Namaste Kathmandu

3rd November 2015 7pm

Namaste Kathmandu

Namaste Kathmandu

We stopped here for an impromptu dinner. I have passed here many a time but never been in so we finally took the opportunity when it arose. We were met by friendly and welcoming staff and were seated. There was a nice choice on the menus, with it being broken down into Nepalese, Indian and Seafood and there is a decent vegetarian offering in both the Nepalese and Indian cuisines. We went for the standard poppadoms and pickle tray as a starter (I was wise and knew we would fill up on these and having a starter too would be risky). I then picked chicken acharai for my main and my dining partner went for chicken rogan josh . We had a choice of heat levels for these curries so I went for medium and my friend went for hot. We both went for an additional garlic naan.

The poppadoms arrived quickly and were served folded, which I’m not a fan of but they do save on space and don’t really taste any different. The pickles consisted of yoghurt raita, onions and mango chutney. There probably wasn’t quite enough of the mango chutney but that is the same complain in most restaurants serving poppadoms. The onion was a bit different from other restaurants I’ve tried in that it had more of an earthy spice to it than a sweet taste. This was very nice.

Namaste Kathmandu

Namaste Kathmandu

When the curries arrived they smelt good. The naans were cut into quarters and placed together. My acharai was well balanced and not too hot. The chicken moist and there were enough pieces in there. Additionally there were yellow and green peppers and onions scattered through it with a touch of ginger to give it additional depth. All of this resulted in a very tasty curry. The naan was of a high quality and one of the best I’ve had in recent times. It had great garlic flavours, just how I like it, and it wasn’t too greasy. The hot curry on other side of the table was equally enjoyed, although she did have a bit of chilli that caught her throat but I blame that on her entirely!

We were too full for dessert but we had some hot wipes to clean up with. I was pleasantly surprised by this place and would happily go back.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 31/40

Cost £33 for 4 poppadoms, pickle tray, two curries, two naans and one diet coke

Namaste Kathmandu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mumbai Mansion

27th September 2015 – 12.30pm

Mumbai Mansion is trying to change the image of Indian cuisine.

Chicken tikka starter - Mumbai Mansion

Chicken tikka starter – Mumbai Mansion

We had a Living Social voucher deal. Booking was easy and I got a reminder email on the morning of the reservation but they didn’t seem to have our booking when we arrived. Other than the early confusion, the staff were very friendly and showed us to a table (which under the glass had a wooden carved map of India). The voucher deal was for the business lunch plus some ice cream. The business lunch gave five options for starters and mains. All of the choices sounded tempting. I went for tikka paneer followed by butter chicken and a naan My friend went for chicken tikka followed by lamb rogan josh and a naan. I also ordered a mango lassi as it was a sunny day and thought it would match my mood.

Tikka paneer - Mumbai Mansion

Tikka paneer – Mumbai Mansion

We didn’t have to wait long for our starters, as one would hope with a business lunch – even if it’s a Sunday. This definitely hit the mark and we could see the lean to fine dining. Both sets of food looked pretty on the plate. My paneer was delicious and the accompanying sauce really danced on the tastebuds, with a good hit of spice without being overpowering or too hot. The chicken tikka was also enjoyed. The sauce was fresher for that starter but still worked well with the chicken.

Curries - Mumbai Mansion

Curries – Mumbai Mansion

The curries then came out in little dishes and trays of neatly cut naans joined them. I have to say I was a little disappointed in the meat to sauce ratio in the curries. Whilst I understand that they were from the business menu, there was way too much sauce and only a handful on small pieces of meat, particularly in the butter chicken. That being said, we both enjoyed our curries (even if I ended up being somewhat jealous of the lamb rogan josh). The meat was well cooked and the sauces were delicious. The naans were exemplary.

The ice cream for dessert was actually surprisingly good, with plenty of flecks of vanilla in it. However, it’s not a dessert that is going to knock your socks off.

Ice cream - Mumbai Mansion

Ice cream – Mumbai Mansion

My quest for the perfect curry place might still continue but I was impressed enough with the food and ethos of Mumbai Mansion that I will be going back to try more from the main menu, or even try the tasting menu.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 32/40

Cost – £17 with voucher – 2x business lunch, mango lassi and diet coke. Full price £25.

Mumbai Mansion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


30th August 2015 6pm

Pickle tray - Kismot

Pickle tray – Kismot

We booked somewhere close to Pleasance for dinner, again to fit in with our festival plans. I didn’t know much about Kismot apart from the Killer curry competition. Upon arrival, we waited to be seated. A waiter stopped taking the order from a table to see if we had a booking and point us to a table, which seemed a little unnecessary as we could have waited until he had finished taking the order. Anyway, we got menus and perused to see what would take our fancy. Kismot offers lots of unusual choices such as an Irn Bru curry and naans with either chocolate or marshmallows on them. We decided to keep it a little more mainstream for our first visit. The menu has cinema style ratings on them to indicate heat levels and also what is suitable for those with intolerances and allergies. We got some poppadoms and a chutney tray to start, followed by a chicken chasni and a garlic naan for me and a tarka dhaal with added paneer with a garlic and coriander for my friend. Kismot is BYOB but we decided to stick to water.

Chicken chasni - Kismot

Chicken chasni – Kismot

The poppadoms came out almost immediately. The accompanying pickle tray was a nice sight as all the sections were deep so had plenty of pickles in each. This was particularly useful for the ever popular mango chutney. The other pickles were lime pickle and an onion salad. It would have been nice to have seen a raita on there too rather than two lime pickles but maybe I’m just being a bit picky. The poppadoms themselves were a little thick but had good crunch.

Tarka dhaal - Kismot

Tarka dhaal – Kismot

When the mains arrived, they were of a generous size, served in a deep bowl. The naans also looked beautifully golden as the garlic must have been applied as a melted butter of some sort. My chasni was a sweet and sour type curry and was pleasant. The chicken pieces were of a decent size and there were plenty in the dish. The sweet and sour tasted a little too ketchup-y perhaps but only a little. The spicing was delicate. It left my mouth with a mild tingle. On the other side of the table, the dhaal looked nice. My dining companion was a little disappointed the paneer was grated into it rather than cut into chunks but again, this was personal preference. However he enjoyed the dhaal and the naan too.

We did have to wait a little while for the table to be cleared and so we could ask for the bill. Kismot is a family run business and seemed to be a little short of front house staff. This could possibly be connected to opening a second restaurant in Tollcross. Kismot was nice but I think I’m still on my hunt for the perfect curry house. The restaurant, even when busy, seemed as if it lacked a bit of personality.

Food- 7/10
Service – 6/10
Atmosphere – 6/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 26/40

Cost £30 for 5 poppadoms and chutney tray, 2 curries and 2 naans

Kismot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

10 to 10 in Delhi

5th August 2015 – 6.45pm

10 to 10 in Delhi

10 to 10 in Delhi

I had been here once before and on the first day of the fringe this year we decided that as the weather wasn’t up to much, we’d try our chances here instead of one of the outdoor food stalls. 10 to 10 is a very small café/restaurant. It is beautifully adorned with colourful silks and sheets. You will be cosying up to those on the table adjacent to you but don’t let this put you off. As we were really just having a quick bite between shows, we both opted for the meat mixed plate for an incredibly cheap £5.95 each.

Mixed meat plate - 10 to 10 in Delhi

Mixed meat plate – 10 to 10 in Delhi

When the plate arrived it was full of a nice range of delights. Firstly I tried the samosa which was full of depth and the outside was crispy without flaking into pieces. I then tried both the chicken pakora and the bhaji. The chicken pakora was definitely the triumph, packing an amazing amount of flavour without the need for heat. There was also a spoonful of what I think was cous cous or a similar type grain and a spoonful of coleslaw. These added an element of neutrality to enable them to pick up the flavours elsewhere on the plate. Then the main event, still on the same plate, was the chicken and channa masala curry which was accompanied by a plentiful amount of stripped garlic naan. Whilst the curry wasn’t one that knocked my socks off, it was a decent offering, albeit a little more bland than my normal choice of curry. There was plenty of chicken in it though. The naan was also beautifully soft.

Overall, 10 to 10 in Delhi offers amazing value and is worth checking out.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 10/10

Overall – 31.5/40

Cost – £14 for two plates and two soft drinks

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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.

Poppadums - Guchhi

Poppadums – Guchhi

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).

Biryani - Guchhi

Biryani – Guchhi

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.

Rogan josh - Guchhi

Rogan josh – Guchhi

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.