to feast on and I was very fortunate to be invited to sample Ninja Kitchen’s menu. Located within late night venue Bourbon on Frederick Street. Ninja Kitchen (formerly known as Ninja Buns) began from humble beginnings in Leith, then on to middle meadow walk, supplying the food in Paradise Palms, before setting up in Bourbon.
It was really great to meet Markus the chef who said he got his inspiration for Ninja Kitchen when he was on holiday in California. He said he saw Bao Buns being sold from a stand and soon became interested in Pan Asian cookery. What’s bao buns I hear you ask? Gua bao (their rightful name) is a steamed Taiwanese flat bread used to traditionally serve stewed meat in. Unfortunately I haven’t travelled in Asia much myself so I only discovered them for the first time lately at Chompsky at Taste Buchanan, you can read about my experience there here.
I had such a good time at Ninja Kitchen and Bourbon, on entry you are presented with a set of stairs, as you follow them down you enter a very spacious bar and restaurant area made up of booths and cosy seating. I got to meet 3 very lovely Edinburgh / Scottish based bloggers for the first time that I would highly recommend you check out – Fionn Fionn Fionn, Talor Gilchrist and The Edinbug. We got to sample some of Bourbon’s very tasty cocktails starting with a Millionaire cocktail (see photo above) – Bourbon, apricot liquor and grenadine garnished with sliced apple that soaked up all the flavours as you bit into it!
Not only did we get to get to try these tantalising cocktails, we were treated to a cocktail masterclass too, but more about that later….
The above chicken basil bao bun was the one I ordered just for me – panko chicken in sweet chilli , sriracha mayo, fried mushrooms, lime spring onion, fresh basil, black sesame. Even as a Home Ec teacher I’m not 100% what all of that is but it tasted phenomenal! Talor, The Edinbug and I decided to share some ninja style tapas in the form of: coconut prawn skewers, Thai corn dumplings, Korean fried cauliflower, chilli garlic edamame beans and peanut slaw. Everything apart from the skewers (obviously) was vegan which was perfect for The Edinbug as she is one. Markus took time explaining the large amount of vegan options available including the Teriyaki Tofu bao bun.
When our goodies arrived we were all overwhelmed with excitement to tuck in! The four photos above are the edamame beans, coconut prawn skewers, the peanut slaw and the Korean fried cauliflower which Markus told us is everybody’s fave on the menu and I’m not surprised! It has a subtle spice and packs a punch full of flavour I loved it! The sharing aspect of the food with my new friends was really fun. The Thai corn dumplings and sweet chilli dip were also delicious, everything just tasted so fresh and moreish I tried everything!
Dessert next and I was excited about the sweet bao buns so I went for the deep fried bun with chocolate chilli ice cream. I had serious dessert envy and Talor was nice enough to let me taste a special of the day – Viatnamese coffee ice pops made with condensed milk, need I say more?! Don’t get me wrong the deep fried bun was great but maybe a bit heavy after the amount I munched on so it was nice to have something cold and sweet to try.
Cocktail masterclass – With the help of Bourbon’s very friendly bar staff, Fionn made the zombie which is a cocktail containing 8 shots of alcohol, lit on fire yet tastes like juice so it goes down far too easy! I went for a bit of fizz with a champagne topped cocktail and Talor’s cocktail was gin based garnished with rosemary. We had so much fun courtesy of Bourbon and Ninja Kitchen.
Food is served until 9pm and takeaway ninja combos are starting to go on sale, however I would highly recommend you physically get yourself down to Ninja Kitchen, it’s incomparable to anything going on in Edinburgh right now. Good vibes, an array of cocktails and food that will make your tastebuds dance with desire. So grab a bunch of friends and have a great night.