Toppolabamba, Edinburgh

When this place opened everyone seemed to be writing about it, I thought it was just another chain restaurant but actually it turns out it was born in Glasgow and has brought itself down to Edinburgh. This made me think hmmm lets give this one a try as Glasgow is known for its damn fine food.

Mexican is my favourite cuisine and so for date night I suggested here, now I wish I kinda hadn’t.

Let’s start off by saying it was the Christmas period and this restaurant was jammed packed.

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Toppolobamba is a tapas style Mexican restaurant so we decided to share a bunch of their street food:

  1. Tacos: soft corn tortillas with a lamb filling topped with crema.
  2. Tostadas: crispy corn tortillas with shredded beef, spring onion and chipotle aioli and with crumbly cheese.
  3. Taquitos: two corn tortillas wrapped around homemade chorizo.
  4. Quesadillas: large soft tortillas filled with chicken tinga and toasted.
  5. Jalapeno poppers: jalapenos, molito cheese and corn, breadcrumbed in a roasted brava sauce.
  6. Albondigas con cascabel: Mexican pork and beef meatballs in a cascabel cream sauce.

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Shall we dissect each individual one? Sure, why not.


This one looked promising but was dry and not very exciting.


This was a good looking dish but also dry and arrived only slightly warm.

In conclusion these dishes looked the part but were disappointing in the taste department, nothing was very thrilling and they both could have done with more of a sauce component to make it easier to eat.


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3. Taquitos 

Nope, this was the worst dish of the entire lot. I love chorizo and this did not taste like chorizo. It tasted like pepperami wrapped in a crispy tortilla, it was cold and odd tasting and an all round: I will never eat that again.

4. Quesadillas 

Quesadillas are not the first thing I would order on the menu when it comes to Mexican food as every single time I have one it has been plain and boring, this one fitted my general quesadilla description quite well. Not a memorable dish, but also not a bad dish.

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5. Jalapeno poppers 

I love jalapenos, and I love them in jalapeno popper form so this was the item on the menu that I 100% wanted to try as I knew (or thought I knew) that I would enjoy it. Now, when it comes to spice I am usually fine, I can deal with spicy as long as it tastes good and I have something creamy (yoghurt, milk you get me) near me. However this was ridiculous, one bite and you were nearly in tears. I don’t know if the chef was a bit careless with the chilli on this particular night but these were inedible.

The reason I know we were not the only ones who thought this was because I turned around to see a table of ten who had eaten every single dish on the table, apart from their jalapeno poppers. This proved to me that the majority of people could not stomach these on this occasion. Maybe a bad batch, who knows, but they were not good.

6.Albondigas con cascabel

The meatballs were okay, there was absolutely nothing wrong with them but I think they were overshadowed by how disappointing the meal was overall. So, if you were to go and order something I would get these.

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Overall completely disappointed, it was the Christmas season so I understand that it was busy but at the end of the day standards shouldn’t slip because you are rushed off of your feet. I want to say I will go back to try it again during a less busy time but I don’t really want to.

The staff were honestly so lovely and happy, so the service was fantastic even when they were running around so that is something to take into consideration.

Normally I would do a ‘Favourite Dishes in Order’ but I didn’t have a favourite.

Have you been to Topolabamba? What did you think?

Food: 1/5

Decor: 3/5 – Mexican themed

Service: 5/5

Price: 4/5 reasonable prices for Mexican tapas – lamb taco £4.95, beef tostada £4.45, chorizo taquitos £4.50, chicken quesadilla ££4.95, jalapeno poppers £5.95 and albondigas £4.95.


Recommend: I don’t.

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4 thoughts on “Toppolabamba, Edinburgh

  1. That’s a shame as we generally had good food (highly recommend the cheesy nacho thing) but agree that the jalapeño poppers were way too hot. I had to have a break for my mouth to recover before I could continue.

  2. I’m really not a fan of the food here either! There are so many better Mexican restaurants in Edinburgh. The one thing I am a fan of though is their coconut and passion fruit margaritas 👌🏼

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