Tops of buildings on Cockburn Street in Edinburgh

Lunch at the Malt Shovel

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Mon 28 Apr 2014

The Malt Shovel Inn is at the bottom of Cockburn Street (pronounced “Coe-burn Street” for those who didn’t know!). It’s a traditional style pub serving classic bar food along with cask ales, wines and spirits, including 40 different malt whiskies.

Malt Shovel Inn in Edinburgh

I met up with a few friends there one Saturday lunch time. When we arrived the waitress seemed quite friendly, got us some drinks and we ordered our food. The old-fashioned pub had a warm atmosphere, with wood paneled walls and brown leather seating. It was quiet when we arrived at midday but filled up very quickly as lunch went on.

I had the bangers and mash. Three sausages served with mashed potatoes, gravy and sticky onion chutney. It was very nice – meaty sausages, creamy mash and tasty gravy. The burgers my friends had also looked good. Just your usual pub grub, but that’s all we were looking for.

Unfortunately as the pub got busier, the service got worse. When we asked for the bill I mentioned I had a £5 voucher, which I received when signing up on their website. The waitress told me “You will have to go and find the manager, because I don’t know anything about it”. I thought, surely she should go find the manager herself. Especially as I didn’t even know what he looked like! Luckily he came out of the kitchen just then and she pointed him out. I showed him the voucher and he went to sort the bill.

The waitress was clearly very busy. After receiving the bill we waited half an hour for her to come and take the payment. I eventually went up to the bar to pay. The girl on the bar didn’t know how to take payment split between card and cash, so again the manager had to step in. Thankfully, he was quick to sort it and very chatty and friendly.

Overall a nice pub with good food, but the staff were run off their feet and not very well informed.

Malt Shovel Inn, 11-15 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BP