When finding places to eat in Edinburgh, it can sometimes feel like there is somewhere new popping up almost daily. The newest, and most buzzed about restaurant to open in recent weeks has to be 83 Hanover Street. Located bang centre in the middle of town, at you guessed it, 83 Hanover Street, the restaurant is an easy location to reach for Edinburgh locals and alike, which is a good thing, because you’re going to want to visit. A lot.
The brainchild of Juan José Castillo Castro, and a sister restaurant to 99 Hanover Street, 83 is the city’s new favourite foodie spot, combining Chilean cuisine and Scottish produce. The combination may sound like an odd one, but weirdly, it makes a whole lot of sense. Castro’s dishes are seasonal, emphasising what’s in season, and subbing in local fish and meet for their South American counterparts. He has also flown his mother on from Chile especially so she can teach kitchen staff the proper bread-making methods. If that’s not dedication, I’m not really sure what is! A table of Edinburgh’s most enthusiastic foodies, we kicked things off with an introduction from Juan himself, cocktails, and a bowl of salted Scorched Padron Peppers covered in Grated Pedano (£5). Soft and delicately singed, these were the perfect nibble to enjoy over introductions.
Over the course of the evening, dishes came thick and fast. 83 Hanover Street is open from 12pm-12am daily, with a menu split into Bites and Plates and Charcuterie Boards. The result is a menu made for sharing – order some wine, a few plates, and enjoy the evening.
Hot on the heels of the Padrons, came Sopaipillas and Pebre (£4) – fried savoury donuts with a sour, zesty salsa. A Chilean street food classic, they were deliciously moreish.
Pork Belly Chicarrones with Roquito Pepper Jam (£6) were up next.
Swiftly followed by the Braised Lamb Croquettes and Lima Bean (£7). The crisp breaded outside gave way to fluffy lamb interiors, and the lima beans created a sort of Chilean hummus – delicious!
The Fried Calamari with Merken Aioli (£6) was one (of many) highlights of the evening. I’m not usually a fan of squid due to texture issues, but 83 Hanover Street soak theirs in milk overnight to tenderise it, and the result? Melt in the mouth morsels, delicately seasoned and enjoyed with a spiced aloe and fresh chilli.
Next up came the Ceviche with hills, Lime and Coriander (£8). Everyone at the table remarked that it was possibly the freshest fish they’d ever enjoyed in Edinburgh, and I adored the zesty flavours.
The seafood continued with Grilled Swordfish and Chorizo Skewers with Mojo Rojo New Potatoes (£12). The spicy sausage paired perfected with the meaty fish, and the spiced potatoes were an absolute revelation too!
The night’s showstopper, was, undoubtedly the Charred Octopus with White Bean Escabeche (£11). Again, I never usually order octopus, but this was divine. Meaty tentacles were crisp and charred, and the white bean escabeche was the stuff of dreams.
We ended the evening on a suitably indulgent note – Tres Leches Donuts (£5) served in a condensed milk sauce. Light as air, these street-food favourites were spiced with nutmeg, and no one could resist going in for seconds!
Thank you so much to 83 Hanover Street for a fabulous evening – you can find out more about the restaurant here.