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August 29, 2010 / R

20 August, mash row

We used to hit Monster Mash for a Friday lunch once a month or so when I worked nearby, but hadn’t been in the area while hungry for a while. Imagine our surprise to find it was now seemingly called “Mum’s Comfort Food,” but using the same color scheme and photo. Had it just changed names?

No, a couple doors down the street is the real Monster Mash, now a “cafe.”

Turns out they hadn’t owned that building and had been turfed out by the actual owner, who then opened an almost identical restaurant in its place. So, they bought a larger building down the street and re-opened. There seems to be some disagreement from Mum’s team on this story and which place is the genuine deal. The waitress told us that both places are doing well, so obviously Edinburghers have big enough hearts for two mash restaurants, on the same street.

The food’s the same, but I’m not enamoured with the new location. It’s larger, but it’s crammed with small tables that are nonetheless all a little too large. There’s not enough space for the servers to move through without constantly bumping tables and chairs and tripping over customer’s knees or bags. Worse, there’s no airflow and the acoustics are punishing, so your meal is dominated by the conversations and perfumes of the four tables within elbow-bumping range. That’s typical for most UK cafes, but I miss the old booths.

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