Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food has opened a second branch in Drummond Street to join the first which is based in Tollcross. An event that provides the perfect excuse for a slap up Indian feast.
When I arrive at the entrance to the Old Town venue I am greeted by delicious smells wafting through the air.
Inside the decor is playful and punchy; neon signs, hand-painted Bollywood murals and a palette of bright colours all feature. The front room is painted orange and the back one green; together they can accommodate over 90 covers. With so many bums on seats needed, the owners have ensured that Tuk Tuk ticks a lot of boxes for those wanting to eat out during the current cost-of-living crisis. BYOB helps although my friend Simone and I are happy to drink Mango Lassis and non-alcoholic beers as both complement the spicy food. Poppadoms are salty, blistered and snappy and chutneys are hot, minty, fruity, moreish.
The menu is designed for sharing and we choose a selection of starters and small mains. Nothing is over £9 a pop; starters are all under £6.50 and the most expensive curry is the Lamb Lassooni at £8.25, which I order. The meat is so tender it falls apart at the mere hint of approaching cutlery. The sauce is cooked with whole garlic cloves and whole spices. Every grain is separated in the saffron-hued Pilau Rice. This colourful food is served on glinting silver and copper plates, tiffins and handis. Simone has a silky Unauthentic Chicken Korma; the name reflecting the irreverent dining ambience. Our starters comprise Onion Bhajis made with fresh beetroot and Puri Yoghurt Bombs which we share.
The manager tells me they have made an effort to include an abundance of vegan and vegetarian choices on the menu. So there are dishes based on ingredients such as potatoes, peas, chickpeas, onion, beets, lentils, spinach i.e. real food rather than ultra-processed vegan fakes. In fact six out of the ten starters and six out of 13 main courses are genuinely ’plant-based’. All food can be ordered online and delivered to your home or workplace too.
For pudding I have an Indian twist on the Affogato, the Naughty Chia Affogato and Simone has Gulab Jamun and Ice Cream.
Recycled materials also feature in the restaurant. Off-cut British timber waste has been used to create the tabletops, while a bar (for softies and corkage) is made of over 90% recycled materials.
Everything adds up to an overall vibe of ethical, diverse, canteen-style eating and sharing. (S. Wilson)
Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food Edinburgh Southside - 16 Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9TX - 0131 228 3322 firstname.lastname@example.org