September 3, 2015 Indian, Leith 1 Comment



A Passage to India. No, not the E.M. Forster novel of colonialism and the British Raj; the Indian restaurant at the top of Leith, just near Giuliano’s and Shezan. It was not one I had visited before now, so after a few early evening ales, I stopped by for a homeward-bound feed.

Waiters bedecked in tartan waistcoats spoke of an emphasis on tourist trade, which may be the case, but I imagine much of their business revolves around pre- and post-theatre diners from the Playhouse, which is just across the road.

Spinach kebabs

Spinach kebabs

The menu was fairly standard fare with the only dishes that really stood out being the haggis pakora, another nod to the tourists, and a spinach kebab mentioned just next to it called hara bhara. This sounded like fun so I ordered it, then followed with one of my favoured orders, a methi gosht (spinach and fenugreek lamb) and a tandoori roti to accompany it.

While diners at other tables placed some truly bizarre orders (it was the first time I’ve actually heard someone order chicken nuggets in an Indian), my starter promptly arrived. Although freshly green in internal hue, these were fairly uneventful crisp coated vegetable cakes. They were adequate but uninspiring.

Lamb dish

Lamb dish

The lamb was a good bit better, but the bread was back to more unspectacular standards, proving rather leathery. Still, the main element was a solidly centrepiece to the meal.

So overall, Passage to India offered rather pedestrian fare and I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was Indian food by numbers. It’s a place that’s going through the motions rather than producing dishes of real verve or excitement. There are many better Indian options in the city, so it’s not one for your shortlist.

Blythe scores Passage to India
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 12/20

I ate: hara bhara kebab; methi gosht; tandoori roti

I drank: lager

I wore: pinstripes

Total bill: £18.30

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Written by BKR