mumbai diners club, edinburgh, review

| invited for review |

Mumbai Diners Club is a fine dining Indian restaurant conveniently located in the West End, just a few minutes between Princes Street and Haymarket. It offers quality Indian dining with carefully sourced produce and expert cooking. In addition to their a la carte menu, they also offer an tasting menu which, as far as I’m aware, hasn’t been done anywhere else in Edinburgh with an Indian menu.

Due to my dairy and egg free diet, we decided to go a la carte and try out a few different dishes to share.

We shared some papadoms with the homemade chutney tray – with a lime pickle that was worthy of knocking your socks off.

For starters we ordered paneer tikka, the crispy calamari and the mussels and scallops. My friend adored the paneer tikka – of homemade cheese in fragrant marinade in particular the tandoor char which added to the flavour. It comes served with a salsa verde style dipping sauce which she really enjoyed. Her verdict: “really delicious”.

We had the crispy calamari to share. We ordered it in the hope that it would have an Indian spin on calamari rings that are common across of lots of menus, so we were both disappointed to find that it was just deep fried calamari rings. There wasn’t anything wrong with it – the batter was light and the calamari was cooked well, we just wanted a little something else, perhaps some spicing in the batter would give it that extra boost.

I had the scallops and mussels, served in a coconut and curry leaf sauce. Expecting to prefer the scallops – given that they’re one of my favourite shellfish – I was pleasantly surprised to find the mussels were the star attraction as they had a gorgeous caramelised coating which went particularly well with the decadent coconut sauce. The scallops were lovely, if just a touch overcooked. There is such a fine line when it comes to scallops!

Continuing my evening of seafood, I went for the monkfish curry (another of my favourites) which was served in a coconut based sauce of medium heat which was made up of cashew nuts, onions and tomatoes. The flavour layering comes from curry leaf and mustard seeds. Just the right level of heat for this delicate fish, it was deeply flavoured without being too rich. The monkfish was cooked perfectly – this meaty fish really works well in a curry when it’s executed expertly.

My friend’s lamb chops looked so appetising when they arrived, nicely charred and so aromatic. They’re marinated in garlic, ginger and honey before being grilled. The meat was lovely and soft, sweet as you’d expect from the honey but not overly so. We both thought you could tell the meat was of really good quality and treated with the care they deserve for cooking.

We shared rice and a roti with our main courses – the roti a lovely dairy free replacement for a naan bread which I tend to order in Indian restaurants. It’s particularly good for mopping up sauce. Delicious.

Where they really excelled though, were the desserts. My friend ordered the saffron poached pear which was filled with mango shrikhand (an Indian sweet made from strained yoghurt called dahi) and served with homemade cinammon ice cream. In her words this was “uh-may-zing – really unexpectedly delicious.” The pear was poached to perfection and the cinammon ice cream “the most delicious”. The tuille added a lovely crunch and wasn’t overly sweet.

I’ve said a few times that I’m all sorbeted out! But these were lovingly made and the pay off is worth it. I felt quite bad as the pastry chef was eager for me to try his fresh one that he’d made that day but it had rose water in it which is just not my cup of tea! I was pleased with these choices – the mango was the best mango sorbet I’ve ever had; it was like they’d just frozen a mango and changed its consistency! The lime and mint was lovely and would be great as a palate cleanser (which I’m sure they do on their tasting menu). I can’t actually remember what the third one was now, as it paled in comparison to the other two flavours. Served in a sesame tuille basket and with a mango puree garnish, it was the perfect end to my rich meal.

The service was attentive and both waiters who served us were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and felt invested in the restaurant and the customer experience which always enriches any visit to a restaurant for me.

I would absolutely recommend Mumbai Diners Club, it does feel different to other Indian restaurants I’ve tried in the past and their tasting menu concept sounds really good. I’d definitely try in future when I can enjoy it, one day when I can have dairy again!

Mumbai Diners Club, 3 Atholl Place, Edinburgh, EH3 8HP

* I was invited for a complimentary meal to review, but as I always clearly state – all words, thoughts, opinions and gushings about the food, particularly the desserts, are entirely my own and my friend’s!

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