To mark National Curry Week, here are my top tips for finding great curry dishes in Edinburgh... A good curry is fairly easy to find, but a GREAT curry can be that most elusive of prizes! Having sampled many of the city's curry options, my tip is to seek out the less obvious or expensive big name restaurants, avoid the chains, and take a chance on something a little less familiar. That way you're more likely to encounter a hidden gem to treasure! These are the ones that make my hitlist...
A true Edinburgh institution, with several awards and prizes to its name. Near the heart of the University of Edinburgh's Potterrow area it's justifiably popular with students, but you will also be surprised at the cross section of people cramming into its cosy interior. Be ready to share a table, if needed, in order to get a seat, and whether you go for a warming korma or a fiery patia, the flavours are as immense as the portion sizes...
THE MOSQUE KITCHEN
One of the foundations of the Islamic faith is the sharing of food, and Edinburgh's Central Mosque welcomes you to share one of their tasty curries at their dedicated restaurant on Nicolson Square. Don't expect a huge menu - with basic chicken, lamb and vegetable options - but the flavours are robust and authentic, the portions healthy and the pricing very pocket friendly.
Indian cooking often boasts exciting and intriguing vegetarian options, and Kalpna is an Indian restaurant dedicated to vegetarian curries, working wonders without meat. Located on St Patrick Square in the Southside, the restaurant is friendly, welcoming and its food known for its variety of flavours, colours, and textures.
A little further up Clerk Street is this south Indian restaurant, another favourite with locals for its healthy portions and flavourful menu. Try their 'dosai', savoury crepes packed with beautifully meat and vegetables - they're a true speciality offering something a little different from the majority of mainstream curry houses. Note that Tanjore offers sit-in only - their food is not available for takeaway!
Saving the best for last - this truly is my favourite place in the city for curry! Predominantly offering takeaway dishes, they also have a limited number of tables to sit in. At peak times you can wait up to an hour for food to be delivered, but it's well worth every minute - their chicken tikka biryani is full of tender meat and rich spices, and their saag aloo dish of spinach and potato is the perfect side dish.
All my private Edinburgh walking tours include a personalised information service, with restaurant recommendations and suggestions to suit you!
Edinburgh Expert Walking Tours is run by Gareth Davies, an adopted native of Edinburgh with 19 years of experience living and working in the city...