The Base, Leven

Long story short, Mini-me has been staying with us recently so when we asked her where she wanted to go for Sunday lunch her only request was for nowhere posh. Knowing her levels of posh I went on to Tripadvisor and trawled restaurants in Fife. It was there I happened upon The Base, Leven, which advertised Pizza, Pasta, Grill. I had a quick look at the menu and thought it sounded ideal so off we went.

On entry, I was pleasantly surprised to see the urban decor. Metal chairs, bare light bulbs, brick walls and chunky wood tables, which isn’t the norm for Leven. I know you’re now wondering what is the norm for Leven and if I was being really unkind I’d say formica and plastic but I’m not an unkind person.

The menu did indeed offer pizza, pasta and grills but also salads, fish, wraps and stuff like steak pie a and chilli. What was good was that you could have small dishes for a fiver or you could go 50/50 and have half pizza/half pasta. There were also offers on each day of the week but unfortunately the offer for a Sunday was kids eat for £1 and Teeny-mini-him wasn’t with us. We gave our drinks order and studied both sides of the large A3 menu.

OH and Mini-me fancied starters but as the soup was carrot and parsnip I decided to go without, knowing I’d be stealing off their plates. OH went for Garlic Mushrooms – seasoned button mushrooms, breaded and served with a spicy garlic mayo and salad garnish and Mini-me went for Mac & cheese bites. Both arrived (possibly straight from Iceland) with side salad and dressing. Tasty enough (yes I did try them both) but nowt special. However, what got us talking was the dressing, which we tried to guess the ingredients for. We all argued about the orange and red liquid, which I thought had a citrus tang but, when we eventually asked, were told it was sweet chili sauce and honey. Oh.

After lots of tooing and froing OH and Mini-me both decided to have a Calzone. Something new for OH but something tried and tested by Mini-me. OH had the ‘Tikka Chance on Me’ – Roasted chicken, mixed onions, mixed peppers, tikka sauce and Mozzarella & Cheddar mix. He managed to eat it all but said that he could feel it filing his arteries and was fearful for his heart. He also mentioned at one point that the last thing he expected to be eating for his Sunday lunch was a folded over curry pizza. So although it was good and he enjoyed it, he wouldn’t hurry to order another.

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Mini-me had the Mex-ellent – Roasted chicken, mixed peppers, mixed onions, salsa, guacamole, sour cream with lots of Mozzarella cheese. Basically a fajitah pizza. She really enjoyed it but regretted having a starter as she didn’t manage to eat it all. However, they very kindly gave her a doggy bag and her leftovers are now sat in my kitchen.

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What was obvious was that both meals had been prepared fresh and cooked to order.

For my main I decided to have the Beef Lasagne, which was described as “Our chef’s signature dish, lovingly prepared on the premises and it’s just the best lasagne around bar none! Served with chips and salad garnish.” Yes, maybe loving prepared but not today – probably one day last week and re-heated everyday since. From the charcoal look of it I expected it to burn my mouth but no it wasn’t even that hot. The chips were lovely though…. I said to OH it was the second worse lasagne I’ve ever had. He immediately replied with “At least it wasn’t as bad as the one in the Elvis Presley Bar then.” As usual he was spot on. Do click the link if you want to hear about the worst lasagne I’ve ever had.

We asked for the bill as no-one could fit in a dessert. The bill arrived with mint chocs, which is always a good thing. After I went up to pay I visited the toilets, which were extremely clean and trendy – definitely worth their own mention as they impressed me far more than my main meal.

Over cooked lasagne aside, I loved the look of the place, the waitresses were both lovely and I really like that they’re trying to bring a city centre feel to the streets of Leven.

2 starters, 3 mains, 2 large glasses of wine, 1 pint and 1 coke – £55.65

The Dining Room, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

This blog all started because OH and I were looking for a shared hobby so it isn’t often I write about a restaurant when he isn’t there but after a visit to The Dining Room in Kirkcaldy I felt moved to blog. So why was I out without him? Well, what happened was that Sir Harry Burns was doing a talk at the Kirkcaldy Foodbank AGM and my colleague, PC, and I wanted to hear him so we decided to go for something to eat after work and prior to the AGM.

Now, before I start to tell you about The Dining Room, I just want to acknowledge the irony of PC and I going for a nice meal before we attend a food bank AGM and listen to Sir Harry discussing the impact of poverty and food insecurity in families. I can say I do feel guilty. btw if you ever get the chance to listen to Sir Harry please don’t miss it…actually google him and listen to one of his TED talks – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

So, that said, the Dining Room turned out to be an inspired choice even though it was really chosen for its geography. When we went in we were pleasantly surprised at the stylish decor and subtle lighting.

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Sat on our own with evening menus, we admired the black and white photographs on the walls and enjoyed the playlist. The waitress told us it was 2 for 1 burgers as it was Tuesday and asked for our drinks order. We just asked for tap water. As we perused the menu another couple came in and they were the only other people we saw dining at the same time as us.

The menu highlighted that all the pasta dishes could be gluten free and other options had GF marked on the menu. This delighted PC who has recently been testing her intolerance. She went for GF Penne pasta with strips of beef fillet, sugar snap peas and fresh chillies topped with freshly grated Parmesan. However, she asked for it without the chilli.

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When the dish arrived the waitress apologised as it was spirals instead of penne but this wasn’t a problem for PC. I thought it was unusual for a pasta dish to have beef in it and using olive oil instead of a sauce, probably because it wouldn’t have been my choice but PC loved her meal saying the pasta was cooked to perfection and the flavours went well together with there being just the right amount of everything. If anything, she would have preferred a lot more cheese on top but she said she would have wanted a lot more cheese on most things. I asked her about the pasta’s taste minus the gluten and she said she genuinely couldn’t tell the difference (and that’s not because she is a novice GFer it is because it tasted so good).

I decided on Smoked haddock on a bed of spring onion mash topped with a soft boiled egg and Parmesan cream, which was lovely. The spring onion gave the otherwise creamy dish a nice crunch. The fish was fabulous right up to the tail, which unsurprisingly got a bit dry. The egg was as described – soft – but I would have loved runny but I’m not complaining because I really enjoyed my meal.




Although we were finished our meal, we sat for a while chatting as we didn’t want to be too early at the AGM. We finished the bottle of water as we put the world to rights and rather than someone politely placing a bill on the table we were asked if we wanted more water, which was a great touch. Another great touch was the lit candles in the bathroom.

We were eating early on a Tuesday and the place was really quiet so I maybe need to take OH back one weekend to check out the atmosphere. However, I’m fully expecting it to be just as good.

2 main meals and tap water £24.40

Teuchters Landing, Leith, Edinburgh

OH and I paid a visit to Go Outdoors in Edinburgh today. I know that surprises you because obviously I’m not really one for exercise or going outdoors for that matter but when I do, I do like to look the part. Anyway, after spending too much money on clothes just to pretend I’m fit we decided to go for a drink, which is far more my style. OH suggested Teuchters Landing and I was in full agreement. (btw there’s no apostrophe so don’t bother commenting on it).

When we went in OH went to the bar and I searched out a table through the back, finding one looking over the quay. OH soon joined me with a Bloody Mary and a bottle of non-alcoholic lager. The Bloody Mary was heavy on the Worcestershire sauce and had the biggest piece of celery in the world – I’ve definitely had better but I’m not complaining. We sat blethering for a while, watching others having food brought to them. Everything looked amazing. The menu is extensive and full of lovely sounding things like mugs of mac n cheese, risotto, mussels, sharing boards, fish n chips, brunch items….honestly I could go on and on so it’s fair to say there is something for everyone. We decided to get a sharing board and plumped for the fish one, which had smoked mackerel pate, hot smoked brown trout, Newhaven smoked salmon, soused Orkney herring and caper and chive tattie salad. When OH had ordered it at the bar he had returned with a glass of white wine, another non-alcohol lager and a bowl of bread and oatcakes.

It wasn’t long before the board arrived and it was wonderful.
As well as the fish it was scattered with gherkins, cherry tomatoes, lemon quarters and cress. The trout was thick and not dry, the salmon fresh and tasty, the pate was spot on and the highlight of the board was the herring, which was beautifully sweet and tangy. There was more than enough for us but we still managed to clear the board.

I forgot to take a pic so thanks to
gmorrs on tripadvisor for this pic.

The bar had a great atmosphere and there was an assortment of different people enjoying the varied menu. Families, couples, friends and dogs were all out on a horrible Sunday but having a lovely time nonetheless.

A Bloody Mary £7.00, 2 x non-alcoholic lager £7.80, a glass of wine £5.00 and a sharing board £12.50 = £32.30