I visited Desi Pakwan just after it opened and was equal parts impressed by what I had and slightly baffled by the set-up. I was long overdue a revisit not least because on my first visit I had burger and chips as a main course which isn’t a traditionally sound way to judge an Indian restaurant.
The interior is still a slightly awkward space with an open kitchen which gives a great view of the chefs at work dominating the fairly compact space. They’ve got the seating arranged much better than before so that was good to see. Things feel a good deal smarter.
Service is friendly if a little haphazard. It felt like they were slightly struggling to balance the demands of sit-in and takeaway custom, but they just about managed it.
The menu remains truly massive and it took me quite a while to consider my options. I eventually settled upon the lamb chops to start then followed with the lamb saag with naan and black daal accompaniments.
I started with poppadoms and the pickle tray. The lime pickle was particularly good and the spiced onions were very good, too.
Three generous lamb chops then arrived with a nicely spiced crust and some good char from the open flame cooking. They were deeply satisfying.
The main course elements maintained that impressive standard. The naan was as big as a sail and lightly pillowy. The daal makhani was as good as I’ve been served in the city. The lamb saag was simply done and all the better for that. I really enjoyed it.
So overall, Desi Pakwan is right up there with the best Indian food you’ll find in the city. I was hugely impressed with everything I ate and would strongly recommend paying it a visit. You may find things a little chaotic, but that only added to the charm for me.
Blythe scores Desi Pakwan
4.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
I ate: poppadom and pickle tray, lamb chops, lamb saag, daal makhni, naan
I drank: water
I wore: olive shirt
Total bill: £26.90
Address: 61 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8LS