Opening gambit – if truth be told here at Monkfish Castle we can take or leave a curry…..not that we don’t appreciate the finer spices in life but we’ve kind of got bored of them. Maybe that’s because we OD’d on them as students many moons ago or maybe that’s because in our beautiful home town of Edinburgh we sometimes struggle to find anywhere* that lives up to the curry reputation of either Birmingham or Manchester where we spent much of our yoof.
*A notable exception is of course Mother India, a Glaswegian institution which luckily for us opened its doors in Edinburgh a few years ago.
Stop the clock!! All that is about to change or it did change last night!
We dined at Mithas, the lovely new ‘fine dining’ Indian restaurant in Leith. Wow, take back much of that first paragraph as we have re-found our love of all things curry…. With fine dining decor to match – private booths, Tom Dixon copper lights, sleek wooden fittings, and the best bathrooms I’ve ever seen in an Indian restaurant (these things are important!) the Monkfish can happily report that Mithas is definitely not ‘curry in a hurry’. The service was splendid and our food was very very exciting.
Monkfish can safely report that Mithas is knockout. Chef had heard that Ms Monkfish was in the house and sent out a very special monkfish tikka dish for us all to try. North Sea monkfish marinated with fresh yoghurt and fenugreek, cooked on the tandoor. Meaty, spicy, absolutely gorgeous.
Other highlights were the Chicken Shami kebab – pan fried chicken mince with soft cheese, and the palate cleansing sorbet – a combination of lemon, mint and a hint of coriander, extremely refreshing. The ‘main’ course of Lahori Chicken Karahi was delicious, an authentic Pakistani recipe with fresh onion, tomato, green chilli and freshly ground spices, perfectly balanced. Our table was well and truly filled with all sorts of comestibles, the Monkfish gang was not going to go home hungry!
Owner Islam Mohammed has recruited a top notch kitchen team including chefs from the Cinnamon Club London and their experience is evident in the food that we ate. The spices and flavours that we experienced were unbelievable, this really is top end Indian food. The tapas size portions that the Tasting Menu offers is a perfect way to sample the full Mithas experience. Local ingredients (yes!) are studded with fresh herbs, everything is freshly cooked (yes!) and delicate spicing by the chefs ensure maximum pleasure throughout the menu. The flavour combinations all work. You won’t find buckets of sauces in the Mithas kitchen (a resounding YESSSSSSS!!).
Mithas is owned by the Mohammed family best known in Edinburgh for Khushi’s, the same BYOB policy is in force (yes!) which allowed us to bring some very fine wines to slurp with our very fine food. This beautifully balanced cuisine deserves some seriously good wine so a trip to your local fine wine establishment en route is a must.
Mr Mohammed has seriously upped his game with Mithas. There’s talk of wanting a Michelin star (who wouldn’t) so being located within a stone’s throw of the Kitchin is probably not a bad thing as Mr Michelin will be able to pop by en route to see Tom….