Review: BABA Restaurant, Kimpton Edinburgh

Review: Baba Restaurant, Kimpton Edinburgh


This Review of BABA Restaurant at the Kimpton Charlotte Square in Edinburgh is from our site inspection visit. Stay tuned for our forthcoming hotel review and video.


BABA Restaurant Location and Hours

BABA is located at 130 George Street at the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. Princes Street, Edinburgh's high street, is a couple blocks away, Edinburgh Castle is a ~20 minute walk, and Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is a 20-35 minute drive, depending on traffic. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner from 12 noon until late, although the kitchen closes at 9:30pm. It was busy at dinner, so we highly recommend reservations for dinner.


BABA Menu and Food

We were impressed with the variety of dishes available on the menu, along with quite reasonable prices (at least considering the GBP/USD exchange rate), for a hotel restaurant.

Baba Restaurant Menu, Edinburgh
Baba Restaurant Menu, Edinburgh


We enjoyed lunch so much that we returned for dinner, so we were able to sample a number of different dishes.

From the Mezze, we tried both the excellent BABA ganoush eggplant dip and the hearty muhammara, made with roasted red pepper and walnuts. These come with warm pita, although you may need to order extra.

Baba Ganoush, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh
Muhammara, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


We also loved the hot-smoked sea trout with burnt lemon yogurt; combined with a vegetable side dish, this could serve as an excellent light meal.

Hot-Smoked Sea Trout, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


Our teen enjoyed the buffalo mozzarella with zhug and fresh herbs, although he commented that the zhoug we make at home is a bit better.

Buffalo Mozzarella with Zhug, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


Among the grilled dishes, our favorites were the Duke of Yorkshire Pork Neck with roast pineapple and mojo verde, as well as the simple but satisfying marinated chicken leg with harissa hummus.

Duke of Yorkshire Pork Neck, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh
Marinated Chicken Leg, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


The lamb adana itself was juicy and tasty, although the salmorejo (tomato bread soup) and parsley salad weren't as interesting to us as the other dishes we tried.

Lamb Adana, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


My favorite side dish and an absolute must order for a return visit was the blackened sweet potato with saffron creme fraiche and harissa. It was a fantastic balance of sweet, savory, spicy, and creamy.

Blackened Sweet Potato with Saffron Creme Fraiche, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


The cauliflower shawarma with ras-el-hanout, tahini and rose was also Ottolenghi-worthy.

Cauliflower Shawarma, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


The one dish we couldn't quite finish was one we were warned about: grilled turkish chillies with whipped feta and urfa pepper. We were asked if we actually wanted to order such a hot chili dish, and accepted the challenge. My husband chickened out after the first chilli, while I persisted, but we still didn't finish it. Don't order it unless you can really tolerate super spicy chilis.

Grilled Turkish Chillies, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


We only tried one dessert, the olive oil cake with dried apricots, which was fine although not memorable; come to BABA for the savory dishes, not the desserts.

Olive Oil Cake with Apricots, BABA Restaurant, Edinburgh


The Verdict

Hotel restaurants are often panned for being bland and forgettable, but that's definitely not the case with Baba, which served wonderfully spiced dishes, and in the case of the peppers, one that was even too hot even for me, a huge fan of spicy food. Breakfast at the Kimpton Charlotte Square is a more traditional hotel affair, so be sure to try Baba's Levantine cuisine at lunch or dinner.

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