Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Bristo Place (Old Town in Edinburgh)

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This historic hotel was a former city asylum now converted into a boutique hotel and restaurant. It is located in the Old Town, in-between the meadows and Greyfriars Bobby, away from the crowds of bustling tourists on the Royal Mile. To get to the restaurant involved walking under an archway and through a quiet courtyard. The restaurant had a distinctive classy French feel to it, with it’s dark-stained floorboards and soft lighting.

Just8 couldn’t resist the 5pm offer of 3 courses and a glass of champagne for 2 people for £29. Sometimes the food you are given with these offers can seem a little substandard. However, we were really pleased with the food and our choices.

For starters we had the goats cheese crostini and prawns with aioli sauce. Both were well presented, delicious and to be recommended. The rump steak and wing of skate were very good too, with the steak cooked to a pink perfection. For dessert the lemon posset and chocolate mousse were of a mouth-wateringly good quality. Both were served in a glass that was slightly larger than a shot glass. I had the chocolate mousse which was a rich, creamy, chocolately flavour – perfection.

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Just8 gives Hotel du Vin & Bistro 8/10. I would definitely recommend this 5pm deal to other people looking for a treat.

Hotel du Vin & Bistro Edinburgh page: http://www.hotelduvin.com/locations/edinburgh/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hdv.brand

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/HotelduVinBrand

November, Princes Square. (City Centre, Glasgow)

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Situated in the rooftop of Princes Square in Glasgow, lies the contemporary November. Skylights in the ceiling result in the restaurant having a light and airy ambience. Just8 visited on a sunny, Good Friday. This popular, busy, restaurant felt like the place to be.

I had the 8 oz steak burger (with skinny fries and coleslaw) and my Just8 guest ordered the baked potato with tuna mayonnaise. Both were very flavoursome and reasonably priced (steak @ £8.75 and baked potato @ £5.75). They were so tasty in fact that both were eaten before I could take a photo (oops!). According to November’s website, every dish from the Market Menu is made from scratch and nothing is bought in or pre-packaged. Very impressive in these cost driven times!

We couldn’t resist a cocktail – a mojito and a Cosmopolitan. At night November turns into a bar, playing host some of Glasgow’s finest DJ’s.

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Just8 gives November 8/10. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to a friend wanting a well-priced, contemporary place to eat.

November day site homepage: http://www.novemberglasgow.co.uk/index.php?t=day

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NovemberGlasgow

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/NovemberGlasgow

The Hanoi Bike Shop, Ruthven Lane. (West End of Glasgow)

Hanoi Bike Shop

Glasgow’s first Vietnamese restaurant situated in the heart of the West End. The Hanoi Bike Shop serves up authentic Vietnamese food with decor to match. Such was the authenticity that at times I had to remind myself that outside the door lay a dank, dreich Scotland and not a humid, vibrant Vietnam.

Hanoi Bike Shop

We visited on a Sunday at lunchtime, when a Sunday Brunch menu was offered. If you go during brunch time, be sure to try the delicious Bo La Lot, Beef in Betel Leaf (see picture above). During other times a fuller menu is available when dishes range from different types of Pho (a traditional Vietnamese noodle broth with fresh herbs – see picture below) to various types of Vietnamese curries.

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The restaurant even boasts that it makes its own Tofu (how does that work?!). Service was friendly and the bill was good value at about £16 per person for a main, side, non-alcoholic drink and a cup of mint tea. Since this is a relatively small restaurant, booking is advisable. So if you want to try one of the hottest places in town, be sure to go to the Hanoi Bike Kitchen. A genuine taste of Vietnam in Scotland.

Just8 gives the Hanoi Bike Kitchen 9/10. Good value, tasty, probably pretty healthy and a bit different.

Hanoi Bike Shop homepage: http://www.thehanoibikeshop.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHanoiBikeShop

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hanoibikeshop

Welcome to Just8

I came up with the idea for a website because I was fed up with looking at recipes books with too many (as far I was concerned) ingredients. The idea with this website is to build up a list recipes, with only 8 ingredients.

Also from time to time, I will treat myself by doing restaurant reviews. I am based in Glasgow, but would take the opportunity to go to other places to try a good restaurant.

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