Shri Bheema’sShri Bheema’s has recently arrived to take over where Suruchi once traded, both at their Constitution Street and Nicolson Street premises. Along with regular guest quester Arianna, I gave the latter a visit.
At lunchtime, although not during the Festival month of August, they offer both buffet and a la carte options. The former looked rather uninspiring, so we opted for dishes from the main menu.The place is pretty standard in its layout and smart enough, but their branding gives the impression of a really shitty chain and indeed they do have branches in Aberdeen and Milton Keynes amongst other places.
From the menu, Arianna chose the idli which are a long-standing favourite with her. She added a salad. I started with a chicken kebab then followed with a lamb dosa, which seemed appropriate as while the menu somewhat covers the length and breadth of Indian cuisine, south Indian dishes are to the fore.The friendly waitress was soon delivering my starter and both of Arianna’s dishes, which seemed like a good approach.
The salad was one of the most bizarre dishes I’ve come across in Edinburgh restaurants. It was simply a plate of ordered rows on raw red onion, tomato, carrot and cucumber with a couple of green chillis and lemon on top. It looked absolutely bonkers and spoke of a kitchen struggling for creativity.
This was rather at odds with my starter which was really very good. A monster portion of warmly marinated chicken, this was smartly prepared and neatly presented. It was the undoubted highlight of the meal.
Arianna’s idli – three large flying saucer shaped rice cakes – looked a bit odd but were declared a success, comparing favourably with a similar dish at Mezbaan.
My main course arrived at a timely interval and again looked a little strange. The dosa was pretty large and while not the most elegant version I’ve encountered it was solidly decent fare. The lamb was good without really setting the pulse racing.
So overall, Shri Bheema’s was a rather odd mix. There was definitely some potential, with the chicken starter very good, but it was riddled with mistakes and gave the impression of not having a sure hand at the tiller. If they can build upon their strengths, they have a chance of developing into a good place, but for now it remains a strange curio that only the intrepid should attempt.
Blythe scores Shri Bheema’s
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
Today’s questers were: Arianna, Blythe
We ate: idli, chicken kebab, lamb dosa, “salad”
We drank: water
We wore: blue, pink
Total bill: £23.46
Address: 14a Nicolson Street, Old Town, Edinburgh EH8 9DH