Brougham Place, Edinburgh
We’ve lived in Edinburgh for six years now and The Bombay Bicycle Club has been there the whole time, in various hues of garish colours, up at the top of Brougham Place. We must have walked past it hundreds of times but, for whatever reason, we’ve never thought of eating there. Until tonight.
It’s a chill October evening, we’ve just had our regular stroll across The Meadows and and we’re planning to head off for a drink at The Cameo. In the gathering darkness, the curry house looks warm and inviting and I say, ‘Maybe we should give that place a try?’ And we both realise that, at this particular moment in time, we really REALLY fancy a curry. Maybe it’s a symptom of having had to carefully plan restaurant visits in advance for far too long (thanks, COVID), but, almost before we know what’s happening, we’re seated inside, enjoying some drinks and perusing the menu.
Of course we start with some papadums – not too many, because we know how they can erode your appetite long before the main courses arrive – but we’ve time to appreciate how good the accompanying pickles are, the mango chutney in particular has a deep, gingery tang and the lime pickle is one of the best we’ve tasted.
Then out come the starters, a fish pakora and a tandoori salmon. The former has been deep fried, which is often a turn off for us, but its been expertly done, crispy rather than greasy, with a nice, flakey texture within. The salmon is a delight, marinated in a spicy sauce and oven baked until it’s bursting with flavour. It’s a promising start.
We’ve both opted for naan bread. I’ve gone for the plain variety which is light and slighty crisped at the edges, an absolute delight. Susan’s peshawari naan is another revelation, filled with a delightful blend of mango and coconut. For the main courses, there’s a fabulous king prawn biriani, baked in a pot with a covering of bread, which, when opened, reveals the filling in all its sticky, aromatic glory. And there’s also a bowl of the Bombay Bicycle Club lamb curry, tender chunks of meat basking in a thick, mouthwatering sauce, just perfect to dip chunks of naan into.
Of course, we tell ourselves, we can’t possibly finish everything that’s in front of us; we’ll surely have to ask for something to take the delicious leftovers home in… except that, somehow, we do finish every mouthful and we’re full and happy and we have nothing to criticise.
The moral of this story is, I suppose, to take notice of what’s right on your doorstep. Hopefully we won’t wait another six years before returning to this little treasure of a curry house.