We’ve long sung the praises of the place, which continues to bask in the glory of having received our one and only 40/40 score. We visited many times in 2012, as it’s our preferred destination when folks from out of town come to play, but this marked our first time here in 2013.
Gary had been part of the original party that visited Mithas, way back in August 2011, so was pleased to join us, once more. It was Hannah’s first time, though we had been promising her a visit for a wee while.
The new cocktail bar, which used to be Shebeen, has been seamlessly integrated into the restaurant structure.
The selection of cocktails is impressive, with lots of the careful and considered spicing, very much the calling card of the Mithas food menu, transferring to the drinks menu.
The watermelon martini was supremely refreshing, but the rapaska was the star of the show. Infused with warm chilli, the vodka and raspberry based delight was outstandingly good.
I’ve done a wee bit of cocktail reviewing, from time to time, but have never quite moved the level of being a true cocktail enthusiast. It’s the kind of fresh take on things that Mithas’ selection offers that could finally get me over the hump.
Once we’d had our fun in the new cocktail playground, we moved on to dinner, about which I’ll say relatively little, other than to reiterate that Mithas remains our favourite restaurant in the city, that the quality and innovation on offer is supreme, and that there are multiple dishes that would make it in to my top 10 on offer in the city, with the leg of lamb, the monkfish tikka, the wild salmon kebab, and a really good new paneer stuffed mushroom dish, to name just a few.
The accompanying wine was first rate, with a friendly and highly knowledgeable sommelier now added to the staff, to expertly direct operations.
Service remains superb, with the waiters and waitresses flawless in their descriptions of often highly complex dishes. The stylish setting is enhanced by the addition of cocktail bar, as mentioned. The overall package is now even more compelling than before, so it’s to their credit that they’ve taken this relatively bold step, to further improve their already exquisite offering.
If you haven’t visited, previously, you really should, and for those who have, the new cocktail bar gives you just the excuse you were needing to come and bask in the glory of this truly remarkable place, once more.
A chance to go back to the best restaurant in Edinburgh? Yes, please! There, I said it. It’s a fact. Why they don’t have a star is beyond me, but I’m secretly pleased since it will keep the prices just where I think to myself, “yes, I shall go to Mithas, it is a Thursday evening, after all.”
It was with this cheery thought that I met up with Hannah after our respective work ended and headed down to the Shore. Inside, it was a seamless transition from the reception area to the new cocktail bar. Blythe and Gary were already enjoying cocktails that looked amazing and we were quickly asked what we would like to try.
Me, being the difficult person I am, asked for wine. Specifically I asked the sommelier to recommend something. He sent me a glass of fresh Chardonnay, which was perfect. I tasted the other cocktails, and they were dangerously tasty, but I stuck to my wine and was soon ready for another epic meal.
Is there anything else to really order besides the tasting menu? I know there is, but it’s such a meal that you think about when you are not eating it, so I always go for the mixed array of tasting treats. As ever, the small dishes came out, one at a time. The amuse bouche was delicious and aromatic, perfect to lighten get the palate ready for the minced chicken roll for two and the leafy salad for two.
The grilled scallops were perfectly cooked, and delicately spiced, and I was pleased to not have needed to share mine. These were followed by the roast sweet potato, which, with the tamarind sauce and cumin yogurt, are one of my favourite dishes of the day. The small cubes boom with a touch of heat and the sweetness that isn’t overpowering. Then came the monkfish (another of my favourites- how many favourites can one have?) which was simply spiced and well executed. The others had the paneer tikka, but as a non-cheesy person, I let them fight it out over my piece. Thankfully, no one got stabbed by a fork…this time.
The spinach and fig tikka was next, and it was great, but not the star for me, and I was pleased to get to try the sea bream, which I had not hitherto tasted. It was flaky and the gentle spicing complemented the taste of the fish in a way that makes me wonder exactly what sort of voodoo magic they have going on in the kitchen.
I forwent the tandoori stuffed mushrooms but it was considered the highlight of the meal by everyone else, this time, I thought there actually might be a fight over the last piece (there was plentiful wine, after all). Luckily, I got to have a bit of one of the best pieces of tandoori chicken I’ve ever tasted. The salt, pepper and yogurt marinated chicken complement this perfectly cooked bit of chicken, the cardamom was there, but not overpowering.
Then came the perfectly cooked lamb and its comedy bone. Need I say more? The others got a bit of salmon, which managed to retain its true flavour while being infused with aromatics. It was a new dish for me and a revelation on the way Indian spicing can work well on such a distinctly flavoured fish.
Then we had the real deal: sea treasure, which consisted of seafood bits and bobs in a coconut sauce; vegetable and dried fruit biryani; tarka dal; mixed vegetables; Lahori chicken; rice; naans; and pomegranate yogurt. There was a lot, so I won’t bore you with each element. Suffice it to say that even though I was pretty full by this point, the main array was all up to their exceptional standard. Nothing was less than perfectly executed and I was pleased, overly full and delighted to have been back to this gem of a place on the Shore.
If you’ve gotten this far down the review and not called and booked your place, stop being silly and get on it. They have a cocktail bar, a massive and well considered wine list (have you ever been standing in a shop wondering what wine to get to drink with your BYOB Indian or takeaway? Mithas has skipped out that bit for you and ensure that all their wines match their menu), and the best Indian food in the city.
Today’s questers were: MJ, Hannah, Gary, Blythe
We drank: red wine, white wine, cocktails, coffees, sparkly water
We wore: big grins