So sometimes it is best to believe all the hype and stand in awe when a restaurant wins an award – some restaurants are totally worthy of such accolades especially when they win for producing exceptional food.
One such place is Navadhanya. They have just picked up the “Best Fine Dining Restaurant Scotland” award at the Asian Curry Awards 2018. The award was given due to Navadhanya’s efforts, creativity, skill and dedication to driving standards ever higher.
Navadhanya is an AA Rosette Awarded restaurant situated on Edinburgh’s Grindlay Street. It is one of four family-owned restaurants and opened December 2015. Navadhanya’s chefs come from Michelin trained backgrounds and together focus on delivering a ‘refreshing twist’ within Indian’s rich culinary heritage, which it showcases using high-quality local ingredients.
The interior is stunning. It’s modern and slick with beautiful details like the giant silver patterned plates adorning the walls, like the exquisite window boxes filled with orchids and the ornate back lit panels in the padded wall.
The seating is clever too with a central seating block, with seating on either side acting as a partition to effectively break up the space, but also to provide some intimacy and additional seating if required.
Their menu is not vast, you wont be flicking through pages and pages listing various Indian dishes. They specialise in set and tasting menus, although there is an A la Carte menu too.
They have a superb Christmas Set menu with 2 courses for £24.95 and 3 course for £26.99.
The poppadoms with a trio of homemade chutney arrived at the table whilst we pondered the menu.
Clare chose the Christmas 3 course set menu whilst I went for dishes from the A la Carte menu. On the set Christmas menu, you get a plate of mixed starters.
- Shakarkand Ki Tiki – mashed sweet potato, figs, ground cinnamon and sea salt
- Tandoori Broccoli – with yoghurt, coriander, cumin and chilli powder
- Murgh Malai Tikka – chicken breast with cream cheese and garlic
- Macchi Koliwada – talapia fillet, ginger, garlic, rice flour and chilli powder
The broccoli was fabulous, it was tender but spicy; the fish was cooked and seasoned perfectly; the chicken succulent and the sweet potato cake adding a little sweetness to the dish overall.
I chose wisely. I chose the lamb chops or the Memane ke Pasaliyan. These are two
Scottish Lamb Chops with Garam Masala, Yoghurt and Butternut Mash.
When you eat these you can hear angels sing. Wars could be started over these. They are amazing!!!! The lamb doesn’t fall off the bone, rather it melts in your mouth – no chewing necessary. The chops are smothered in spices which takes your taste buds on a taste journey rather than just hitting them with full on heat.
Please, I urge you, go here and eat these lamb chops. They are available as a main course too and I wish I had ordered them for my mains too.
Large chicken chunks coated in a thick tomato cream sauce. You can certainly taste the tomato and the fenugreek gives off a slightly sweet, nutty flavour often described as a cross between celery and maple.
The Christmas menu lists dishes like the Chicken Chettinadu – chicken thigh with onion, tomato and 18 spices; and the Sabzi Nilgiri of exotic vegetables, spinach paste and yellow lentils on the side.
This time it was Clare that decided on the lamb dish. The Lamb Malabar is a classic keralan lamb curry with coconut.
Another triumph of a dish. Wow. The chefs really understand and know how to cook meat in this restaurant, hence the awards. Again this lamb almost disappears as it melts in your mouth, the meat is so so tender, and the curried coconut taste has penetrated the entirety of this lamb. Sensational.
Side dish of lentils. This complemented the sweetness of the lamb as it was very earthy. It has a deep rich flavour and retains some of it firm texture.
All these main dishes were accompanied with rice and a garlic and peshwari naan bread. Unfortunately the peshwari naan was a little undercooked for me, but the garlic naan was lovely and bubbly, crispy and soft.
Completely and utterly stuffed, we were going to forego dessert but our very gracious host and manager, Madan, insisted on bringing us a small selection of their desserts.
On the Christmas menu the dessert is Tandoori Pineapple and Rose Kulfi.
We were presented with the dessert platter
- Rose Kulfi – homemade Indian ice cream
- Carrot fudge
- GalubJamun – Saffron and Cardamom infused doughnut soaked in sugar syrup
- Chocolate Samoosa
I adored the rose kulfi. If you love the aroma of roses, love rosewater, possibly even rose turkish delight, then you’ll love this. The Kulfi was silky smooth and soft yet held its shape – almost like a pannacotta minus the wobble.
The chocolate samoosa was great too – who wouldn’t love the combo of melted chocolate and crispy pastry, deep fried?!
Navadhanya is busy.; it’s located in a prime spot just opposite the Lyceum. They are award winning and the restaurant is impeccable. But they are humble, continue to strive for the best and absolutely nothing is a hassle. Madan and his team will treat you like kings and queens and you will want for nothing during your dining experience with them.
You really should make a reservation!
Navadhanya, 32-34 Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AP. Tel : 01316297868
My Spoon Award : Gold 9/10