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  • jillbowie

February 2023 - First Coast - Haymarket, Edinburgh

First Coast is an excellent little independent restaurant situated a 5 minute walk from Haymarket Station. First Coast focuses using locally sourced ingredients to produce top quality modern Scottish food (often with a twist) at an affordable price point.

The restaurant does a lunch and evening menu which changes regularly and is available on their website but my blog will focus on the sensational “Rugby Lunch” they offer whenever Scotland Rugby Team are playing at Murrayfield. It’s a family tradition for my Dad, sister and I to go here before we head to Murrayfield as we love it so much.

The Food

Every time we visit First Coast before the Rugby we are surprised by the menu – it’s always different and always has a great mix of classic dishes and some more interesting dishes to appeal to everyone.
The Rugby menu normally has a selection of about 4 starters, mains and desserts which you would expect would make the deliberation over what have easier, but no, we always struggle to decide as there is so much we want to try!

My Dad, Sister and I were here for the Scotland v Wales game and we had the Korean Fried Broccoli and Salt Cod and Bean Stew for starters, Seabass with chowder and crispy potatoes, Chicken Shish Kebab and Treacle cured Ribeye Steak for mains and a Banoffee Pie for dessert. But please remember this menu is forever changing so you might have to pick something different on your visit.


Korean Fried Broccoli which was honestly the best broccoli I have ever had! It was covered in a light, crispy batter covered in Korean sauce, the broccoli still had a bite to it and it was so good my Dad and Sister insisted on trying a bit. As a side note, I also had the Korean fried chicken wings on another visit here and they were also 10/10!

The Salt Cod and Spicy Haricot Bean Stew was also delicious. The Salt Cod was the prominent flavour but it was backed up by a hit of spiciness from the beans. The portion size was perfect – enough but not too much.


The Chicken Shish Kebab was delicately spiced chicken sitting on top of a fresh salsa and a generous amount of sumac yogurt, which brought the whole dish together. The gorgeous red pomegranate seeds brought even more colour and texture (and maybe even made me feel a bit healthy)! It was divine!

The Treacle Cured Ribeye Steak with Chips arrived and the first thing we noticed was how big it was – it was huge (this was a supplement on the menu but well worth it). Due to the treacle the outside, the steak was beautifully caramelised whilst the inside was cooked medium. The sweetness of the treacle coupled with the smokiness of the flames was outstanding. It was so big my sister struggled to finish it so, even though we were stuffed, my dad and I were digging into my Sisters plate as it was so good and couldn’t bear it go to waste!

The Seabass with a Spinach, Clam and Bacon Chowder and Crispy Potatoes was the third main. The Seabass was perfectly cooked and there was enough chowder to provide a sauce but the fish and potatoes didn’t drown in it! Dad was worried the potatoes might not be that crispy (due to the chowder) but they were mouth-wateringly crispy and he was very happy with his choice!


To finish, we ordered the banoffee pie – I was worried it might be a bit heavy after just demolishing the other 2 courses but it wasn’t. It was stunningly light and tasty and a perfect end to the meal.

The AF alternatives

First coast offer Erdinger AF beer as well as a variety of soft drinks. Its not the biggest selection but I hope in time they might branch out for an AF sparkling wine or an AF cider to complement the Erdinger.

Final thoughts

OK so as you might be able to tell from the above – I love First Coast.

I love the fact they embrace and welcome people heading to the rugby providing somewhere you can have a excellent pre-rugby meal. On a rugby day, pretty much everyone there for the Rugby lunch is heading to Murrayfield which gives it an amazing atmosphere whilst being able to catch up and chat over an excellent meal.

I love the fact the value is unbelievable – this menu was £24 for 2 courses / £27 for 3 courses with supplements for specials such as Eyemouth langoustines and the Ribeye Steak.

I do recognise that they might not have the biggest AF range but I can over look that for the quality of food and there is only so much AF drinks you can have in one day – so I am normally happy with a cuppa!

Thanks for having us First Coast.

For more details around the menu, reservations, opening times etc check out their website: First Coast (

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