250 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8DT, 0131 229 7173
The 2015 Edinburgh Festival is in full swing, and everywhere you go this month you’ll find plenty of pop-up restaurants and street food shacks. But what if you don’t want to fight off seagulls while tucking into your curry? What if you want a real sit down experience: one with friendly waiters and well presented scran? Well my friend, Mumbai Mansion is the place for you.
Its Morrison Street location may seem a little out of the way, but really it’s only 20 minutes walk from George Square (where we saw the absolutely fantastic play Little Thing, Big Thing: catch it if you can). There’s a really nice gin bar next door, The Jolly Botanist, where I can definitely recommend grabbing an aperitif.
Everything on the menu looked tempting so it was quite difficult to decide what to order. I decided that the best way to get a feel for the restaurant was to order the tasting menu (minimum 2 people, £32.95 per head). This included an array of their best starters and some of their showcase mains. We ordered a bottle of prosecco (£18.95) to go with our meal because sparkling wines complement Indian food fantastically, non? The fizz price was on par with many of the other wines on the menu, so we would have been mad not to.
The first dish to appear from the kitchen was the chicken and cucumber salad: little chunks of marinated cold chicken bound with coleslaw and wrapped up in a cucumber ribbon. I’ll be honest here: this didn’t exactly set my world on fire. The fresh apple strips were a nice touch, and the cucumber was nice and light, but the chicken itself was a bit disappointing. Thankfully it was the only weak point in a fantastic meal and otherwise impressive tasting menu.
Next to appear was the chicken tikka. The plate consisted of two chunks of chicken marinated in English mustard and yoghurt, with a lovely nutty sauce on the side. The chicken was tender and juicy, and packed with flavour. The spice was subtle and the accompanying sauce really gave it a lift. The sweetcorn and pea kebab, our next dish, was also rather delicious. These little patties had a fantastic texture and were packed with fresh, warm flavours.
The real standout of the evening were the scallops and mussels served with the herby and coconutty Nilghiri sauce. Oh my word, I could eat this dish all day every day. The waiter was already amused by how fast we were inhaling the food he brought out, but I think the speed at which we devoured this particular plate surprised him even more. But can you blame us? The scallops were cooked on the grill first and were done to absolute perfection. The sauce was tossed on afterwards. The result was tender and juicy scallops, complemented by the sauce and not smothered by it.
The chargrilled skewered prawns were brought next, and although they were very tasty our minds were still very much with the mussels and scallops. Sorry prawns! Our odyssey of starters came to a close with the lamb shami kebab. Minced lamb stuffed with ricotta and tarragon, it was a delightful little dish and probably a close second to the scallops in terms of our favourite thing on the menu.
We had a little break between our starters and our main course, at which point we were brought some mint and lime flavour sorbet in a little basket of sesame seed brittle. This was an absolutely wonderful palate cleanser and had us ready to tackle our showstopping main: the grilled Scottish lobster served with Alappy style moilee sauce!
The lobster was curried and presented in its shell. How impressive! At this point I thought this tasting menu would definitely impress the ladies on date night (as long she doesn’t have an aversion to seafood or shellfish with its head still on). There were some nice generous chunks of lobster in there, again cooked to perfection, with a slow heat that crept up on me after swallowing a few bites.
The butter chicken was slightly spicier than the versions I’m used to, although it still had a wonderful creaminess that counteracted the heat of the lobster. The seasonal vegetables, naan and rice made lovely little accompaniments to the main dishes.
As if that wasn’t enough, we were brought some dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding! The plate included a warm cake lavished with hot toffee sauce with some vanilla ice cream on the side. The ice cream was topped with a fennel crisp and some orange crumble. It was exactly the sort of hearty dish you need to warm your cockles on a chilly August evening in the ‘burgh.
Mumbai Mansion straddles the line between fine dining and standard Indian restaurant perfectly. With everyone and his dog currently extolling the virtues of street food it’s so refreshing to visit a restaurant that’s chosen to glam up instead of dress down. If you’re looking for an Indian meal in Edinburgh, but want to take it to the next level, I reckon you should get yourself down to Morrison Street and check it out.
I was invited along to Mumbai Mansion by their PR company. Despite this all thoughts, as always, are my own.