I passed places like Hewat’s, Celadon and Sambuca that I’d visited previously, and found a couple of other places that looked quite intriguing, before settling upon Pataka, a Bengali Indian with a strong Rennie Mackintosh influence in their design.Apparently Ian Rankin is a regular visitor and mentions the restaurant in a couple of his books. I was reminded of my trip to the Verandah, which proclaims that Cliff Richard and Clint Eastwood have both visited (in my mind together and gently singing songs from Paint Your Wagon to each other).
I remember an era of Edinburgh restaurants where pictures of Sean Connery shaking the owner’s hand were just everywhere. I know it’s probably the age of the digital photography, coupled with owners generally being less keen to bother celebrity diners that have done for it as an idea, but I’d love to see it make some sort of comedy comeback.
Anyhoo, the interior of Pataka is certainly distinctive and very smart. The menu is slightly more traditional in its composition.
I’m on a bit of a downer with Indian starters at the moment, so dived straight in to play with the mains and sides. I chose the fenugreek lamb (methi gosht), a side of spinach and potato (saag aloo), and a paratha flatbread.
There was a little mistake when rice arrived instead of the bread, but this was quickly resolved and a freshly steaming bread quickly arrived, alongside the lamb and veggies. Portion sizes were very generous.
The lamb was very good indeed. Chunks of softly slow-cooked meat were deliciously spiced. It was a very smart dish. The saag aloo was similarly impressive and the paratha very tasty. Everything received a firm thumbs up from me.
So overall, I enjoyed my visit to Pataka. The dishes I sampled were of very good quality. The Rennie Mackintosh design of the place is certainly memorable although I’m not sure I quite got it. It’s place that definitely merits a visit.
Blythe scores Pataka
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
I ate: methi gosht; saag aloo; paratha
I drank: water, lager
I wore: purple
Total bill: £17.45