Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Tapas....Scottish Style at Howie's Cellar

The revolving door of guests keeps going...around...and around...and around...when will it stop?...nobody knows!! Despite not being used to entertaining day after day I have been so happy to be welcoming our friends and family to our new home city. 

This past weekend we fell victim to the classic mistake...late lunch...with reservations for an early dinner (had to get off to the tattoo)...the late lunch is something that I have yet to master.  I always find myself thinking...hmmm soup or something light would be best seeing as dinner is not far off...and without fail...BAM! giant sandwich with chips and mayonnaise and dessert appears before me...and, of course, I wolf it all down...every last crumb.  

Saturday afternoon was no exception...and then, at 5:30 I was faced with the nightmare of not really being hungry, but knowing I had to eat before going to our 7:30 show...luckily, I had made reservations for us at Howies Cellar in Alva Street..where small dishes are in abundance!  I've not been to any of the Howies yet, but they had a good write up in the Food and Drink magazine and I couldn't wait to try one...

The focus at Howies Cellar is Scottish ingredients and recipes in tapas style dishes.  Well...wasn't THAT just the answer for four not-so-hungry stomachs...

7 dishes and some bread was pudding and potato bravas, fried brie and chutney, grilled sardine salad, braised beef casserole, penne with scottish beef meatballs in spicy tomato sauce, haggis fritters, and smoked mackerel mousse.  

For the most part it was all pretty good...some dishes divided up well, some not so well (the sardine was really small). 

And, in the end...somehow...I found room for dessert! 


  1. The idea of Scottish ingredients in the form of tapas is so intriguing. Our newest favorite restaurant here is a tapas wine bar, and I think the small size of the dishes has a lot to do with it. Isn't it always the case that the appetizers at any restaurant usually out shine the entrees anyway.

  2. Ooh! Sounds sooo yummy! If we have early supper I tend to plan brunch! Yes, I know it sounds pretentious but it works!

  3. This looks fantastic! Definitely one to check out next time we come to Edinburgh. I love tapas style food and particularly love the idea of the haggis fritters here - yum.


  4. We don't have Howies here; but love to find tapa bars where we can eat small portions of everything good. Those grilled sardines remind me of our trip to Spain; they really know the art of tapas.

  5. yum....tapas or hors d'oeuvres or dim sum or antipasti...they're all so yummy...and then you can jump right into dessert!!!


  6. was interesting...but then again, I am a sucker for black pudding and haggis!!

    A trifle...I had planned brunch...but my plans didn't seem to pan out... was surprisingly good, do check it out next time you are up here! x

    Rita...The sardine was so yummy...I just wish there had been more to go around!!! That is the only problem with tapas...I am not very good at sharing my food! hahaha

    Mummi-ji...yes, jump right into dessert...always important to suss out the dessert menu before deciding on what to eat for the main!! xx

  7. I'm not the best food sharer around. Especially if there is something super tasty.

  8. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or

    just go to and click on "Add your site"

    Best regards,