Have You Met….Finding Fantastic Food?

As you know I like to take pictures of my food, in fact, sometimes I forget when I am out with people that it is not actually a normal thing to do to stand up at the dinner table just so you can get the right angle of your plate of food. Funny stares have come from staff, other customers and my own friends and family. So, when I come across an Instagram that appreciates food as much as I do I can’t help but admire them, especially when their content is as good as Finding Fantastic Food’s.

This is an Instagram I go to for inspiration on where to eat, and recommend to you to check out if you are ever stuck in a rut with a rumbling stomach.

Let’s get to know Finding Fantastic Food….

Why did you choose the name ‘Finding Fantastic Food’?
Well the name really does say it all – simply because I love finding fantastic food, not only in our amazing city of Edinburgh but also on any travels I’m lucky enough to go on throughout the world. Whenever I go on holiday I always aim to try as much of the local delicacies as possible and I often spend more time researching the top restaurants in each place and their typical food prior to the trip than the destination itself!

Why did you choose Instagram as your main social platform?
I think Instagram has such a well-established following of ‘foodies’ that is just seemed like the obvious choice. It’s also the main social platform I use on a personal basis (when I’m not sharing pictures of food – which does happen sometimes, honestly!).

What made you start Finding Fantastic Food?
When I’m out for dinner I’m one of those perhaps slightly irritating people that takes a picture of everything they eat, while everyone else just wants to dive in and cure their ‘hangry’ feeling. Over time, people told me that I should start doing something with all these photos I’d built up, which I did – so now I actually have a reason to be taking all the photos! I could talk about food for hours on end, so I see this as a nice little hobby – and if it helps even one person choose their next foodie destination in Edinburgh or elsewhere then that makes it all worthwhile!

Give us three reasons to follow you on Instagram:
1) To find your next brunch/lunch/dinner/drinking spot in Edinburgh to try!
2) To learn more about the typical food in any of the destinations I travel to throughout the world.
3) If you’re not feeling hungry, just head to my Instagram page and I guarantee you will soon!

Name your three favourite things about Edinburgh:
1) The vast array of amazing restaurants and cafes (which just seems to be ever growing!)
2) The increasing popularity of markets, whether that be food markets, craft markets or Christmas markets, and festivals – my favourite being the gin festivals at both Summerhall and the Corn Exchange – and, of course, the one and only Edinburgh Festival and all the buzzing atmosphere that comes with it!
3) The scenery – there’s a reason why so many tourists come to this city! We are lucky enough to live in a place that has so much history, a castle sitting atop an extinct volcano, a massive park slap bang in the middle of the centre, so many gorgeous hidden streets to lose yourself wandering down and lots of amazing walks to explore, whether that be in the city hiking up Arthur’s Seat or slightly further afield exploring the Pentlands or Cramond Island.

What is your favourite food to eat? Why?
I love good thai food. Whenever I sit in a Thai restaurant I always find myself thinking ‘I could order every single dish off this menu’. It’s always so fresh and full of flavour. Ting Thai Caravan on Teviot Place constantly serves up delicious dishes and I’ve also recently discovered the amazing Nok’s Kitchen in Stockbridge (and have had a takeaway from there almost every weekend since!).

What is your least favourite food to eat? Why?
Gazpacho. In my eyes, soup is meant to be warm, not cold – sorry. Oh, and baked beans.

Where is your favourite place in Edinburgh to eat and why?
This list is endless, but the Scran & Scallie in Stockbridge, which is the sister restaurant to the amazing Kitchin and Castle Terrace restaurants, is always my number one recommendation in Edinburgh. When it comes to ordering food in a restaurant my most common question is ‘What do you recommend?’. Sometimes this is responded with ‘Well, I don’t eat fish/meat so I can’t really comment’ (which isn’t much help to me!) but I find the staff at Scran & Scallie can talk for hours about each and every dish on their menu – they couldn’t be more knowledgeable and their dishes couldn’t be tastier. It’s gastro-food at its absolute best! The little touches, like the bread ‘bag’ and the menu design with ‘yer starters’, ‘yer mains’ and ‘yer puddins’ also adds to the love of this place!

Where is your favourite place to drink in Edinburgh and why?
I am a massive gin fan, so the recently opened Gin71 is right up my street. It also sells my all-time favourite Dutch gin, Bobby’s, which is hard to come by. Another gin-heavy bar I like is Juniper, which, if you get a good window seat, overlooks the Castle. Foundry39 at the West End also do great cocktails, including (unsurprisingly) an amazing lavender gin-based cocktail. There’s a top three but, again, this list is endless!

Where is your favourite place to have a coffee in Edinburgh and why?
For great coffee Artisan Roast on Broughton Street wins every time. Cairngorm Coffee is also amazing – their newest shop at the West End provides the perfect spot to relax, watch the world go by, do some work, or just enjoy some great coffee (their cheese toasties and brownies are also definitely worth a mention!).

You can only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A nice sizzling plate of chicken fajitas with good homemade guacamole (with one of El Cartel’s frozen margaritas to wash it down with!).

What is your biggest food vice?
If pork belly is on the menu then I won’t be asking for any recommendations from the waiter – that will be instantly ordered! For a sweet treat, banoffee pie – preferably when I make it myself so I can eat the condensed milk straight out the can with a spoon.

What is your favourite city for food other than Edinburgh? Any recommendations?
Barcelona – it’s home to the world’s best food market, La Boqueria, need I say more? It’s endless list of absolutely amazing restaurants make it seriously hard to plan a few days there as you are so spoilt for choice! I discovered a few hidden gems though during my most recent visit. Firstly, one of the best Mexican restaurants called La Cantina Mexicana, which is just round the corner from La Sagrada Familia. I’d recommend their dish called ‘Chicharron queso relleno’ – strips of steak served inside grilled cheese – I will dream of that forever! Secondly, for breakfast, Federal Cafe is a great spot. Finally, one of my foodie followers kindly recommended restaurant l’escola, which is a chef school about 15 minutes outside the centre of Barcelona and was truly unforgettable! They serve up a five course tasting menu and a cocktail for what worked out at €19. The menu is in Spanish and they might not speak much English but that just adds to the fun if you ask me!

Fill in the gaps : If I had to be food I would be  ….. Because…
A lemon – not because I want to be bitter, but because they grow in the sunshine, which I would rather love to do. I would also get to chill in a glass of gin and tonic, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing either!

What are your three favourite social media accounts to follow?  (Can be any form of social media)
1) @thebodycoach – sometimes I do actually cook meals for myself and don’t eat in restaurants and when I do, 90% of the time it’s one of Joe Wick’s recipes that I’ll rustle up. They are so easy to follow, quick and tasty.
2) @edibleedinburgh – there are so many great Edinburgh-based foodie pages that I follow and look to for restaurant recommendations but @edibleedinburgh is definitely the original, and with over 27,000 followers I’m obviously not the only one to think that!
3) @mimisbakehouse – this delightful bakehouse has three locations across Edinburgh and I can’t help but be wowed by the pictures of their cakes, traybakes, muffins, scones and cupcakes every time they pop up on my Instagram feed. They have some seriously talented bakers that just never cease to amaze me (and make me drool like mad!).

If you are a blogger and want to get involved in my new ‘Have You Met’ series, ping me an email to talorgilchrist@gmail.com.  You do  not necessarily have to be a food blogger, you could write about the best busses in Scotland…

Finding Fantastic Food’s Instagram: @FindingFantasticFood

My social media : 

Facebook: Facebook.com/talortries

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