21st March 2015 7.30pm
This restaurant has recently moved from Leith up to the Lothian Road area, to a smaller but more central venue. Guchhi offers both an a la carte menu and a tapas menu. I was meeting a couple of friends for a catch up but had arrived a little early. I was shown to my table and then left to my own devices. I perused the two menus on the table and thought someone might offer to get me a drink whilst I was waiting but didn’t. Perhaps they wanted to wait until all the diners had arrived. The restaurant was bustling too, with only a very small number of waiting staff. The kitchen looked like it was situated downstairs, which involved the staff opening a door which let in a cold draft every few minutes.
My friends arrived and we ordered some drinks (a bottle of wine for them and a cocktail for me) and some poppadums whilst we chose what to eat. We opted to order from the a la carte menu. Two of us had dined at Guchhi in Leith, so already knew what we wanted to order. I had some very delicious artichoke pakora which we both wanted to order this time. My other friend was opting out of a starter. I chose a pan-fried chicken rogan josh with a garlic naan for my main, whilst the others went for a chicken jalfrezi with a chilli naan and a chicken biryani. Sadly after a minute or so, the waiter returned to inform us that they were out of artichoke and whether we wanted another starter. We had both had our hearts set on the pakora so decided just to get some extra poppadums instead. We chomped through the poppadums. They were accompanied by a mango chutney and spiced onions. The poppadums were folded over, which I think made them seem a little heavier. The accompaniments were lovely though and had good, strong flavours. The wine went down well and I was enjoying my coconut daiquiri (I am a bit of a lover of Malibu).
We weren’t waiting too long before the mains arrived. The two curries came in the traditional serving bowls. However, the biryani was presented in a particularly appealing way, in a clay pot with a chapatti over the top, sealing in the heat and flavour. My curry was full of warm spices but not really with any heat. It was a little milder than I was expecting but I would prefer that to it being too hot. The sauce had a good consistency for a tomato based sauce and the chicken was not too dry. The naan was a decent size so I had plenty to mop up the curry. The jalfrezi was also being enjoyed. The chilli naan was adding so extra kick, which perhaps, in hindsight, I should have opted for. The biryani was consumed with gusto. None of us managed to completely finish our dishes, not because they didn’t taste nice but I think we went over the top with the poppadums – a frequent mistake of mine.
We decided to order some more drinks so asked for the menu again. We had to wait a fair while to actually place an order. Then the waiter came back again and said they had now run out of the ingredients for the cocktail I had earlier. This was really quite disappointing. Having them not have one thing in the evening isn’t great but can be forgiven if the meal is good but two things is really not good service. I chose another cocktail, which luckily turned out to be rather nice. However, my friends weren’t entirely sure they got the cocktails they ordered or whether they got something else. Plus, we had waited a very long time for them to arrive. I do understand that it can take a while to make cocktails but this really was quite a delay.
The staff were trying their best and were very apologetic for not being able to provide us with everything we had ordered. However, I really don’t know whether I will be back, just because I can’t be sure what I order will actually be available.
Food – 6/10
Service – 5/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 7/10
Overall – 25/40
Cost – £80 for three mains, 6 poppadums with chutneys, 2 naans, 1 bottle of wine and 4 cocktails. This included a discount of 20%. True cost around £100.