Lancers Brasserie has occupied the site on Hamilton Place in Stockbridge since 1985 serving up Bengal Indian Cuisine. The restaurant has recently undergone a major refurbishment taking it from a blacked out window, closed off restaurant to one that is open, inviting and bright. According to their website they have ‘retained the glamour of the original with Victorian tiling and woven cane chairs, while the rosewood and beech evokes the days of the British Raj and compliments the richness of their ingredients.’
My photo doesn’t do it justice. The brilliant prussian blue of the chairs (so comfortable that I wanted to take one home), the cool marble table tops and the hints of gold really make the place look and feel luxurious.
The whole reason we decided to dine here, was it was a Sunday and a perfect day for a pint and a curry and when there is a great Indian restaurant on your doorstep, why not support local.
The menu has been considerably reduced but offers some very tasty bites. For starters we tucked into Mallu Fried Chicken. A Kerala dish of marinated chicken in a ginger and garlic paste and deep fried, then tossed and finished in curry leaves served with lots of peppers and onions. The ginger and garlic paste created a very tasty batter and the chicken was soft and succulent and a great vehicle for soaking up and carrying all the flavours of the curry and spices. The peppers and onions were cooked well with just a hint of bite still in them.
The other starter was the King Prawn Bombay Street Tacos. Stuffed full with sweet juicy prawns in a rich gravy finished with a flourish of coriander and served in soft corn tacos.
On their menu, they say these are Gluten Free. Definitely the prawn mix is, just ensure your tacos are Gluten Free too. I loved this dish, although 3 tacos was a lot to get through; so perhaps best to say that the portions are generous.
For mains I opted for the Malai Chicken. A mild curry or Mughal gravy with cashew nuts. This is gluten free and you can opt to have the nuts removed too. Oh my, this hit the spot. It was creamy and thick with soft chicken chunks that just fell apart. Softly spiced but most definitely not hot.
We also ordered the Murgh Makhani. Chicken tikka cubes cooked in a creamy sauce finished with butter and dry fenugreek. This too is gluten free. The spice factor was turned up in this dish (well for me anyway!). Again another bowl filled with spiced chicken that would make any naan bread want to be the accompaniment.
And speaking of naan – ah the Peshwari Naan with the taste of sweet almonds. It sat on the table (not for long) all bubbled and charred, looking tempting and delicious. So so good at mopping up the last of the curry sauce left in our thali bowls.
Pilau rice was light and fluffy.
There were a few other dishes that I will certainly be returning to try like the Lahori Haleem. A slow cooked dish of shredded goat meat cooked with mixed lentils, wheat and barley. And the Goat Sooka, gluten free, which is goat cooked in a thick, rich and dark onion gravy.
You’ll also find Indian favourites on the menu like Tarka Dahl, Sag Panner and Biryanis – chicken, goat, prawn or veg. Their menu states if something is suitable for vegetarians, if it’s vegan or gluten free or if there is a gluten free option. It’s nice to be able to see straight away the variety of options and good that vegetarians and gluten freebies are not limited to one or two dishes that are often an after thought on many a menu.
The staff are friendly with big smiles and big greetings. Not the speediest of service but certainly not the worst. A massive thumbs up for Lancers in Stockbridge. Proud to call it my local restaurant for great Indian food.
Lancers Brasserie, 5 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, EH3 5BA.
Tel : 0131 3154335 www.lancersbrasserie.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold 9/10