39-41 Broughton Street Edinburgh, EH1 3JU
0131 557 0627
An 8 metre mural depicting a Japanese Manga animation interpretation of the last supper takes precedence here alongside sheepskins, a 200 year old exposed brick wall and handmade cushions made from vintage fabric, long since forgotten has turned this bar into a popular cocktail venue with the cities bartender set. Influenced by areas such as Shoreditch and Camden – Treacle has given the area something that they have never seen before. Couple that with a team of award winning bartenders with an individual sense of dress, a contemporary fair trade food offer from esteemed producers such as butcher Simon Howie and cheesemonger Iain Mellis and an array of funk, soul and jazz coming from the speakers it is easy to see why treacle is so popular. Treacle has become well known in the area for excellent service, premium spirits selection and contemporary food offer and has proved very popular with the Newtown eating and drinking set, after work diners and those – young and old, looking for a popular and vibrant destination, any day of the week.
Treacle is slap bang in the middle of Broughton Street, a destination which has long been a place for those in the know to have a good night out. Treacle marks itself out from other underground bars and neighbouring real ale pubs with its cheeky monkey logo and its extensive cocktail list.
Treacle makes the most of the space they occupy, with comfy sofas able to accommodate large parties on one side and smaller tables on the other. As with the seating, the décor is also diverse. A large mural on one side depicts manga characters enjoying drinks, matching their cheeky monkey logo, and a television plays manga classics like Astro Boy, Samurai Pizza Cats and Thundercats. There are also the big leather sofas, exposed brickwork, vintage tables and fur spreads typical of a gastropub. I’m not sure how well these work together but they
certainly give the pub a distinctive style.
Because of its cartoony appearance, at first glimpse I thought that Treacle might be slightly student, but that’s not the case at all. The clientele is made up mostly of 20-30 somethings and there’s a really relaxed atmosphere. Even when the bar does get busy of an evening, it’s still pretty chilled out (though it can get noisy).
The drinks menu lists an impressive 50-plus cocktails and is separated into four separate sections: Monkey Hustle and Girls are the first two sections which has distinctive/unique/special cocktails along with their own creations. Classics and Beach Comber are the typical cocktail selection mix of traditional and tiki that you’d expect. The menu is presented in cartoon style and it’s clear that, although mixology is taken seriously, these are going to be fun and won’t be earnestly trying to turn you into a cocktail snob.
I ask the lovely Aussie barman for a recommendation – I like long drinks, something sweet but not sickly and not creamy and he suggests the Silver Fern (£6.50), made up of 42 Below Kiwi, St Germain, fresh mint, lime, apple and sugar. With the sweet mint and lime flavours it reminds me of a citrus-flavoured mojito and is right up my street. My partner chose a New York Minute (£7) made from Bols Genever and Plymouth Sloe, Carpana Antica and Maraschino stirred with pomegranate juice. The strong gin and vermouth combination tempered with fruity sweetness was a winning combination.
With so many cocktails to choose from, there’s bound to be something to suit even the most serious of cocktail afficiandos. I’m personally looking forward to going back to try the Watermelon Clover Club (£6.50), a mix of Plymouth, lemon, Peychauds bitters and watermelon syrup and, for when I’m feeling particularly adventurous, a Corpse Reviver #2 (£8) featuring Tanqueray, Absinthe, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau and lemon. Frankly it sounds just as brutal as a classic Zombie (£8), made up of 7 different spirits and set alight over an oven-proof rum float.
There are some great places to eat on Broughton Street and Treacle is certainly able to hold its own on this front with an all day menu that’s a class above the usual bar food. There are sharing platters to nibble at with sweet potato wedges, tempura vegetables, duck spring rolls or nachos. If you’ve got a proper appetite you can try their mains: chicken and smoked bacon pie (£9.95), oriental noodles (served in cute noodle boxes, £6-9.95), sandwiches served on foccacia with chips (£6-8.95) and a range of salads (£6-9.95). The after dinner specialty is a peculiarly sophisticated take on a Scottish chip shop classic – deep-fried brioche jam sandwich with homemade vanilla ice cream (£5.95). Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it though, it’s akin to eating a fresh warm jam doughnut and is just about the most decadent dessert I’ve ever had. That really is Treacle’s style – providing plenty of fun options and takes on classics and making them their own.
Black Raspberry Capriovoska ~ Belvedere Black Raspberry, Raspberries, Lime and Agave Syrup