Newly opened at the top of Leith, Khushi’s has been a purveyor of Punjabi-style Indian food for over half a century, in various Edinburgh locations.
The owners are the legends behind the magnificent Mithas, still clearly the best place we’ve eaten on our questing journeys, so they definitely know their onions.
On this occasion, we were eating as a large party of revellers. Upon arrival, BYOB safely in hand, we were directly shown to our table. The new place is smart but understated, and the staff all seem nicely at home in their new surroundings.
Their menu is pretty standard fare. As we munched on poppadoms and pickles, I settled upon the king prawn kerahi. Round the table, there was a range of different dishes sampled, before the inevitable negotiations on the appropriate balance of rice and naan.
Dishes arrived in good time, and we were soon tucking in. My sauce had good heat to it, but was pretty unremarkable. The prawns were fine, but nothing to write home about. Ditto the rice and naan.
Every time I’ve visited Khushi’s down the years, the conversation always goes the same. Someone says, “it’s not as good as the old place,” then everyone nods. I don’t quite agree with that. I think they are remarkably consistent, serving broadly the same dishes to the same quality in each of the places.
But therein lies the problem. Their recipe for success feels stale. This isn’t a new restaurant at all. It’s the same old Khushi’s. If you like it, and loads of people do, you’re going to be delighted with this new outlet. For me it’s ordinary and doesn’t provide anything fresh.
I love Mithas a huge amount, and really can’t see how these two places fit together as part of the same stable. Mithas is top-end whereas Khushi’s is mid-priced, with price-points set accordingly. But Mithas has imagination, style and creativity bursting from its every fibre, whereas Khushi’s is verging on the dull.
It’s so well-established in the Edinburgh dining consciousness that I’m confident it will continue to be a successful business in its new location. I can’t see me paying a repeat visit anytime soon, though, as it lacks any spark to raise it above being merely OK.
Blythe scores Khushi’s:
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 12/20
Today’s lunch questers were: Phil, Andrew, Alan, Dan, Ana, Michael, Malcolm, Kenny, Kevin, Laura, David, Mike, David, Blythe
We wore: a one pack, blue hat, stripey shirt, pink paperclips, butterfly blouse, blue and lemon tie, black shirt, spangly top, usual LQ shirt, checked shirt (2), , white shirt, tweed and trainers.
We ate: a range of curries
We drank: water, a range of BYOB
Total bill: £156.50 (14 diners, not including drinks)