I remember being really impressed with the Spice Pavilion on our previous visit. It was a warmly welcoming Indian offering excellent value, particularly at lunchtime. I was aware that it had changed hands – or that there had been several staff changes, at least – in the interim so had it on the list for a revisit. I popped in on a chilly Wednesday to see how it was doing.
The welcome was entirely more muted and the place had a slightly lost feel to it. My expectations were immediately set to much more cautiously optimistic.
The menu offered the expected breadth of selection and my eye was quickly caught by a number of things.
I often start with prawn puri in Indian restaurants so repeated that pattern, then followed with roast aubergine dopiaza. I accompanied this with naan and saag aloo.
The starter soon arrived looking much as expected. It was a routine prawn puri. The accompanying sauces – coriander, chilli and raita – were pretty good.
The aubergine to follow was also good, as was the saag. The naan was really pleasing.
However, I couldn’t shake the feeling of this place having the ineffable whiff of restaurant doom about it. It’s definitely on the downgrade from where it once was, albeit still serving good fare.
So overall, the Spice Pavilion has always been a place to rely upon for good quality Indian fare. That broadly remains the case, but it could certainly use some fresh impetus as it currently feels like a restaurant that has run its course.
Blythe scores Spice Pavilion
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
3/5 for service
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: prawn puri, roast aubergine dopiaza, saag aloo, plain naan
I drank: lager
I wore: navy blue shirt
Total bill: £24
Address: 3a/1 Dundas Street, New Town, Edinburgh EH3 6QG