Navadhanya: A top Indian restaurant in Edinburgh

Regular readers of the Blog will know that Gourmand Gunno can often be found in Indian restaurants. However, with a choice of some 150 such dining establishments in Edinburgh (a city with which Gunno is not at all familiar), how to choose? Luckily, fellow food Blogger Adele (aka ‘Tartan Spoon’) suggested a trip to Navadhanya. Neither my comrade nor I was disappointed. Located on a pedestrianised side street just by Usher Hall, Navadhanya is all about discreet subtlety. Many of the chefs have trained at other top venues and the menu takes in influences from both the North and South of India. On entering, we were delighted that almost all the other diners were Indian – often a sure sign of authenticity, that Navadhanya must be doing something right. We were welcomed to our spacious table, in an otherwise fairly uninspiring room, but were happy to form our judgement based more on the food and the service. We were pleased on both accounts. A small but tasty amuse bouche was a nice gesture and set the scene for things to come. The menu offers around 10 starters and a similar number of mains, while a more extensive tasting menu (priced at a remarkably competitive £40 for 7 courses) is also available. We opted only for mains and a couple of sides, based more on appetite than on lack of enticing options. Both my slow-cooked lamb and my comrade’s morel mushroom koftas showed the skills of the kitchen, emphasising intensity of flavour with delicacy of taste. Use of spice was judicious and intelligent. The wine list also impressed, with our Tasmanian Pinot Gris being an original and well-chosen pair. Fine dining this isn’t, but for thoughtful modern Indian food at a fair price point (~£40/head with booze), then Navadhanya is worth a visit.