Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Review

For the last five years my wife has been studying illustration first at HND level followed by a BA degree at Edinburgh College of Art. Prior to this she worked as a professional chef for many years and even though she lost the will to cook professionally (still loves cooking at home) she’s kind of naturally fallen into the category of Food Illustrator for which you can find her work at http://livwanillustration.com/

At the time of writing this article she’s only got about 3 to 4 weeks until her final exhibition and for her exhibition she will be showing off a few pieces of work.

One is her illustrated food maps which look simply awesome. She’s taken the outline of a few select countries including Japan, Taiwan, the USA and Mexico, researched each countries food and special landmarks then illustrated everything.

She’ll also be showing off her illustrated recipe book which was made in collaboration with the popular food illustration website “They Draw and Cook” and also her Home Style Taiwanese Cooking cookbook.

There’s also a book cover project where she’s taken popular books, including those by Roald Dahl, and created her own covers for each book. 90% of the time her work is bright, colourful and fun but some of the books have a real macabre look so they are visually really interesting to look at.

The final project, and the one that brought this review about, is her Illustrated Restaurant Guide of Edinburgh. Through my work, through her work and also our love of eating out we’ve visited quite a lot of restaurants in Edinburgh so she’s creating an illustrated restaurant guide for the EH postcode. Eventually she will create a zine or booklet but restaurants covered so far include Bread Meats Bread, Bostock Bakery, Ong Gie, Earthy (which is the restaurant featured in this post) and one another to be decided.

Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh
Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh

When Liv and I moved to Edinburgh we initially lived in the Goldenacre part of the city. This is just a stone’s through from the Royal Botanical Gardens and just a few minutes walk from the popular Canonmills area of Edinburgh. Canonmills is popular for it’s bars, restaurants and quirky shops but it’s a ludicrously expensive area to live. Point is, as you go into Edinburgh from Goldenacre there’s a main junction that takes you directly into the city or into Canonmills and on that junction is “Earthy” restaurant. Every time we passed Earthy it was absolutely packed out with customers but looking at their website they were advertising “organic” food. I’m a little old fashioned I guess but whenever I read “organic” I think “hippy food” so we never went.

Liv was checking out their instagram page a couple weeks ago and saw a photo of this really beautiful breakfast so we decided to give it a go, especially for her Illustrated Recipe Guide for Edinburgh and wow, the food was awesome.

We’ve been twice now and the first time we ordered their big breakfast which you can see below and it was awesome. In fact it was quite possibly one of the most delicious breakfasts I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Instead of baked beans it came with butter beans cooked in a rich, herby, tomato sauce that tasted like bacon. The sausages were beautiful, we had a breakfast tea which was lovely and both times we’ve visited we were given a big table water each time with a different fruit or vegetable inside (first time lemon/lime, second cucumber). Breakfast was around £10 each.

Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh
Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh
Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh

The second time we visited we ordered two lunch courses. The first dish was baked organic eggs, spicy tomato sauce, tuscan sausage, spinach and focaccia. The eggs were perfectly runny and the sausage absolutely delicious. There was a bit too much sauce though.

I ordered a venison ragu with kale polenta. This was awesome, absolutely delicious. I like but don’t love kale but the kale polenta was absolutely gorgeous. The venison was tender and everything was seasoned perfectly.

Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh
Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh
Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh
Earthy Restaurant Canonmills Edinburgh

Earthy also has a shop which sells really delicious cakes and all kinds of health conscious produce. There’s freshly picked vegetables, fresh bread, cheese, meats and all kinds of healthy and organic products. We bought two slices of banana and caramel cake and it was lovely.

Any negatives? Well, the service was interesting. We got served by three people in total from two visits. The lady who served us for breakfast was really nice, really friendly. The man who served us for lunch was pleasant and chatty but the lady who took our order looked really pissed off and was really short in speech. She came over, dumped the menus on our table and came back with a “what do you want?” when we ordered. I didn’t really care but Liv having worked in fine dining restaurants picks up on these things more than myself.

Also the lunch portions are a wee bit small. I wasn’t desperately hungry when we visited so my portion honestly filled me up but our portions were a tad small. Liv’s baked eggs dish was mostly tomato sauce and my course was just a bit small but maybe dinner portions are bigger?

Unfortunately the restaurant is to be demolished to make way for more (fucking) acommodations by the beginning of 2017. They have another branch in South Side which doesn’t serve dinner but we’re hoping Earthy Canonmills can locate somewhere still local and more permanent.