Coming back to Edinburgh, one of my happiest surprises was discovering Checkpoint.
As a student, I’d walk by the old, abandoned building every day on the way to class. Now, it’s been totally refurbished with a unique decor that serves as a cafe and lunch spot during the day and transforms into a swanky restaurant & bar at night.
My friend and I visited for dinner on a Saturday night, and were pleased to find the menu just as unique and inspiring as the decor.
The menu is full of creative combinations that utilise a lot of local product. In addition to the food, they’ve got a fantastic wine & beer list, and unusual cocktails like a bourbon martini.
After much deliberation, we settled on a bowl of slow cooked chorizo, kale & mixed bean topped with a walnut & spinach pesto to start.
It was warm and hearty on a cold, drizzly night – just what the doctor ordered. The flavours worked beautifully together, the pesto being a particular hit.
As soon as we finished, the main courses arrived.
My friend got the pigeon breast, cooked to perfection with just the right amount of pink (a high complement coming from a Frenchman!).
I got the ox cheek, and I’m still dreaming about it. I’ve genuinely never had such a tender piece of meat in my life! It was so delicate that I could pull it apart with just my fork, and it genuinely melted in my mouth.
To my friend’s delight, I was just a bit too full to be able to finish it off, so he happily devoured the leftovers.
I always, however, have room for dessert!
We split the berry crumble, topped with coconut cream. And it was so delicious. The crumble topping wasn’t too sweet, something that I’m usually rather picky about with crusts. And the coconut cream was downright heavenly too.
We finished our meal off with an espresso that was honestly one of the best I’ve had in the city, making us really want to check out Checkpoint during the day as a cafe.
One of my favourite parts about Checkpoint was the layout. It’s a vast space, but feel’s cosy due to all of the nooks and crannies.
The shipping container and little lounge area in particular would be great to book out for larger groups or parties.
I really wish that this place had been around when I was a student. It’s perfectly located just across from Bristo Square, has really reasonably priced meals for the exceptional quality, and is complete with a cosy, buzzy interior.
I’ll definitely be back here for another meal before I leave Edinburgh, and if you’re around make sure you don’t miss this place!