Serving up no-frills curries and kebabs till late, Kebab Mahal has been satisfying appetites on a budget since 1979.
Unfairly overshadowed by the cheaper, more student-friendly Mosque establishments across the square, Kebab Mahal has long been an excellent location for budget curry in a hurry. You can also takeaway (there's no delivery service), though off site their side dishes seem a little lacking in flavour, with undercooked aloo ghobi, bland naan and cheap-tasting veg. Curries such as lamb biryani and a suitably coconutty korma are better executed, with a good, creamy texture to the korma and tender chunks of meat in both. Those with delicate palates beware, though, as each dish packs a surprising level of heat, especially those traditionally considered mild.
Though open late and not much of a looker, it would be a mistake to dismiss Kebab Mahal as merely another takeaway spot. There’s a reason why they’ve remained in business now for 30 years, in an area of Edinburgh that has no shortage of cheap Indian eateries, and it’s all down to reliably tasty tandoori, curry and kebabs. Though perhaps not quite as inexpensive as some of their competitors on the square, smaller portion sizes mean it's easier for parties to sample different flavours from a varied menu of lamb, chicken and vegetarian plates. The meat of the mixed kebab contains a welcome hint of char, while the tandoori chicken is a bit on the dry side but remains nicely flavoursome. Swimming in stewed tomato and onion, the chicken tikka bhuna packs a spicy punch, while the saag aloo is velvety and mild. The dining area is cosy, with plenty of customers popping in for takeaways or a quick chat with the friendly staff, so be prepared to queue during busy periods.
- Provides: Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs
- Capacity: 26
- Largest group: 26
- Open since: 1979