“Now hands that do dishes feel as soft as your face with mild green Fairy Liquid”.
We use that brand, and my hands are like those of a desiccated corpse.
It’s a thankless job, being the bottle washer and KP. The cook gets the adulation, as he merrily uses every receptacle in the kitchen, tossing them about the place like The Swedish Chef in The Muppets. He’s the artist, creator and conquering hero.
Meanwhile, I stand by the sink, passively aggressively stacking up the pans and roasting tins like Jenga bricks and not putting the cutlery in any sort of ascending or descending order. I have one over-developed and meaty arm from the elbow grease that’s needed to work a Jiffy pad over a used scrambled egg pan.
We have a dish washer too, but it’s neglected. I can accept my martyrdom. Saint Soapy Soutar, you can call me.
To my disappointment, during lockdown, I’ve found that restaurant takeaways often involve as much washing up as I would do on an average evening in the house.
Thus, I was relieved that the Pink’s at Home delivery was presented oven ready. I can handle a couple of plates.
This would be my night off, without having to clear up after my own Roux-without-a-clue.
This business is owned by duo Melanie Jones and Floraidh-Anne Law, who are behind Pinkerton’s Catering. They opened a cafe, Pinks at the Dovecot, on the ground floor of Edinburgh’s Dovecot tapestry gallery just last October, but have had to shift their focus onto takeaway instead.
They deliver in Edinburgh on Fridays and Saturdays, from 10-4pm, and you’ll find the current menu on their Instagram feed. Ours was three courses for £24 each.
The genres vary weekly, and our weekend review fell on a menu design that might be described as slightly retro dinner party grub.
Not Abigail’s Party vintage, but something from a couple of decades ago, perhaps. I certainly wasn’t that excited about Parmesan and parsnip roulade.
However, they proved my theory that all food is delicious if you smother it with cheese. These light whorls had a shell of toasted Parmesan, and a frothy white saucy mixture inside.
There was grated parsnip and chunks of carrot, which I’m usually averse to, but they added texture to the fromagey-ness. This option came with a ramekin of nicely acidic salsa verde.
Two plates, two forks, in the sink. Boom.
Our main was the sort of thing that you’d have if you went to a generous pal’s house, they’d just completed a cooking course in France and were a renowned feeder.
I don’t have a friend like that, but there is a vacancy for one.
This course was Nigella-esque and homely, and just what I was craving. There was a massive portion of coq au Riesling, with soft hunks of chicken, button mushrooms and postage stamps of bacon, swimming in a lido of salty jus. This came with a tray of potatoes boulangere, which features that crispy layer on top, like a pangolin’s scales, and soft and buttery tattie underneath. There was also a very garlicky batch of garlicky creamed spinach, which I haven’t had for years, and could eat by the bucket load, until I was hench and made Popeye quake in his boots.
Another two plates, a couple of knives and forks. Splash.
Pudding was good old sticky toffee. The Val Doonican cardigan of foodstuffs. There were probably about six portions in the dish, and a pot of creamy sauce, which had a rich and treacly, almost liquorice-y, flavour. We ate it in shifts over the next week, clocking in with a ping of the microwave, and clocking out with the yoga pose, savasana.
They’d also supplied a little tub with “Thank you!” scribbled on the side. It contained cubed mini brownies, tablet (my one true love) and a chocolate-y and oaty flapjack sort of affair, all of which helped us power through a few days of afternoon slumps.
Thank you back, Mel and Flo, for sparing my raggedy hands, even if it was for one night only.
Unfortunately, the Swedish Chef has read this review and says I can cook my own dinner from now on, since I complain so much. I’ll be back on the Fairy Liquid from tomorrow.
Pinks at Home
Pinks at Dovecot
10 Infirmary Street
How much? Dinner for two, £48
Places to try Nearby
Mother India’s Cafe, 3-5 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh (0131 524 9801, www.motherindia.co.uk)
For fellow iron-deficient spinach lovers, this 13 year old restaurant, with three other branches in Glasgow (28 Westminster Terrace, 1347 Argyle Street and 7a Landsdowne Crescent) does a mean lamb saag. Try it as a takeaway with their mushroom rice or a peshwari naan.
Piggs, 276 Canongate, Edinburgh (0131 557 2995, www.piggswinebar.co.uk)
This Spanish wine bar and cafe, which serves the best churros and chocolate sauce in town, has been offering rather spectacular looking meat, olives, bread and cheese tapas plates over lockdown. Time for a manchego binge methinks. Read our review.
Mono Restaurant, 85 South Bridge, Edinburgh (0131 466 4726, www.monorestaurant.co.uk)
As it’s in an unobtrusive spot, alongside hotels, Costa and pound shops, we often overlook the brilliant restaurant, three year old Mono. Sadly, they’ve pressed pause for now, but we’re hoping they will eventually reopen and continue to offer the kind of Italian fine dining that wins prizes. Read our review.