Always on the lookout for a rival to the Kalpna
to take my Mum to on her visits,
this place was recommended by Dave at work, and since he's a vegetarian too he must know what he's talking about.
Turns out he did - the food was really excellent, and beautifully spiced if very mild;
probably some the best haute Indian cuisine I've ever had.
According to our waitress Mithas is the sister establishment to what claims to be Edinburgh's first Indian restaurant -
opened in 1947 and now moved to Antigua Street, at the top of Leith Walk.
And also possibly related to Khushi's Diner
on West Nicolson Street.
Though it's quite hard to be sure - there seem to be plenty of Khushi
restaurants in Edinburgh
almost all of them claiming to be either the oldest
, the famous
or the original
Actually I understood the waitress to be saying that Khusi's was her sister's restaurant, but I think that was just her poor English talking.
Mum had already decided her starter from the online menu and went with the intriguing
which were more like little patties. It turns out that the two do go quite well together, though they flavours were perhaps a little submerged
in the collection of vegetables and mild spices.
I had which arrived in their shells with a colourful, delicate,
if thin sauce. The scallops were perfectly cooked (which would be astonishing in any run-of-the-mill Indian restaurant), and the sauce excellent.
Whilst waiting we sipped away at our Mango Lassis - which were just fantastic. I have no idea what they put in them, but they were definitely the best I've tasted.
I wondered if perhaps they had used palm sugar, or jiggery or something to give them such a deep sweetness,
but our waitress assured us that it was just plain white sugar.
But then she thought her sister owned Khushi's so what did she know?
We were also served small cups of a slightly to keep us occupied,
which reminded me a little of Mulligatawny. It was full, rich and gently warming. A most excellent soup.
My main course of generous hunks of was well-spiced, and more than filling,
but perhaps a little dry. It came with no sauce. Fortunately we had also ordered side dishes of
and Mushrooms and Chestnuts
which offered plenty of moisture
though in fact the leftover coconut sauce from my scallops was perhaps a better match.
At least, we believed
we had ordered Mushrooms and Chestnuts
, which we thought sounded pretty interesting,
and particularly as Mum brought me up a bag of Kentish cobnuts from her recent visit to my sister in, wait for it, Kent.
I'd found a
Raw ceps with cobnuts
salad to try them out, and this dish seemed coincidentally very similar.
Anyway, it turned out to actually be - a rather different dish.
But it still worked. In fact it probably worked better - the water chestnuts weren't so crunchy as to overwhelm the mushrooms
and they complement each other pretty well.
We thought the brinjal (aubergine) wasn't quite up to the Kalpna's standards
but since they don't make theirs any more this is the only brinjal game in town.
I was dubious about Mum's choice of since my experiences of Indian fish tends to include
eyes, tails and a full skeleton. But I needn't have worried, they had successfully filleted out almost all the bones and there was no head in sight.
The sauce was rich, thick and vibrant, and I quite liked their little joke of tucking a few chips underneath the fish too.
Unfortunately, due to their odd refusal to provide us with the leftovers in doggy bags - rather snidely announcing that they were
not a takeaway
we were forced to eat all our over-enthusiastic orders and had no room for dessert.
Which is a pity, because according to Dave their desserts are the best part.
Maybe next time.
Mind you, given that we spent £76 on what we had (and yes, that's without drink - they are BYOB),
maybe it was a good thing we couldn't eat any more!