Mother India's Café
- Telephone 0131 524 9801
- Seasonal times Festival and Christmas: open all day until 11pm.
- Food served Mon–Wed noon–2pm, 5–10.30pm; Thu noon–10.30pm; Fri/Sat noon–11pm; Sun noon–10pm.
- Average price £14 (lunch); £14 (evening meal)
- Website www.motherindiascafeedinburgh.co.uk
Tapas-style menu of freshly made, memorable dishes in a relaxed and informal establishment.
As one of central Edinburgh's better Indian restaurants, a takeaway from Mother India is an attractive option if you're in this part of town. They ask for 45 minutes lead time for orders being collected, though the full takeaway menu is on the website. Some dishes are larger than their tapas counterparts in the restaurant, so it’s worth checking on portion size before covering your kitchen table in foil containers. That aside, it’s hard to go wrong here. Butter chicken is homely, low-key and comforting; like many options, it delivers solid flavour rather than fire. A deep green king prawn saag packs more punch along with a healthy dose of meaty prawns. It’s worth getting the foil-baked spiced haddock home early, as reheating won’t help, but you’d have to be very committed to newspaper and batter to find a better piece of takeaway fish.
The modest exterior of Mother India's Café gives little hint of the culinary riches that lie within. Compared to its Glasgow siblings, the Mother India Group’s sole Edinburgh venue hides its light under a bit of a bushel, but nonetheless locals in the know flock in – booking is more or less a must. Specials change daily on the tapas-style menu and include not only mains, but also flavour-packed sides such as exquisitely textured mushroom rice. With so much choice at reasonable prices, tapas-style portions provide a welcome invitation to gorge with abandon. Chicken achari whisks lime and chilli pickle from the wings to place it centre stage with succulent chicken pieces; baby aubergines with lightly spiced potatoes nail the combination of taste and texture, and crisp, fluffy garlic-laden naan is the perfect vessel for scooping it all up. At this point dessert may seem excessive but in for a penny, in for a pound – of warm, syrupy, divine doughiness.
- High point: Specials warrant the name tag
- Low point: Downstairs is most atmospheric but closed when quiet
- Notable dish: Chicken achari
- Private dining: Up to 50 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access
- Music on stereo: Indian music
- Capacity: 120
- Largest group: 70
- Open since: 2008
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
- House wine: £16 per bottle