|From the outside; hard to photograph due to traffic.|
|The MQ does retain some of its communal charm.|
Over the past few years, the Mosque Kitchen has quickly grown in to an Edinburgh staple, coming in to its own during festival time. Its location, neatly placed between the seething hubs of comedy merriment that are the Pleasance and the George Square/Bristo Square nexus plays some part in that. Its well deserved reputation for no-nonsense, reasonably priced, high quality, stamina enhancing festival fuel covers the rest.
Transported from its al fresco beginnings, adjacent to the Mosque, to fresh new premises just around the corner, how has the place coped with the transition from pigeon-friendly to four-walled splendour? I think the answer is: very well.
Many elements remain: the trademark paper plates and plastic spoons; the lightening canteen-style service; and the pleasing array of richly flavoured delights, catering with consummate simplicity for vegetarians and unabashed carnivores alike.
|Chicken Curry with samosa.|
|Meat curry (lamb perhaps?)|
|Daal and meat curry.|
|Daal and chicken curry.|
What’s lost is some of the camaraderie enhancing powers of the big communal tables, previously a valuable source of festival gossip and buzz, but with a couple of ten person tables, there’s still some potential for that cultural exchange to take place.
The new place is simple, bright, and relaxed. It lacks some of the undoubted charm of the old place, for sure, but they could have really screwed things up with their move indoors and they’ve not fallen in to any of the obvious traps, so well done.
I ate a meat curry, with rice and daal. The daal was excellent – as good as you’ll find in the city – and the full-flavoured meaty chunks were supremely satisfying. Round the table, we’d each chosen something a little different, but there seemed little dissention and a lot of empty plates.
Overall, it’s an unmissable Edinburgh lunch spot that represents excellent bang for your buck. If you’ve not been there, go, and if you haven’t been for a while, go back and sample it again. You won’t be disappointed.
|Saag Aloo and vegetable curry.|
|Gajar halva (I think)|
|Normal, and pretty cupcakes.|
Scores on the Doors
Out of 20 Blythe gives the Mosque Kitchen:
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 15/20
Out of 20 Miriam gives the Mosque Kitchen:
3/5 for food
2/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 11/20
Today’s Lunch Questers were: Miriam, Gary, Grant, Toy, Blythe.
We wore: Made-to-measure dark blue suit, green floaty dress, purple hooded garment, friendly spectacles, jaguar tie pin.
We ate: A range of curries and sundries
We drank: Mecca mineral water, Espresso/Black Coffee
Total Bill: c.£40 (Curries – £5.50, Coffees – £1.50, Water – £1)
West Nicholson Street