The Indian Cavalry Club
- Telephone 0131 220 0138
- Bar open Mon–Sun noon–10.30pm.
- Food served Mon–Sun noon–11.30pm.
- Average price £8.95 (set lunch); £22.50 (evening meal)
- Website www.indiancavalryclub.co.uk
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This review is taken from the 2012 edition.
This West End institution, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012, is where the old Raj meets modern day Edinburgh. Funky screen prints on the wall look down on crisp linen tablecloths and waiters in military-style uniforms serve classic Indian cuisine. It is clearly a recipe for success – a 600-strong band of loyal 'members', regular customers who sign up for special offers and events, account for a significant number of the diners. Such devotion must certainly help whittle down the novella-sized menu which could be overwhelming for the novice. 'Build your own'-style starters allow for endless combinations, but both the chickpea and okra puree and chicken dosa lack the expected fiery punch. Chicken methi, however, is a triumph, fenugreek leaves and ginger providing spice and aromatics to spare. Lamb sag gosht is packed so full of fresh spinach you wouldn't be surprised to see Popeye digging in at the next table. Plans to open an outdoor 'field kitchen' for lunchtime dining in the summer suggest an innovative approach which will see this club keeping members and visitors happy for years to come.
For a place with a distinguished reputation on Edinburgh's dining circuit, The Indian Cavalry Club’s takeaway fare falls short of expectations. Dishes suffer from overgenerous measures of oil, with overcooked vegetables and a paneer masala dosa served up limp to the point of saturation. Few if any traces of the titular spices show up in a bland and greasy chilli garlic alu baigun, and while buttery Afghan chickpea rice proves a welcome reminder of the venue's potential for sophisticated cuisine, the lurking aftertaste of burnt onions in a dark, rich daal pancharatni seems to confirm that takeaway doesn't necessarily get you access to the Club's full range of attractions.
- High point: Wonderful dining atmosphere
- Low point: Dauntingly large menu
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 4
- Delivery: No charge, but minimum order £15
- Private dining: Up to 60 covers
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Nothing
- Capacity: 120 + 20 in Pakora Bar
- Largest group: 60
- Open since: 1986
- House wine: £15 per bottle