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Mother India
Mother India
3-5 Infirmary Street,
Edinburgh,
EH1 1LT
[View Map]
0131 524 9801
Everyday from 12 noon ‘til 10pm.

Review written August 2008
SEVERAL RESTAURANTS OR EATERIES UNDER THE MOTHER INDIA BANNER IN GLASGOW ARE RECOGNISED FOR SERVING FOOD WHICH IS HOMESPUN AND TRULY AUTHENTIC. THE OVERLY MODEST CHEF/OWNER MONIR MOHAMMED, DESPITE HAVING YEARS OF BUSINESS SUCCESS WITH HIS RESTAURANTS, REMAINS PRIMARILY INTERESTED IN COOKING AND IS MOSTLY FOUND IN THE KITCHEN. WHEN I HEARD THAT HE HAD OPENED A CAFÉ STYLE EATERY SERVING 'INDIAN TAPAS' IN EDINBURGH, I MADE A BEE LINE TO INFIRMARY STREET.

The menu is a mix of starter and main course tapas-sized portions of Indian food, all priced at a pocket-pleasing £3-£5. I was delighted to see fish pakora (£3.75) on the menu, which is a favourite from my West coast days; flaky white haddock in a crispy, fresh, spicy batter. The waiter told us that the chicken chilli dosa (£4.25) was a best seller so this was next up. A rice and lentil pancake stuffed with spicy chicken was served with a tasty dhal, which was perfect to soothe the mouth following the chicken chilli hit. We chose haddock again, this time baked in the oven with Punjabi spices (£4.50) of mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, and chilli, quite different from e.g Bengali cooking. And finally, a mushroom poori (£3.75)- spicy mushrooms on a soft, light pastry. Mother India's Café accommodates vegetarians and fish lovers alike superbly; about half of the 40 or so dishes are vegetarian.

We ate on a Monday night so I was pleased that I could wash down all this spicy food with a zero-alcohol Furstenberg. So many restaurants don't sell alcohol-free beer, which can be annoying if you find soft drinks boring but don't want the alcohol. Another box ticked for Mother India.

To finish, my friend chose mango kulfi (£2.95) whilst I swooned over the gulab jamin and ice cream (3.25). Asian restaurants can be dismissive of desserts but here, the tangerine-coloured kulfi was pungent with mango and the sweet syrupy gulab jamin a clichéd 'to die for'; a sweet finish indeed to our very satisfying and enjoyable meal. If Mother India's Café doesn't take Edinburgh by storm, I will eat my very unspicy hat! (SW)

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