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January 10, 2022

We will get the motor running with a quick shuftie at a handful of new places in the St James Quarter.

Pho has launched on the fourth floor of the centre opposite Bonnie & Wild. It specialises in Vietnamese street food including pho. The savoury noodle broth from which the restaurant takes its name is also the national dish of Vietnam.

Other menu items include spring and summer rolls, spicy salads, wok-fried rice and noodle dishes, curries, plus Vietnamese beers and coffees, fresh juices and cocktails. 

 A whopping 98% of their menu is gluten-free, and they are accredited by Coeliac UK. Forty per cent of their menu is vegan. The pic above is of Pho.

Bros Bagels have also opened in the St James Quarter shopping centre. The new Montral-style bagel joint joins the existing Bros outlets in Portobello, Bruntsfield and Stockbridge.

Since it was announced in May last year, we've been holding our breath for Ka Pao to open in the St James Quarter.

Serving food influenced by south east Asia, the Ka Pao format has already proved a hit in the first outlet in Vinicombe Street.

Interestingly, we have also seen reports that the Omni Centre - across the road from the St James Quarter - has submitted a planning application for a new food hall. It's all going on at the top of Leith Walk.

New cocktail bars

Moving from the East End to the West End, we note that The Cocktail Mafia have moved into the former Fizz and Sygn premises on Charlotte Lane.

As always, the staff have had some fun with their cocktail names. In keeping with the Mafia part of their name, a number of the concoctions have gangster themes ranging from the Tommy Gun to the Swimming with the Fishes.

If cocktails don't float your boat, there is, of course, a range of canned and draught beers, a handful of wines, assorted spirits and some classy no booze options.

A brisk ten minute walk away, The Daiquiri has replaced Ishka on Morrison Street.

As well as mixing a mean cocktail, the new bar is also running cocktail-making classes.

Alternatively, you might want to take a look at this Big Deal on a gin tasting and a create-your-own-mixer session at the Summerhall Drinks Lab.

One way to brighten up your January.