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Navadhanya
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Navadhanya
88 Haymarket Terr,,
EH12 5LQ
0131 281 7187
Tue-Sat 12-2pm & 6-11pm, Sun 12-2pm & 6-10pm

With a smart contemporary interior bookending the west end of the terrace across from Haymarket station, this is the most ‘serious’ dining room in this stretch.

Underlining their ambitions, they offer a 7-course tasting menu (helpfully, the middle course is a refreshing fruit granita).  At £39.99 (with matching wine flight available at £23.99, of which the Pongracz Brut Cap Classique made a sparkling welcome), it kicks off with  head chef Tharveskhan's amuse-bouche, in our case one perfect pakora speared on a stick, beside the lightest baby potato cake with tomato chutney.
 
I went veggie, while Lesley, who had been under strict instructions to starve in readiness, muscled up for the full meaty monty.  We needn’t have worried about an Indian tasting menu being too rich & heavy; portions were manageably-sized and made with a very light touch.  L’s starter of two fat tandoori prawns was texturally perfect and the unusual red cabbage quenelle made a refreshing side. 

My Papdi Chat was a crispy cake of masala spiced chickpeas with yoghurt to tame the fiery edge of a tamarind sauce.  Both appetising starters.  Looking like a large crepe, our next course turned out lacey-light, made from rice and part-filled with soft & moist potato puree with yellow lentil sauce.

The main of lamb was 2 baby chops on a spiced rack with pumpkin mash & a chunky tomato-onion sauce.  We were given a rice bowl to share with this and my baby aubergine, smothered in thick coconutty lentil sauce.  Lentils made yet another appearance – each time in a subtly different format - with my Afghani paneer, which came sandwiched with sweet beetroot & apricot and the lightest flakiest naan triangles.   Lesley’s Chicken Chettinadu, one of Navadhanya’s signature South Indian dishes, was made with a complex traditional blend of 18 spices.  The name of the restaurant means ‘9 Grains’, referencing a local ritual of blessing any venture with an offering of these.

With this we enjoyed the Central Otago Pinot Noir.   Manager Madan has a keen interest in wines and it shows in the menu and his spot-on pairings.

A saffron-poached pear, deliciously dusted with lime zest & coconut came with pistachio kulfi, prompting L to quiz our genial host on how exactly that got to be quite so velvety – apparently it’s all in the boiling of the milk ... (The Go-Between) 

 





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