Review: Morningside Spice, Edinburgh

I SEEM TO BE spending a great deal of time in Indian restaurants of late and it’s fair to say that I’ve been on a good run.  Today was date night, which involved a trip to the cinema to see the new Jason Bourne movie, but we needed to satisfy our hunger beforehand. Morningside Spice seemed like the best option given its close proximity to the Dominion Theatre.

My brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Jemma, moved to this part of town a few months ago and have dined at Morningside Spice a couple of times. Given we have enjoyed several meals together at their (and our) previous local, Rivage, I trusted their judgement; I just hoped my Indian odyssey would continue positively.

The dining room was compact but spacious, with tables donning white linen table clothes and staff smartly attired. It was hard to interpret the cross-section of diners at first, which can often be the case during the Edinburgh Festival. On closer inspection (I am a nosey little s*it when I’m out eating), there were a few accents, definite students, and some families on this busy Thursday service.  There were plenty of staff on hand to cope, however, and they were very polite and well-trained on first impression.Worth noting that the restaurant is fully licensened and we enjoyed a famliar friend in the form of a bottle of Baron D'Arignac Cabernet Sauvignon at a reasonable £13.95.

I began with the sheek kebab priced at £4.95, which happens to be a favourite of mine at Rivage. Unfortunately, I found this starter a little underwhelming.  While the lamb mince was tender and moist, it lacked the depth of flavour and seasoning that I had expected. It didn’t have the crusty exterior or the barbeque flavour that you get from a tandoor, which meant it was slightly odd in texture.  It also needed a sauce to add a bit of zing as it was pretty one-dimensional beside just a standard salad.

Sarah opened with lamb tikka (£4.95), which consisted of skewered meat that fared better on the spice side and benefited from a smoky barbeque note to it. I found certain pieces a little chewy for my liking, which is why I often avoid lamb at Indians until my trust has been gained that it will be executed properly. Again, I felt a sauce of some description would have helped lubricate the plate, especially with some of the meat being rather on the dry side.

I was right in the mood for my favoured garlic chilli chicken, but felt it would be considerate of me to give it a miss in case I was reeking of garlic at the cinema, thereby preventing some unbeknown punter inhaling my vampire-repelling breath.  I had the Kathmandu chicken (£8.75) instead and it was a real treat.  I found the heat to my liking, and was thankful that I could taste the garlic, ginger and particularly the fine tinge of cinnamon.  The texture and taste of lentils alongside a generous amount of tender chicken went some way to rectifying the initial impression from my previous course.

Over the table Sarah ordered Karahi chicken (£8.75) and it certainly looked appealing to the eye. She found the tomatoes and fresh herbs helped created a lightness to the dish, with pleasantly spiced, soft chicken benefiting from being cooked in the tandoor oven.  Like my main it was quickly polished off with a side of standard pilau rice (£3.25).  Our usual garlic naan was near enough as good as they come at £3.25.

There were a few wobbles on this occasion but the main courses were very tasty and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to order them again.  They essentially turned around what could have been an otherwise very disappointing evening.  Service standards were set high, too, and the surroundings acceptable. The Indian odyssey continues…

Phone: (0131) 447 8787
Address: 47 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4BY

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 - 14:00 17:00 - 23:00

Morningside Spice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato