Espy is short for esplanade and that’s where you’ll find it; a cheery wee place perched on the Portobello promenade which greets with jugs of fruit-filled water and cosy surroundings.
The array of vegetarian options is impressive, with my guest and I both selecting veggie dishes even though we’re not. A starter of celery and stilton soup was the surprising highlight of the meal. Sweet and not too overpowering, it would have made a satisfying lunch all by itself.
Their main menu is fairly minimal, but well supplemented by an exciting array of specials, tonight including a filling but healthy-feeling stuffed aubergine dish. From the permanent menu, the veggie burger is something of a house speciality of which they are rightly proud. While soft centred, it avoids the mushy trap so many fall into and certainly holds its own in the burger category. I’m dubious as to their claim that it could convert hardy carnivores, but fortunately there are beef and chicken burgers on the menu too. Main dishes come with a fantastic amount of good salad (although a little overdressed for some tastes) and the chips are chunky, tasty and plentiful.
The desserts are their weaker point - the chocolate mousse was too thick and heavy and the trio of summer jelly, while cutely presented, not anything to write home about.
Coming in at just under £20 each for three hefty courses and wine for two, this is the sort of place you could take your Mum or a hot date to and have a great night either way.