I love my burgers, so much so that I’ve become a real judge of whether a burger is good or not. By my own standards, that is. I’ve heard about Sygn Bar and Kitchen, but I’d never passed by it. I wasn’t sure whether it would be worthy of my picky tastebuds, but I can gladly say they’ve proved to be one place I’d definitely go back to.
The best (and my favourite) way to explore new eateries in Edinburgh is to get a voucher, from Groupon or itison, and this is what we did with. I can be a bit stingy when it comes to spending money eating out and nobody I know has been to a new joint. I’ve had bad experiences before where a more upscale restaurant had bad service; what’s to say a more reasonably priced establishment won’t offer bad service?
Sygn Bar and Kitchen happily changes that stereotype. I’ve (embarrassingly) had to phone up and change our reservation a few times and the staff who answered the phone have been more than accommodating with my request and not once did they remark on my diva-like need to constantly change my booking. On arrival, I was pleased to find that it’s not such a hole in the wall as I expected. The bar is really close to the West End of Princes Street, just off of Queensferry Street. The location means this burger joint is quite central, but also quiet enough that you avoid the crowds when it becomes really busy (like for the Fringe festival month of August).
The bar and kitchen is quite simply decorated (notice the strung up bottles in the windows) but gives a very homey and friendly atmosphere. On arrival you’re immediately seated along the wall on booth seats or along long wooden benches and tables. Imagine the casual setting of a beer garden without the chance of weather!
The choice on the food (and drinks) menu are quite extensive. When we arrived, we noticed the range of beers on tap. There’s a nice range of Scottish, English, Belgian and Italian beer. For beer enthusiasts out there, I think that’s a good choice available, whatever tickles your fancy!
IF you’re fancying a cocktail (alcoholic or not), the whimsical names are sure to keep you intrigued! As we were on special drinks menu, we had a few delightful choices from the a la carte menu. We decided to go with the Westide (Brugal Blanco Rum with lime shaken with grapefruit bitters) and Little Blue Thrill (Stoli Russian vodka, blue curaçao and lemon topped with soda).
Westside (left) and the Little Blue Thrill (right)
We decided to share the crispy squid as a starter knowing how much a good burger fills you up. This way, if we’re still hungry after, we could share one of their scrumptious desserts (chocolate pie or salted caramel sundae, anyone?). Unfortunately, we were that hungry (oh that wonderful smell of crispy squid!) that we dug in and when I realised I hadn’t taken a photo, it was all gone. Trust me, it was good even without photographic evidence! The size of each piece of squid was bigger than what you would normally expect, like wide slices of bite-sized cheddar cheese, and it’s been cooked to perfection with just the right amount of crispy batter.
Next up, we had our choice of burgers and while the OH had a classic burger, the sound of buttermilk fried chicken just sounded so good to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good beef patty burger every now and then, but because of a film I watched years ago it’s put me off quite a lot of meats. I’m slowly on the conversion route to potentially becoming vegetarian/vegan, but the idea of giving up chicken really gets in the way. I can give up a lot of other meat, but chicken is my one vice I have a hard time giving up.
The burger patties were cooked for just the right amount of time so that it’s still juicy and tender. Served of soft brioche buns, you couldn’t ask for better tasting burgers. Each burger also comes with a side of chopped salad or fries on a wooden tray which gives it a little bit of a fun factor. If your burger eating skills are anything like mine (or maybe it’s just my messy burger eating technique), bits of it will drop everywhere, but you won’t be losing much of your meal with that half crate!
The OH’s Big Smoke burger (beef patty with smoked cheese, smoked bacon, onion rings, lettuce and BBQ sauce) with a side of chopped salad
Fried Chicken burger (buttermilk fried chicken with maple bacon, garlic mayo, lettuce, house salsa and melted Swiss cheese) with fries
For anyone with a good appetite, we shared a starter and had our own burgers and the OH couldn’t fit anymore food into his belly and neither could I. If you’re up for the challenge, please let me know what the desserts were like as we couldn’t fit it in. I was really disappointed we couldn’t have the chocolate pie or sundae but we’ll definitely make it a point to stop by again another time on an emptier stomach!
Sygn Bar and Kitchen is located at 15 Charlotte Ln, EH2 4QZ just off of Queensferry Street past Zizzi’s. Book a table online here or phone them up on 0131 225 6060.