Lunch at Dionika – what else is Friday for?
Because it’s Friday we’re out to lunch. We’re just about to start on the fish when Eddie and Barry drop in, like us lured by the board outside offering three courses and a glass of wine for £7.50.
If that sounds too good to be true you better go to Dionika’s too. I don’t know how they can do it but if our lunch is anything to go by it is not just true but very good indeed.
We had mussel soup with beans, flavoured I think with paprika, rich and tasty: almost a meal in itself (Eddie says mixed veg is good too). Followed by plaice, chips and salad (I can probably produce as good myself but, though I say so myself, that’s really not bad), and flan, the Spanish version of creme caramel, (which is smoother and creamier than I have managed so far).
Perhaps best of all was the glass of white Rioja included in the deal. Altogether, fantastic value for money. I hope it puts Dionika right back on the food trail.
I like this quirky mix of restaurant, deli and bar. I remember when 3-6 Canonmills Bridge was a rather strange clothes shop selling kilts and posh frocks for the kind of evening out no sane person enjoys. Before that it was a boat’s chandlers with a window full of coiled rope.
The restuarant opened in 2005 adding to the international flavour which makes this such a good place to live, just down the road from long-established Cantonese Loon Fung, and across the street from French-Scottish Circle (see also the flourishing French newcomer L’Escargot Bleu up the hill in Broughton Street).
Dionika feels very Spanish as indeed it should since it is run by Juan Dionislo Blanco an Iberian extravert who enjoys moving between tables in breaks from the kitchen.
Grey-bearded, long-haired and welcoming in a slightly off the wall way, he reminds me of a scaled down Billy Connolly in a chef’s apron. He’s disarmingly generous in sharing his passion for cooking with customers at the end of their meal, often challenging them to spot the secret ingredient in the dish they have just eaten. Unusually he then gives away quite a few secrets in recipes on his website.
Juan didn’t appear during our lunch. Perhaps that’s asking too much for £7.50. One word of warning, don’t expect a bargain if you enquire about the wine at the end of the meal. We went home with a bottle of very fine Rioja which cost £14 – almost as much as our three course meal with glass of wine for two. But maybe that shows what a good deal it is.