What was the matter with Mimi’s? Well, nothing really, apart from the regular queues to get in. I’d given up trying to get a table whenever I was craving one of their sausage sarnies or raspberry and coconut slices. No longer. Thanks to public demand, they’ve supersized and spread into the adjoining building.
Now, there’s a ladies’ powder room and gentlemen’s washroom (rather than the limited facilities they had before), a relaxed seating section, with chaise-longue and armchairs, and, most importantly, room for more Mimi-ettes, or Mimi-lievers, or whatever this cafe’s fans might call themselves.
The decor won’t appeal to everyone, with burlesque-y wallpaper, lipstick-coloured chandeliers, pink velveteen sofas, and marabou-fringed lamps. But it’s fun, and, count yourself lucky, it could have all been fuchsia.
There is always a multitude of cakes on offer, scones and traybakes, as well as squishy desserts, all baked by the titular Mimi Phillips and her daughter, Gemma.
For this is a proper family business. The other two kids, and pops, can be seen working the front of house.
As a prelude to our impending sugarfest, we thought we had better follow protocol and sample savouries.
Since all around us were tucking into three tiers’ worth of mini sarnies and cakey whimsies, as part of their afternoon tea (£13.95pp), or munching one of their Belly Busting Breakfasts, our healthy mains seemed a bit like a punishment.
Not really. It’s just that they were so bloomin’ wholesome.
The Luxury Homemade Stovies (£7.95), served in a mini black cauldron, were an adaptation on the usual beef and tattie mush, with a mixture of mild chorizo discs, floury soft potato hunks, peas and onions. Hot and hearty, but even the fanciest of stovies can’t really be described as luxurious.
These were accompanied by a simple salad of sliced pepper, sweet tomato, leaves, and a few oatcakes (which didn’t look particularly homemade, but you never know).
Our Mimi’s Marvellous Hotpot (£8.95) featured a bantam’s worth of soft chickeny bits, plus stewed peppers and onion in a tomato-ey ragu, with the same salad as before, as well as a fat doorstop of springy white loaf. Not bad.
While, Mimi’s Mexican Quesadillas (£7.95) consisted of three flattened triangles of toasted flour tortilla, each of which was sandwiching a slightly frugal spread of melted cheddar, red onion chutney and green jalapenos.
On the side – a handful of cheesy tortilla chips, a blob of guacamole, another of sour cream, and more of that salad.
All grand, but this place ain’t no health farm. After this period of delayed gratification, we permitted ourselves to order three of their most dastardly cakes: banana caramel sponge (£3.75), candyfloss cheesecake (£4.50) and a chocolate raspberry brownie (£3.25).
The latter had that optimum brownie texture – crusty on the outside, and gooey on the inside. Every mouthful was infused with an intense hit of berry flavour. Joy.
Our spongy option was a huge wad of yellow buttery fluffiness, with a roof and middle that were thickly trowelled with buttercream, nana pulp and caramel.
As I scoffed this, I imagined that, should I allow her to sample this bake, Mary Berry’s blue eyes would twinkle while she enthused about the supreme consistency of the crumb. Then she’d try to take another bite, before I’d quickly snatch back my fork.
Our candyfloss cheesecake wasn’t the most sophisticated choice but, then, that’s not what Mimi’s is about (among other treats, our alternatives might have included a mint Aero traybake).
Still, it was more than satisfying, with a tightly-packed biscuit base and a bubblegum-hued mascarpone topping, which, mercifully, tasted more like plain old vanilla than candyfloss.
And the portion sizes? Elephantine.
Smashing. That’s what it’s all about. This is why they’ve doubled in size. But you’ll still have to book, because they can fill all that additional space – easily.
I’ll be one of those trying to get a seat, because I’m a Mimi-liever.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west