Hospitality is a tough business and I greatly admire independent restaurants that open and remain open in this tough inclement climate. There is a severe lack of experienced Chefs and Front of House staff and with Brexit/Not Brexit looming there is a cloud of uncertainty over jobs as many of these roles employ people from across the world.
There is a need more than ever to invest in people that want a career in hospitality and it was such a pleasure to dine at Mumbai Diners Club again, and to be waited on by front of house staff that clearly have a passion for food and customer service and to taste food cooked by Indian Chefs who truly understand their cuisine.
This was my second visit to Mumbai Diners Club and I was made to feel most welcome here; the staff go above and beyond to explain the dishes and attend to every detail (a massive change from my first visit).
We were trying out the 9 course tasting menu. A steal at £49.95pp.
I was the dreichest of dreich nights, with the cold snapping at your heels, driving rain and wind. Downright miserable, but this wee cup of spicy lentil shorba (Indian word for soup) soon heated up our bones and left us cosy and warm.
1st Course – Cucumber and Chicken Salad. Cold minced chicken and coleslaw wrapped in cucumber
The cucumber slices were super thin and wrapped around well seasoned minced chicken. The apple slaw was a great addition to this providing that much needed crunch and acidity.
2nd course – Scallops and Mussels. Shetland scallops & mussels tossed and served with aromatic fresh coconut and curry leaf sauce.
Two large perfectly cooked scallops. Sweet and silky coated in a very subtle sauce. The mussels were a nice touch bringing a slighty salty taste of the sea.
3rd Course – Chicken Tikka marinated in English mustard and yogurt.
This not only smelt incredible but was an agreed favourite. The chicken was succulent and juicy soaked and coated in a lovely spicy marinade where the heat built with every bite. Delicious.
4th Course – Corn and Pea Kebab with sweetcorn and peas infused with ground spices then cooked on tawa (hot plate).
These are delightful. Little round patties of flavours that pop in your mouth. They are crispy on the outside and super light and fluffy on the inside. They kind of melt in your mouth.
5th Course – Chargrilled Prawn marinated in mix of dry spices and fresh mint and served on skewers.
Nice to see large prawns delivered to the table. These were really scrumptious, spicy and juicy.
6th Course – Lamb Sheek Kebab. Minced lamb with ginger, cheddar and freshly ground spices cooked on a skewer.
Gosh these were good and devoured almost instantly. The minced lamb had a lovely heat to it and so soft and tender. We wolfed these down.
Spiced Mango Sorbet – a lovely palate cleanser which is welcome after working your way through the starters. Yes folks, those dishes above were just the starters.
7th Course – Grilled Lobster. Scottish lobster served in a rich vine tomato and nut based sauce with a gentle hint of honey.
This was quite a surprise and most definitely provides a wow factor to the tasting menu. Very impressive presentation. The meat is all prepared and cooked in the rich sauce. The claw meat is sweet but it’s quite spicy; every now and then you’ll pick up a hint of the honey which adds a clever additional taste.
8th Course – Butter Chicken. Chicken tikka in a tomato, honey and cream based sauce. At least 20 ingredients go into this famous Indian dish.
Utterly scrumptious and this is were your naan bread comes in handy and you just want to lap up every inch of that sauce. This is a mild dish with ‘butter’ chicken that most definitely melts in your mouth.
Accompaniments – rice and naan bread.
Seasonal Vegetables tossed in mild Indian spices
The 9 courses are to be shared between two people and it’s more than ample. The meat and seafood servings are large cuts, well seasoned, well cooked and mouth-watering.
And because we weren’t full enough (not) and because there is ALWAYS room for dessert we managed to eat our way through these two delectable desserts. The Chocolate Souffle delivered as a souffle should. Molten chocolate lava as you dug into the ramekin. Chocolatey, and slightly bitter with a sweet note at the end.
But this was the dessert of dreams. The passionfruit tart was incredible. A good crumbly biscuit base with a perfect wobble of intense passionfruit filling. Wow – this will blow you away or just make you want to eat more and more and more.
The tasting menu provides a great cross section of what MDC offer, using Scottish seafood, meats and seasonal vegetables combined with their knowledge of Indian cooking and spices, makes for a very authentic Indian feast with a lovely Scottish twist. Their menu is great for seafood lovers but they also have a good selection of vegetarian dishes.
Mumbai Diners Club, 3 Atholl Pl, Edinburgh. Tel : 0131 229 8291 www.mumbaidinersclub.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold – awarded to eateries where the food and service are excellent. Equivalent to 9/10