A night chez Ignite

I’m really rather excited about this little find, although I can’t lay claim to us ending up there last night. Looking for somewhere for an early evening bite to eat in the Morrison Street area led my dining companion AVM and I down towards Haymarket in search of an as yet unnamed Indian restaurant that had come highly recommended to her, being of Bengali birth she was especially keen to see how it rated.

On entering the restaurant we were immediately greeted and ushered in by well presented and very welcoming staff, we were the first diners of the evening so were a little outnumbered but quickly shown to a table big enough for four, (Win! we all know how tricky a small table with lots of dishes can be) delightfully covered by a crisp clean white tablecloth, with lovely heavyweight and stylish cutlery. Cloth napkins were placed in our laps and the menus & wine lists were quickly opened.

A North African Influenced decor

The restaurant itself is one room, cleverly split into two dining areas, linked through well positioned furniture. It certainly wasn’t a traditional Indian decor with beautiful Moroccan looking lamps hanging from coloured backlit recesses in the ceiling, the textured deep red walls, stone cubes and array of urns and vases gave it a very pleasing vibe, a really comfortable space to relax in.

The menus – Wow! Definitely not your traditional Indian style menu covering the basics, this menu was seriously alive, featuring so many interesting and varied dishes that we were really hard pushed to choose as our eyes kept catching sight of yet another intriguing dish. AVM was in her element, at first very excited at the number of dishes she had never seen and then nostalgic at ones almost identical to those that her mother would cook. Vegetarians are extremely well catered for here unlike many restaurants with a token dish or two. It was also good to see recommendations for side/vegetable dishes with each of the mains.

The prices were great, Starters £3.25-£6.50, Main Dishes £11.95-£15.95 and Vegetables, Naans and Rice £2.75-£3.95. The wine list was adequate and very reasonably priced with bottles starting at £10.95-£26.50 for those looking for something a little fizzier there was Prosecco coming in at £17.50 right up to a Dom Perignon at £130.

Very reasonably priced at £10.95

We ordered the Merlot, the cheapest on the wine list which turned out to be an easy drinking and good accompaniment to the rich sauces and spicy food we were about to order. Glasses of iced water were brought to us, without being asked for, along with the wine and after much deliberation we made our final selections. For myself Bhari Combi, mushrooms stuffed with minced lamb then coated in batter and deep fried, followed by Simikot Lamb, a Nepalese dish of sliced barbecued lamb marinated in special ingredients and cooked with mincemeat, onion, ginger, garlic and fresh coriander and a Lemon rice with Cashew nuts.

AVM plumped for Piazi, deep fried dumplings of spicy lentils and onions, apparently a popular dish served to Bengali Royalty as an appetizer (secretly I think that was why she ordered it) followed by an East Bengal Lamb Jhalfrezie, Lamb kebabs cooked with green chilli, capsicum and fresh coriander, garnished with a touch of fresh ginger. A mushroom rice and clearly optimistic at the robustness of our constitutions we also ordered a keema naan.

Bhari Combi for starters

The starters were with us easily within 10 minutes and were much larger portions than we had envisaged. In hindsight perhaps munching all on our plates at the outset was a little silly, as when the main attractions arrived (again with record speed) we weren’t far off complete ‘stuffedness’ which was a pity as they were absolutely delicious and the naan was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Alas we were beaten but not without a valiant attempt on our parts.

Seriously tasty mains

Although we had been the first to arrive the restaurant was by now pretty full and it was clear that a lot of the diners were regulars, although a couple of the larger tables were passing trade. If there were any downsides it would probably be the location on one of Edinburgh’s busiest roads & unusually there wasn’t any music to help drown out the heavy vehicles outside. Also, facing the road, my view out of the window was of the public conveniences opposite.

Down to the scoring, we gave the bathrooms a 7/10, the service an 8/8.5 and an overall score of 7.5

Would I return? Yes, far too many unusual dishes that need trying, although I would sit facing a different direction next time.

Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable eating experience, plentiful portions, extensive menu and reasonable prices. If there is any real room for improvement it would be the dessert menu, it would have been lovely to see some Indian sweets made on the premises rather than a list of frozen staples (not that we had any room left!).

AVM, herself of Bengali origin, gave the following verdict: she would definitely be coming back and bringing friends, she could see herself becoming a regular.

Additional Info: Although not advertised on their menu or online I did see someone collecting a takeaway so I suspect if you ask you may well receive!

www.igniterestaurant.com 272-274 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8DT 0131 228 5666

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  1. Side Vegetable Dishes | Healthy Eating | Free Tips and Information - July 28, 2011

    […] here unlike many restaurants with a token dish or two. It was also good to see recommendations for Side/vegetable dishes with each of the mains. Related Keywordsextremely, cuisine, varied, piece, whole, […]

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