Reviews

Martin Coyle from (Uddingston) wrote:

My wife and I had the pleasure of dining at Papilio after it was recommended by the reception staff at the Bruntsfield hotel during an overnight stay. (Only a five minute walk away). On arrival we received a very warm and were allowed to change our table location , which had been reserved without hesitation. Both our starters and mains were delicious and piping hot (which I love) and there was no problem when we requested a break. between courses due to the fact that we were almost full after the starters. We didn’t have room for a sweet but did manage to have a “wee sambuca”. After our meal we had a nice conversation with the owner and were offered complimentary drink which we declined but I thought It was a very nice gesture. I would definetly advise people to dine hear as it was a very pleasent experience for both my wife and I with delicious food.

Simon Hunter from (Edinburgh) wrote:

In my opinion, Papilio has to be one of the finest italian restaurants to open up in Edinburgh for many years. The quality and quantity of the food was outstanding, not to mention the exceptional level of service which accompanied every course. The service froom Moussa and his staff, without question, excellent and only surpassed by the outstanding array of food on offer. At a glance you can tell that the extensive wine list has been personally selected by the management, which reflects a considerable knowledge of what makes a good wine. Papilio’s staff were very friendly, extremely corteous and make you feel more than welcome. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone, as both myself and my guests had a wonderful evening. I think this has to be the jewel in the crown of Edinburgh’s italian restaurants, and I’m glad to see it’s opened up on my doorstep.

Richard Eaney from (Edinburgh) wrote:

After hearing that a new italian restaurant was opening across from one of my favourite pubs, I just had to try it. I was not to be disappointed with the food, wine and staff were all excellent and on fine form. The actual food was exquisite and the portions more than generous. I was taken aback from the friendly atmosphere and the service was secondto none. I whole-heartedly recommend this restaurant to anyone going for a romantic meal or a night out with friends. Top marks!

 

Graham Donaldson from (Edinburgh) wrote:

Before Papilio recently opened I had seen the old restaurant which used to occupy the site and had taken a mental note never to visit for a meal. I was therefore very surprised, when I was invited to go for dinner to a new Italian restaurant in Bruntsfield and found myself walking into the restaurant I had promised never to visit. What I saw thereafter, however, did not bear any resemblance to the restaurant of old. Inside the restaurant was clean bright and inmaculately decorated. Upon taken a seat and browsing the menu I was pleased to see that just about every one of my favourite Italian dishes was present from starters to main dishes, pasta, pizzas, etc. After making my selection the fool came quicly. The dishes were all beautifully prepared and the portions generous and all washed down with an excellent bottle of Italian red wine. After an starter and main course my partner and I agreed to share a desert as It would have been pointless to order whole one each! This too was excellent and we finished off with coffee and a liquer which provided the perfect end to a fantastic meal.

Peter Goddard from (Edinburgh) wrote:

After 18 years in Munich surrounded by so many wonderful Italian restaurants, at last after 7 years in Edinburgh, a good ‘Italian’ and local to us as well. Food and service very very good. Only thing that could improve it would be non-smoking, but I guess that is too much to hope for.

Chris McLeod from (Edinburgh) wrote:

I recently moved back to city centre living, and with some friends (whom shall remain nameless) sampled the daytime lunch menu (3 courses for £6.50 – great lunchtime offer). The food was delicious and too good to be true. I’d recommend the Papilio restaurant to anyone for that special occasion, date whatever – major thumbs up from me.

Rebecca Wood from (Edinburgh) wrote:

Fantastic – what more can I say. Papilio Restaurant is just what Bruntsfield needed. We were given a very warm welcome on arrival and shown to our table, which I have to say was ideal for watching the world go by. We were highly impressed by the wide range on the menu and equally impressed by the extensive wine list. The service was quick, friendly and efficient and the food was out of this world. Papilio’s is a must, be it for lunch, a pizza or a 3-course meal – I would highly recommend it and hope to be making many more visits (I’ll have to if I’m going to work my way through the menu!!).

Doug Wilkinson from (Woodseaves) wrote:

I arranged a meal for 18 people at the restaurant. From the moment I walked in I knew we were going to be looked after. Nice welcome, attentive and polite staff in a nice relaxed atmosphere. The menu provided an excellent choice. It was served so we all ate together ( no easy task with 18 ) looked good and tasted great. I will definitely be back for more !

Lynne Collins from (Liverpool) wrote:

My daughter and I came across Papilio when visiting Edinburgh. We were familiar with Bruntsfield and had gone there for some ‘retail therapy’! We were delighted to find the restaurant and were not disappointed with the meal we ordered. In fact we were so impressed we booked a table for the following day and came over from Newington just to eat at Papilio. The food was the tastiest I had eaten outside of Italy where we lived for a while and the standard of service very high. I have told all my friends about the restaurant for when they next visit Edinburgh.

Louise Humphrey from (Glasgow) wrote:

Working between both Glasgow and Edinburgh I have had the pleasure of dinning in some of the newest/modern/traditional/hip/authentic/ and the list goes on restaurants……..and I must say that dinning in Papilios was all of the above but in a really simple unfussy way.The decor was just so clean and fresh, the food delicious, the service just right making it a great night out to catch up with friends. I am looking forward to trying out more dishes on the menu very soon !

Tam Cowan [Daily Record] from (Glasgow) wrote:

APOLOGIES to everyone in the smart corner of Edinburgh known as Bruntsfield, but I’m afraid I’m about to let the cat out of the bag. Yes, you already know what I’m talking about, don’t you? That’s right, folks, I’m going to let the rest of Scotland know all about the local Italian restaurant – just up the hill from The King’s Theatre – that you’ve probably been trying to keep all to yourselves. Well, I’m very sorry, but I’ve got a job to do, so your secret is most definitely not safe with me – let’s hear it for Papilio.

After dumping the car directly outside the front door (no wonder they’re keen to keep it hush-hush with this sort of parking available in Edinburgh) we wandered inside the bustling Italian eaterie and I made a quick mental note – – book well ahead in advance or you’ll have no chance of a table at the weekend. You see, we visited Papilio on what we thought was going to be a quiet Tuesday night. But every one of the 10 tables (let’s call it compact and cosy) was a hive of activity and the atmosphere was quite tremendous.

First impressions of the food? Well, three of the four diners at the next table were all enjoying exactly the same thing – a Hawaiian pizza – so I’m willing to bet that’s something of a house speciality.Even though the very idea of putting pineapple on a pizza – or near any hot food – personally gives me the dry boak. Service is fast and efficient – exactly as we’ve come to expect with Italian joints – and a nice couple of surprises were thrown in free of charge. For example, one of the waiters nipped out to the nearby off-licence for some tonic water after discovering they only had the slimline version available. How’s that for customer service? OK, there’s probably a bit of a draught at the window seats, but the warm atmosphere – assisted by the stirring Placido Domingo CD – makes sure you’ll barely notice. And pretty soon, of course, I promise you the top-notch food is all you’ll be able to think about.

Our opening nibble – a slice or two of freshly-baked focaccia bread – got the juices flowing and convinced Sandy he’d done the right thing by ordering a pizza for his main course. Nominating the pick of the starters was a tough task. Brian reckons it was the king prawns (peeled as requested) with garlic, lemon and chilli. They looked and tasted quite fantastic and you’d think it was actually tiger prawns we were talking about the way they were generously heaped onto the plate. Meanwhile, Sandy tried the filo pastry king prawns – deep-fried and served with a spicy chilli dip – and I suppose you could say he gave them a positive verdict. ‘They’re so good, I can’t tell if they’re fresh or frozen,’ he said.

They serve half portions of pasta (that’s always a winner in my book), so listen, forget about the prawns – and just about everything else on the menu for that matter – and try the tagliatelle Papilio. ‘Very special – please try it!’ begs the menu and you won’t be disappointed. ‘What exactly is in it?’ I asked the waiter. ‘I’d be quicker telling you what’s not in it,’ he said, smiling. And he was dead right. Apart from the perfectly-cooked pasta ribbons, my bowl was packed with spicy sausage, bolognaise sauce, mushrooms, garlic, onion and goodness knows what else. It was finished off with a liberal sprinkling of black pepper and a heaped spoonful of Parmesan.Yes, the menu was spot on – please try it.

Three fish specials were available for a main course – halibut, monkfish and sea bass – but we opted for pizza, chicken and steak. Sandy described his diavolo pizza (peppers, spicy sausage and hot chillies) as perfect and was impressed with the extremely fresh bread base.

Brian’s steak – a generous slab of perfectly cooked sirloin topped with an onion, pepper, garlic, chilli and tomato sauce – didn’t last too long on his plate and was ‘absolutely delicious’. Again, though, I think I ordered the pick of the bunch. Chicken is something I only usually order in a Chinese or Indian restaurant but I really fancied the sound of the pollo Papilio – it didn’t disappoint. A large, meaty breast of chicken had been generously stuffed with spinach and cheese before being oven-baked in crunchy, crumbly breadcrumbs. It really was quite fantastic, one of the best chicken dishes (including satay or tikka) I can remember eating and even though my plate was cold (tut-tut) it didn’t sit long enough to take any effect.

Incidentally, all meat and fish dishes are served with mixed veg, but don’t get too excited.We’re only talking about – yes, you’ve guessed – a boring collection of broccoli, carrots and potatoes. All included in the price, sure, but I was still surprised to find such lack of imagination at a cracking place like this.

Desserts?Terrific if you like ice-cream as that’s what 10 of the 15 dishes on the sweet menu were all about. Mind you, it’s easy to work out why. Sandy had something called a coppa tropicana (vanilla ice-cream with Tia Maria, cream, almonds and fruit) and, forget all the other ingredients, he reckoned it was ‘the best ice-cream I’ve ever tasted’. Quite a compliment from a 47-year-old man, I’m sure you’ll agree. (I’ll pick up that £50 later, Sandy).

Brian was also hugely impressed with the raspberry cheesecake. ‘It’s now 10pm,’ he said, ‘yet this still tastes as though it’s just been freshly baked.’

I settled for a glass of the house red – every bit as good as the over-priced bottle of Chianti we’d ordered with dinner – and then we all had coffee with some of those brittle Amaretto biscuits that seem designed to break your teeth.

And finally, a lovely little touch from our waiter – a complimentary glass of refreshing lemon-flavoured liqueur.

‘I’m not trying to buy you,’ he said, after spotting my notebook. Don’t worry mate, the thought never crossed my mind. I mean,come on, a tiny glass of liqueur?The going rate these days is £5000 in a brown envelope…