that that thought struck.

Had we boobed?

Certainly, the waitress didn’t seem unduly concerned. And right enough, as we looked at the menus the place began to fill up and by the time we left there was hardly a seat to be had.

The Iris is, it turns out, a relatively new addition to the Thistle Street restaurant scene, a welcome addition it must be said.

A glance at the dinner menu, as we nibbled at the restaurant’s delicious made-on-the premises bread, meant the pre-theatre offer, good as it was, was almost immediately discarded.

The offerings, and I reckoned I could have enjoyed any one of them, were just too tempting.

My starter of fried chorizo and morcilla with caramelised apple was tart and sweet at the same time, delicious and surprising. Myra said her king prawns with chilli, coriander and garlic were as good as she’s had. With mussels, scallops, hot smoked salmon and smoked duck the alternatives, we could almost have stuck to the starters – but the mains menu was just as tempting.

My medium rare ribeye was beautifully cooked, served with just enough black pepper and a good squeeze of lemon. Myra opted for a pork and spinach roulade wrapped in parma ham with apple and grain mustard.

Salad and sides are marked up separately, giving you the chance to pick and choose. We opted to share slices of fried sweet potato with chilli and coriander mayonnaise and a portion of superb garlic fries.

If like me you can spend ages drooling over a good menu, hows about roast duck breast coated with Drambuie and raspberries, griddled swordfish with spicy pineapple salsa, or whole lemon sole with artichokes, chorizo and chive gnocchi?

Accompanied by a nice red and rounded off with a with a well-stocked and sourced cheese board we left well satisfied – our bill in the mid sixties – having spent a very pleasant hour or so in a restaurant that I’d recommend you give a go.

Iris is at 47A Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DY. To book call 0131 220 2111 or e-mail {mailto:info@irisedinburgh.|info@irisedinburgh.|Click here to e-mail Iris}.