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30-32 Leven St.
0131 228 6694
Dinner only/closed Suns

With an experienced international chef, Konkana - named after the west Konkan region and owned by the lady from Kalpna - aims to team Scotland’s fine fishy larder with authentic Indian regional traditions in some style.  All-inclusive meals are also offered but we tried to focus on their Seafood Appetisers and new ‘Indian Coastal Collection’, showing different regional Indian fish cookery.

Yet our eyes kept being drawn off the menu to squint at the horrible overhead lights.  A few new bulbs, where duds like missing teeth have been left in the modern chandelier bases (left from this restaurant’s original incarnation), would restore those to glory and give a pleasant ambience along with the table candles.  Instead, they choose to floodlight the room with badly mismatched cold white ceiling LEDs - blinding diners with an awkward waiting room glare, while our seats (once lovely from the original fitout), are now creaky to the point of feeling broken.  Such lack of awareness of detail doesn’t quite square with the swanky website pitch.

But the starters distracted us nicely. The Aloo Chaat Sea Bass was crunchily seared and came on a finely cubed potato and pomegranate salad.  Really good & fresh tasting.  My own Ajwaini Prawns were tepid with a soft uncooked texture but seemingly had been slow-cooked after marination in lime, tamarind and chiles.  Saucing was tasty and fragrant though the dish was over-fussily decorated with various colourful stripes.

Not an issue with main courses, presented very simply in bowls full of delicious, rich, complex sauces.  My Badami Plaice had what sounded like an unusually mild sauce for North India, with cashews, almonds & turmeric - but was not at all bland with rich flavour and a gentle heat that crept up on me.  A dish I would have again. 

Softshell crab seems to be a bit of a thing in the Konkan region and if I returned I would want to taste the versions here.  My partner chose Mumbai Masala, made with Pollock, its sauce fabulous - powerful and richly spiced with fenugreek and curry leaves yet balanced with sweet mango powder and pomegranate.

He also liked the carrot halva dessert, with a very soft carroty mix contained in a fine crunchy pastry cornet.  That evening’s special kulfi (Indian ice-cream) was avocado, best described as a guacamole parfait if that floats your boat.  (The Go-Between)

Read more reviews of Indian Restaurants here

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