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56-58 St Mary’s Street
+44(0)131 556 5888
Overall score: ★★★★☆
Recently Mr B and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, so to mark the occasion we decided to go somewhere special. It didn’t take long for us to decide on the ideal place: David Bann.
David Bann is often mentioned in conversations about great vegan cuisine in Edinburgh, however given its reputation for fine food I thought the place would be fairly stuffy – nothing could be further from the truth. When we went in one Sunday afternoon, there was a good mix of people dining, including families and groups of friends taking a break from Sunday shopping in the city, so the vibe was in fact quite chilled out and relaxed.
Vegan food available at David Bann
Being a vegetarian restaurant, the team at David Bann are very good at clearly labelling on their menu the dishes that are vegan or can be made vegan on request. At the time of writing, the following dishes are available:
Starters, salads and sides
- Thai fritter of broccoli and smoked tofu – fritters of home smoked tofu and broccoli with peas, fresh ginger, green chilli, lime leaf, lemongrass, sesame and coriander. Served with a fresh banana chutney and plum dressing
- Salad of red cabbage, beetroot and pomegranate with smoked cheese toast – A leafy, crunchy salad of red cabbage, carrot, beetroot, broccoli and pomegranate in a lemon mustard dressing. Normally topped with smoked cheese on toast, the vegan version of this dish is made with smoked tofu instead.
- Homemade hummus – with tomato chutney and homemade bread
- Olives – marinated olives with homemade bread and herb olive oil
- Smoked and marinated tofu – fried and served with mango chutney
- Chunky chips – with fresh rosemary and thyme, served with homemade apple and tomato ketchup
- Spicy quinoa chilli in chickpea pancakes with chocolate sauce – Chilli in tomato sauce with quinoa, butter beans, kidney beans and vegetables, served with sweet potato, courgette, salsa, crème fraîche and chocolate sauce (vegan version comes without the crème fraîche)
- Stir fried vegetables with udon noodles and smoked tofu – Vegetables and udon wheat noodles cooked in Thai spices with sesame tomato sauce and topped with home smoked tofu
- Aubergine, chickpea and cashew koftas – Spicy koftas of roasted aubergine, chickpea and toasted cashews. Served with roasted sweet potato in a spicy aromatic coconut, courgette tomato sauce, green beans, toasted almond flakes and a sweet papaya salad
- Risotto of roasted red pepper with kale and kohlrabi – Arborio rice cooked in David Bann’s own broth with leek, kale, white wine, mascarpone and Lynburn Farm mature cheese with red pepper sauce. Served with kohlrabi and watercress salad (can be made vegan on request.
I ended up going for the Thai fritters to start, followed by the cashew koftas. I really enjoyed the fritters, and the banana chutney was certainly quite intriguing, however I did really love the plum dressing.
The cashew koftas for my main were also really good, but my favourite part of this dish was the sweet potato in coconut sauce. I find that sweet potato can be quite hit-and-miss, but the lovely rich sauce really brought the whole thing together.
David Bann is a great option if you want something a little bit special, but there is certainly no stuffy vibe here. This place gets the balance between great food and a relaxed atmosphere absolutely perfect. With its ideal location just off the Royal Mile, this is a great place to pop in for both locals and visitors alike.
Menu info: ★★★★★
Value for money: ★★★☆☆