Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- Henderson's Salad Table, Edinburgh

The Location
2002 marked the 40th anniversary of the creation of one of Edinburgh's most famous restaurants, Henderson's Salad Table, located at 94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh. You can't get much more central than that.

The Restaurant
The (late) founder of this family run business, Janet Henderson travelled widely and returned to Scotland with progressive ideas for a wholefood vegetarian diet. In 1961 she opened the original shop, which quickly became a landmark on the corner of Hanover and Thistle Street, selling organic fruit and vegetables stocked from the family farm. A year later due to great popularity in such foods, the family decided to transform the basement into a vegetarian self service restaurant - Henderson's Salad Table. Farmhouse style, casual and contemporary with scrubbed pine tables and chairs, it soon became the ideal place to meet friends for great healthy food, wine, beers, a lively atmosphere with live music every night till late.

By day it's self-service, with a changing menu chalked on the blackboard. By night you can relax with table service if you prefer in the wine bar, the lower cosy section of the restaurant with some tables under arched cellars, perfect for a group of friends or an intimate supper for two.

Live music - Friday jazz nights - is still performed each night, adding a warm, friendly and party atmosphere to a great meal out.

The Food
40 years on Henderson's still maintains the original ethos of excellent, home-cooked vegetarian food and fresh salads, the cuisine has moved with the times and today the menu offers everything from simple home-made soups and pastas, a feast of imaginative salads, to international inspired dishes such as Thai spiced spring rolls, Moroccan stew, and Baked sweet pepper risotto.

Highly recommended are the lite bites, an Antipasti platter of roasted aubergine, peppers, mushrooms, and olives with mozzarella crostini, and Spanacopita - filo pastry triangles stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Choose a selection of tasty dishes and then share in order to sample as much as possible. Side salads and vegetables are delicious, especially the tiny salt-rubbed baked potatoes. The wine list is carefully selected with, of course, excellent, smooth, fruity organic wines.

Puddings are just like Mother used to make - Fruit crumble with cream or yoghurt, trifle, and apple and ginger cake - a vegan sponge served with soya cream.

The Bill
See Henderson's Salad Table, Edinburgh Web site for current menu and prices

This is gourmet vegetarian cuisine of the highest quality and standard at remarkably low prices.

Vivien Devlin

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