This restaurant bills itself as "The Original Healthy Eating Experience". There is a strong vegetarian focus, and they differentiate between vegetarian and vegan. They also make a point to use organic products and especially local produce. Henderson's actually has several different parts: a shop for healthy foods (upstairs), the Bistro which includes table service dining (upstairs, behind the shop), the Salad Table for cafeteria-style dining and the Wine Bar (both downstairs).
I've eaten in the Salad Table the last three times I've visited Edinburgh, because I like it so much. I'm not a vegetarian, but I am an ex-vegetarian and love to see what creative people can do with meatless cooking. And although it's 'healthy', I've certainly never felt cheated on taste!
When you first enter the restaurant after coming down the stairs, there is a table with trays and flatware directly in front of you, and just beyond that is the serving area which is designed to take you through the different sections of the menu, with choices that change daily. Above the serving area is the large handwritten menu proclaiming the day's main hot meals and their prices. The main hot dishes are kept in a separate steam table behind the counter, so you can’t easily see them, but all of the counter assistants I’ve been served by do their best to describe each of the choices, and lift the lids off the trays so I could get an idea. These meals are usually between about £4.50-5, but some can be less than £4. There are cheaper meal options for children.
You can also see the variety of 'side salads' behind the glass display. These salads can be very interesting indeed, containing everything from potatoes to exotic fruit to greens and vinegar. I always have to resort to pointing and asking, "What's in that?" I also usually try something a bit on the wild side, just for a change. As an accompaniment, one salad item costs £1.30, but you can get three for £2.10. Three salad items as a main meal costs about £4.
The next section is the desert bar, which offers several changing choices as well. Every time I’ve eaten there, I’ve selected the trifle, with cream. I can’t help it, it just happens. I have also seen chocolate mousse, many different cakes and several fruit dishes. These are usually around £1.50. There are also smaller, "snacky" desserts such as scones and cookies that cost less.
They also sell blended fruit drinks here, which come in four mixed flavors. Recently I tried the carrot, apple and ginger drink, which was sweet but not overly so, and the refreshing taste of ginger really complemented the carrot flavor. I love carrot juice in general, but this was a very nice combination. I have also had another drink which featured mango juice, and loved that one too. A small glass costs £1.80, a large £2.40.
The Salad Table is open Mon-Sat 8am-10:45pm, the shop Mon-Fri 8am-7pm and Sat 9am-6pm.