I wasn’t quite sure whether the arrival of Magna Hungaria in Haymarket meant a second branch or a relocation. It proved to be the latter with a new Persian place called Toranj taking over the basement premises on Leopold Place that they had vacated.
I’d spotted the arrival of Toranj via one of the many delivery service apps but decided that given my knowledge of Persian cuisine is fairly rudimentary, it was better to visit in person and seek advice of the folks working there as to what I should try.
The premises is much as before but the detailing has all been switched from Hungarian red and green to traditional Persian whatnots.
The welcome was warm and service was friendly and extremely helpful throughout. I asked for recommendations and was given a solid steer.
I started with the kashke bademjan, a dish of aubergine and walnuts topped with aged yoghurt and mint, then followed with the baghali polo be goost, which was broad bean and dill rice served with a lamb shank.
The starter promptly arrived looking quite stylish. The waiter had advised to accompany it with a naan and this was entirely accurate. The bread was first class, light and crisp. The aubergine was effectively a rustic-textured puree. It was extremely tasty with the nuts adding useful crunch and body. I was impressed.
The main course was comfortably enough for two people with an enormous lamb shank cooked beautifully in an aromatic spiced sauce. The accompanying rice was excellent, too.
The waiter brought several little packets of butter saying that adding butter to the rice was the traditional Iranian way. When has adding more butter ever been a bad idea?
All of this was accompanied with cardamom infused tea served in a very stylish teapot. Again, it was a delight.
So overall, I was really impressed with Toranj. The venue is a little awkward but I’d urge you to look past that and come to sample their excellent dishes. Although some of the menu will be familiar to fans of Turkish and middle eastern cuisine, there were several flavour combinations that were new and exciting for me. The pricetag is very reasonable so it’s a very good place to try next time you’re looking for a hearty feast.
Blythe scores Toranj
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: aubergine with walnuts, naan, lamb shank with dill and broad bean rice
I drank: water, tea
I wore: deep red something
Total bill: £21.10
Address: 20 Leopold Place, Edinburgh