Roll on summer!
As cafes, bars and restaurants start to reopen following the pandemic lockdown, some are shifting back into gear seamlessly, but for most they're confronting a different shape of reality than the one from just a few months ago.
For places such as Gannet & Guga, the purveyors of fine sandwiches and other locally-driven delights, their customer base is much altered by different working practices being followed by local businesses meaning many large nearby offices lying dormant.
To bolster fresh interest in their food excellence, they invited a number of local food writers to come and try their newly relaunched summer rolls. The Foodie Explorers enlisted my help to go and check things out.
Malcolm and the team at Gannet & Guga have long built a really deep relationship with their customers. Their social media game is strong and their Instagram account is one of my favourites.
I was aware of their summer rolls and think I might have even been along at the event they did to launch them, a while back. For those not familiar with the summer roll, think a fresh, rice-based version of the spring roll without any of the deep frying. They are fresh, clean and elegant, and lend themselves to the fusion of flavours that defines part of the cuisine of countries such as Vietnam and Korea.
The three varieties on offer were a reuben-Korean fusion called Koreuben, the Rising Sun, an avocado-focussed veggie option, and the classic prawn and picked carrot version. All featured rice noodles and a lacy rice paper shell for a complete non-gluten-containing-ingredient selection.
These were matched with dipping sauces that offered a bright vinegar piquancy, the classic comfort of peanut, and a warming sweet chilli. With seeds topping the elegant rolls, we had texture and crunch aplenty.
Aside from delivering on flavour satisfaction, they are just about the most instagrammable dish I can think of in Edinburgh at the moment. Their delicate translucence reveals stylish flowers, the freshest of prawns and beautiful fresh herbs. They are ideal for a sophisticated al fresco munch with pals in one of the many nearby greenspaces.
The selection I had would cost around £7 if my maths is to believed. This feels good value for such well-crafted and delicious items.
I sampled a little more from their offering with one of their classic sandwiches which featured excellent ciabatta from Company Bakery and sauerkraut from the Edinburgh Fermentarium. Their top-notch coffee comes from another local favourite, Fortitude.
At a time when businesses need to adapt to fresh circumstances, it's heartening to see Gannet & Guga keeping what was great about their business before and developing some new tricks to create a fresh buzz. Make sure to visit soon.
Disclaimer: we were invited to sample complimentary summer rolls but couldn't make it so Edinburgh correspondant Lunchquest agreed to go along in our place.