Review: The Carbon Lounge, Edinburgh

Review: The Carbon Lounge, Edinburgh

In Edinburgh’s thriving and continuously growing restaurant and nightlife scene, it’s easy to find creative food, atmospheric bars, tasty cocktails, and exciting entertainment. 

But how often is it that you find all under one roof?

The Carbon Lounge, in Edinburgh’s Cowgate, brings together Sichuan and northern China’s rich and flavourful street-food with nostalgic east-Asian cocktails.

As soon as you walk in, you’re entrenched in the low lighting and cool, fluorescent décor. It’s clear the Carbon Lounge has the best of both worlds, putting just as much thought and creativity into their cuisine as they do the atmosphere.

We opted first for five spicy skewers – lamb, fatty beef brisket, chicken gizzard, Taiwanese sausage and pork belly – all of which were tender and juicy with cumin and chilli seasoning.

We followed the meat with seafood, thoroughly enjoying the grilled whole prawns. But it was the scallops cooked in their shells with copious amounts of garlic and ginger and topped with glass noodles, green onion and fresh red chilli sautéed in chilli oil which stole the show.  

Eager to try more, we ordered a cold plate, beef in spicy sauce. This is a classic dish of braised beef flank dipped in a light, spicy and refreshing sauce. 

We chased these with their sweet and spicy chicken feet and spicy duck blood, the perfect pairings for a late night tipple.

If you want something with a more familiar texture, opt for one of their noodle dishes like the fried house noodles cooked with fried luncheon meat and bok choy that was comforting and delicious.

To drink, we had a mocktail of jasmine and peach which was refreshing, and a cocktail called Monet’s Garden, a sake-based cocktail with lychee and coconut rum along with herby rosemary and thyme syrup. It was fantastic. Sweet, a little zesty and layered with flavour. 

The Carbon Lounge delivers, bringing an exciting, vibrant environment to enjoy northern Chinese and Sichuan fare. I’ll be back again soon. 


The Carbon Lounge. 208 Cowgate, Edinburgh Eh1 1NQ. 01312871990


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