Edinburgh Is Home To A Decadent Mashed Potato Bar

A restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland has combined two culinary concepts we wouldn't ordinarily have considered a breakaway pairing: gourmet food and mashed potatoes. We love a good mash! So we were thrilled to learn that Makar's Gourmet Mash Bar is crafting locally-sourced ingredients to create a high expression of the form. Born from a playful-yet-serious desire to do for Scottish cuisine what microbreweries accomplished for beer, featured dishes at Makar's include haggis, Scotch eggs, wild boar sausage, and something called Bonny Prince Charlie Char-Grilled Chicken with a Drambuie whisky sauce.

Makar's takes the hyperlocal concept to heart. Almost every ingredient on the menu is produced in the Edinburgh area, with other suppliers based close to home. Makar's has even turned its basement into a so-called "mushroom emporium" where, in vertical tubes filled with Perthshire hardwoods and Atlantic coast seaweed, the restaurateurs grow the oyster, lion's mane, and seasonal woodland mushrooms featured on its menu. The semi-lit growing space, featuring spooky music and UV murals, eliminates transportation costs and can be toured by Mash Bar patrons.

Do the mash!

Of course, the real star of Makar's Gourmet Mash Bar is the potato, long the backbone of Scottish cuisine. Makar's potatoes are organic, with many of them grown on the Ayrshire coast. It turns out that homely mashed potatoes can be beautified in all kinds of indulgent ways, with Makar's Mash being a leader in the field. The potato dishes are intended as sides to accompany main courses and range from mashed potatoes with local dairy butter or Scottish cheddar cheese to more elaborate affairs featuring Stornoway black pudding or creamed horseradish.

Diners are relishing the experience. "Food was excellent! I would recommend anytime you're in Edinburgh. Staff was very friendly! A delightful evening," raved one reviewer on Trip Advisor. "Warm and welcoming service and absolutely delicious mashed potatoes. Opted for the vegetarian option which was amazing. Highly recommend!" said another.

Even though it appears at first glance that Makar's Mash is possibly the most Scottish thing ever, last year the restaurant became a chain, opening a franchise just blocks away from the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden. It looks like your next trip to Edinburgh or London might need to include a gourmet mashed potato interlude.