“ 47 Thistle Street / Edinburgh / EH2 1DY / 0131 225 5782 „
It was my mothers birthday at the weekend and I wanted to eat out somewhere nice each day of the weekend but for lunch I didnt want to go somewhere too fancy as Id still have dinner on the actual day so I looked around. As usual there were a lot of overpriced restaurants that were charging extortionate prices for just sausages and mash so I kept looking. Eventually I walked down Edinburghs back streets on Thistle Street which is somewhere I never walk just to get to another restaurant area but on the walk I came across Monster Mash which had reasonably priced food and looked quite nice, also it smelt good. I had been picky because it was a hot day and Id wanted to eat outside but by this point there were no good tourist deals on and I was starving.
So, Monster Mash I had heard of because I know near the city centre there is another branch which is easier to see as I always pass it on the bus and Id always been curious about it. By looking at the website it looks as if the restaurant seems to be just an Edinburgh thing which is annoying but when in Manchester I did notice somewhere called Hugo Mash which I gathered was the same idea as they have a similar logo but I could be wrong. After further research I have noticed they are in no way linked but Hugo Mash is just a mash café which does offer food and drink but completely different menus from Monster Mash.
When walking into Monster Mash it was nothing like I expected, I had thought it would be a modern day restaurant with typical British cuisine but instead I walked into quite a warm, diner style setting. It was like taking a walk back into the 50s which was not what Id expected but I did like the rather homely atmosphere in here, it was also quite busy and the lighting wasnt bright and annoying but just right. The tables are all in little booths well the one I went to was and they have a yellow light behind the chair to create a bit of a glow and they even have old fashioned tomato ketchup squeezy plastic tomato dispensers. As soon as I got there I was ready to eat and there was already a menu at my seat so I started scanning the text.
The website describes Monster Mash as a retro café which gives great food at half the cost of a usual place. I was about to see if it was right and I soon found they really were. I was sitting away from the kitchen so thankfully wasnt hearing all the clutter of the cooking and so on. I had a look for about five minutes at my menu and then the waiter who was very friendly and who had a good sense of humour was ready to ask for what drinks we desired. I chose a milkshake a banana one but they had strawberry and also a Cadburys Flake one which my mother tried. They made them quickly and they were in a nice glass very old fashioned style, I liked it and the milkshake was also very creamy and just right. At only £1.95 it was really cheap compared to some and they do coke floats which are rare and normal drinks like diet Coke are £1.10, my coke was a bit watered down though.
So I chose my grub of traditional fish and chips but the other diners at my table had steak pie and chips we also ordered sides of coleslaw and cheesy mash. While waiting it took about ten minutes which was average if not quite quick and it passed quickly. It was well worth the wait I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw the portion, it was not just one piece of fish but two full pieces and lots of chips and a decent amount of mushy peas I was very impressed but wondered if I would finish it as it was a lot. The pie was a whole rectangular steak pie which again is a bargain for the price and lots of chips also, the coleslaw was very nice but a bit too many onions were in this and the cheesy mash was nice but I didnt need it, if only Id known how big the portions would be.
I was a bit annoyed because Id wanted to try the desserts but was too stuffed to even finish my main course. I only managed the peas, some chips and one piece of fish. The meal was £6.75 for the fish and chips which was great value, and the steak pie and chips was £6.45 which again is really good. I was annoyed as I had not wanted my food to go to waste as there was still a bit of fish but before I could get too upset the very helpful and attentive waiter said would you like me to wrap the fish and chips for you to take away with you, this was very kind and I was pleased as I didnt want it to be thrown out. They packed everything left on the plate in a foil dish and so it really did make my meal well worth the money.
The desserts menu had looked really good but if I go back another time Ill not eat all day and just eat here, or go in the evening as at dinner time I can eat more or Ill just share my main with someone else as this would probably still fill me up. I had really wanted to try the deep fried ice cream as this sounded unusual but nice and Id seen someone get it, it is literally a big ball in crushed cornflakes and syrup and cream which costs £3.20. They also do classic, knickerbockers glory, banana split, chocolate fudge brownie sundae, apple crumble and so on all priced at around £3.
I have to say not really got a bad word to say about Monster Mash. I stumbled across it by accident but I am very glad I did. There are a lot of places that rip people off in Edinburgh especially a lot of the prestigious eateries along George Street. If you are visiting during the Festival, about now and want a restaurant which is homely, good value for money and with a good selection of meals that will be guaranteed to fill you up for the cheap cost then this is the place. The waiter was very friendly and helpful and I felt comfortable here. If in doubt and you want more information just look on the website at http://www.monstermashcafe.co.uk where you can get a full menu with prices and location information.