Fine dining Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, located a stones throw away from Haymarket train station. Navadhanya is not like your typical Indian restaurant, it offers traditional dishes with a modern twist, their menu changes with the seasons as they believe in sourcing their ingredients this way. The waiting staff cannot do enough to serve you as they explain each dish and its ingredients as its served to you. Their chefs backgrounds are in Michelin star and five-star restaurants so you are definitely in for a special treat when you dine here. I’d like to tell you about my experience.
On entry to the restaurant, my partner and I were greeted by Madan, the very friendly and smiley restaurant manager. The restaurnt’s decor is neutral with simple decorations giving it a light, airy and clean-cut feel about it. We were given our choice of seat and promptly brought some water.
Madan pointed out that if we have any allergens then he just has to let the chef know and the food we order can be amended as necessary. A reference to the Food Standards Agency was present in the menu listing the 14 most common allergies. My mum is coeliac so I really appreciated that the kitchen catered so well to those with allergies and I could perhaps bring her here next time.
The menu is just stunning, the description of dishes instantly enlightens your tastebuds. We opted for the 7 course tasting menu which is priced at £36.00 per person (a minimum of 2 people). However, there are individual starters, mains and desserts on the menu for you to chose from. Not a pakora in sight which is a good thing when you read the variety of sumptuous starters on offer ‘Malabari Scallops – Pan fried scallops marinated with mustard, mango and tomato coulis,’ and ‘Sixty-five – Diced chicken breast marinated in cumin, chilli, mango raita.’ There’s lots of vegetarian options too as the food encapsulates the traditions of the different regions in India.
Our night began with an amuse bouche, a dumpling full of mixed vegetables served on a pea purée and tamarind sauce, beautifully presented and the perfect mouthful to start with.
The flight of wines was tempting and they also had Kingfisher on draught, but we stuck to water and soft drinks with it being a Thursday night. Second to come was a Scottish lamb chop with a spicy aubergine mash and chilli and pea purée. I do not normally eat lamb, there’s something about the after taste I don’t like. However the dish looked delicious and I was not disappointed, the flavours complimented each other tremendously well, and I couldn’t believe I liked it so much.
As we were being served, the waiters explained each dish and what ingredients were present and which parts of India some of the dishes originated from. It was a lovely personal touch. Our next dish has traditional links to South India, a rice crepe filled with spicy mashed potato served with a tomato chutney and a lentil sauce for dipping. This was a really unusual dish and I found myself eating with my hands to ensure I soaked up all the flavour from the dhal and chutney. Delicious!
At the half way point we were presented with a refreshing raspberry sorbet, creatively decorated with a flower of sweet fruity sauces, sprinkled with pistachios.
The next course I’m going to say was my favourite. I’ve been trying to like seafood and prawns are something I’ve been trying to introduce into my diet. The next course was heaven, meaty, chunky prawns coated in a creamy mildly spicy coconut sauce with fluffy jasmine rice as an accompaniment. I fell in love with that dish and indeed prawns!
My favourite dish of the night
Next was a curry containing 18 spices, chicken thigh meat which melted in your mouth and gave off different flavours each time you took another forkful. I initially got the flowery taste of saffron but by the end I needed a sip of water with the after taste of the chillies it was a really unusual mix of flavours that I haven’t tasted from any other Indian curry that I’ve had. The dish was accompanied by some plain naan which was perfect for soaking up the remnants of the sauce.
The finale was a chocolate mousse with the creamiest of ice creams known as ‘kulfi’ complimented by a shard of chocolate, a sprinkling of pistachio nuts and the fruity sauces from a before. It was the perfect ending to a really enjoyable evening. We arrived at 7pm and left at approximately 8:50pm.
Make the time to enjoy this dining experience because it is wonderful and it’s not just an in and out within an hour kind of dining it’s one in which the food is the star of the show and attention to detail is second to none. You will leave feeling like a well valued customer as I did. The restaurant also doesn’t just cater for one type of customer, there were couples enjoying dinner together as well as people dining alone and a family with a young child. There is also a lunch menu available and their opening hours are 12 – 2pm. Unfortunately I don’t work in the area but I live close-by so I will definitely be making a return visit.