The Ninja Kitchen at Bourbon Bar and Lounge, Frederick Street



The Ninja Kitchen is Bourbon bar's new restaurant located on Frederick Street and specialises in Pan-Asian street food. A few of my colleagues and I decided to try it out after a late staff training one night since it isn't too far from our work. Bourbon is one of Edinburgh's newest bars, hidden underground where Suva used to be (it's a definite improvement over Suva that's for sure). I'd heard pretty good things about its restaurant's food, and was really intrigued by the steamed bao buns.

The way you order is a little strange and even the staff admitted it was confusing. You get these little pencils and a sheet with the menu on it and boxes where you write in the quantity you want to order. This was all pretty straight forward, however some things were not on the menu. One of my colleagues wanted to order one of the bao bun meals that came with chips (otherwise known as a ninja combo), but there was no clear option on the ordering system to ask for that. We asked a waiter for help and he wasn't too sure himself and suggested just writing in that she wanted the combo. We did that, but as our food came out it became apparent that her chips had not been properly ordered. Once the waiters realised we were still waiting for some food they did bring them out pretty quickly, but I would definitely say the ordering system could do with a little bit of improvement.

I was overall pretty satisfied with my food, but not all of my friends were. I ordered the teriyaki tofu bao bun which wasn't mind-blowing but tasty and definitely something I hadn't tried before. The korean fried cauliflower on the other hand was and is now my new favourite form of KFC. Cauliflower in my opinion is a pretty bland vegetable, but these were packed full of flavour and super crunchy, felt almost like eating a chicken dish. Another highlight was the chips (I stole quite a few from my colleagues) which come in a variety of spices including just plain old salt, chilli garlic and wasabi orange – my favourite being the chilli garlic. One of my friends who ordered a rice bowl said that her meal was a bit bland and nothing special. She had ordered the chicken bowl and said she could barely find any chicken.


Overall I would still recommend The Ninja Kitchen as a good place to go for a drink and nibbles. Bourbon has a great selection of drinks including some fancy cocktails, and the bao buns, chips and side dishes are packed with flavour – just maybe don't bother with the rice bowls. It is still a pretty new place to eat so I do see a lot of potential. I hope that they maybe add a few more unique dishes to the menu like the korean fried cauliflower, which really hit the nail on the head. I know I will definitely be back for a cocktail and KFC at least!


(You also get a cute little bourbon biscuit at the end!)

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