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The Compass Bar and Grill, Leith

In a previous job I worked two blocks away from The Compass (44 Queen Charlotte Street, Leith, Edinburgh) for about three years, and never set foot in it. From the outside it looks like a typical Leith drinking pub, i.e. not terribly inspiring. It was only when I saw its entry in Peter Irvine’s Scotland The Best guide as one of Edinburghs best “Pubs with Good Food” that I thought I should pay it a visit. As it happens, it’s really nice inside. Stone walls, wooden tables, comfortable chairs. And possibly the best fish and chips I have ever had.

The haddock was flavourful, even after deep frying. The beer batter was thick and crunchy, and still retained some of the taste of the beer–a delicious rarity. (Not a strong taste, mind, but just enough to let you know that it was prepared with great care and attention.) The chips were long, broad and thin, and cooked to perfection: not too crispy, not too soggy. I felt like Goldilocks: everything was just right.

I was having lunch with Matt, and he had a lamb burger that looked delicious, too. I’ll certainly be tempted to try some of their other dishes next time I visit The Compass, but when they have shown me fish and chip perfection, is it even worth the risk?