Today was our second attempt to visit newly opened Zupa – the Food Lab, but again we found it closed, at lunchtime, so headed to the Gurkha Brigade, on Antigua Street, instead.
I was joined by Ola and Gary. Gary’s a regular contributor and while Ola had joined previously at The Southern, that hadn’t been for the review visit, so this was her first proper quest.
As it turned out, we timed our arrival very badly. We were just sitting down as the first of a party of ten arrived, meaning that throughout our visit service operated very slowly. The waitress was friendly and welcoming, but just couldn’t maintain a very slick pace.
From their lunchtime menu, which offers two courses for £6.50, as well as a range of thali options, Gary opened with some vegetable pakoras (well, in truth he ordered the mixed pakoras, but given the slowness of service, he was happy to settle for the veggies, when that’s what arrived), while Ola chose the mushroom pakoras. I chose the traditional Nepalese chicken soup.
My soup looked a little uninspiring, but proved to be quite a good balance of spices, with a nice hot and sourness to it. The pakoras were decidedly mediocre, so I had the better of things.
I think the same was true of the main courses, where my tarkari was decent, with well-treated lamb and a decently spicy sauce. The rice was plain and functional and the naan piping hot, but a little doughy. The garlic khorsanis were considered underwhelming.
So overall, I fared the best at Gurkha Brigade, out of our party, but still the dishes I had weren’t much above the ordinary. It’s very much a place you’d go when you happen to be in need of a feed, rather than a restaurant you’d go to with an expectation of being served high quality dishes. Edinburgh has a number of good places ploughing a similar furrow, so I’d be inclined to point you in their direction, rather than recommending the Gurkha Brigade.
Blythe scores Gurkha Brigade
3/5 for food
2.5/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
2/5 for setting
giving an overall 10/20
Today’s questers were: Ola, Gary, Blythe
We ate: mushroom pakora, vegetable pakora, Nepalese chicken soup, chicken garlic khorsani, lamb garlic khorsani, lamb tarkari, rice, naan
We drank: water, lager
We wore: new trousers, pink shirt, spectacles
Total bill: £23.50