Since this post was written, Mithas has closed.
It’s Edinburgh Festival and it’s Ramadan. Can you think of a better time to launch an Indian restaurant on Leith? Mithas is the latest and most ambitious of the restaurants run by the family who run Khushis. The first resturant opened in Edinburgh in 1947. Khushi can now be found in Stirling and Dunfirmline as well as Edinburgh, where it has collected a dedicated following.
The family’s plan for the restaurant is as ambitious as their openening date: they want to get a Michelin star. I went to the opening.
Mithas is around the corner from The Kitchin and next to Skippers, so it is in an area already well known for good restaurants. The room is elegant yet intmate, with tables spaced at a generous distance from each other. It seats up to 100 people and has a private dining room with space for 12-15.
The kitchen is open and has, among other equipment, two tandoor ovens, one for bread and vegetables and one for meat and fish. Watching chafs working hard in the kitchen is a treat and makes you appreciate what you eat even more.
The menu takes inspiration from the entire sub-continent. Ingredients are sourced locally and married to fresh Eastern spices. To achieve a Michelin star, the restaurant has to serve consistently excellent food and service. To make sure that the food is amazing, the kitchen team has been brought together from well-known restaurants all over Britain. (For example the Cinnamon Club.) The food that I tasted was excellent and the service was warm and friendly.
As we mingled and talked, friendly servers walked around offering delicate morsels for us to try. We had plump prawns, perfectly spiced and cooked, excellent chicken tikka in a warm spice mix, tasty spinach patties on popadoms, excellent tomato and onion salad in little puffed cases, salmon wrapped around a spice paste and a skewered beef I could have eaten all night. It was all excellent, well cooked and very moreish. One of the other guests warmly recommened the tasting menu: a combination of tapas style dishes as more substantial dishes that offer a wide range of tastes and textures. Everyone recommended coming back and I certainly will. I’m quite excited that they have a vegetarian tasting menu since that means that C. can come with me.
It was quite the star-studded evening. The event was introduced by Stephen Jardine of Taste Communications, after which Hardeep Singh Kohli enjoined us to eat all the food we could get our hands on. (A piece of advice I took to heart.) I also spotted Tony Singh, Sue Lawrence and Grant Stott in the audience. After Hardeep Sing Kohli, we had a quick chat by Tom Cannavan, a wine expert, who advised us on the kinds of wines that go well with Indian food.
Mithas does not sell alcohol but you can bring your own bottle and they do not charge corkage. Good accompaniements to the spices and heat of Indian are dry but aromatic whites – Gewurstraminers, off-dry Rieslings – and well rounded reds – New World Pinot noirs or even punchy Shiraz’ or Syrahs. If you prefer to try the drinks on the menu, there are a number of wonderful fruit-based beverages. The spiced mango lassi is delightfully adult in flavour, the strawberry drink is festively pink and fruity.
The word “mithas” means sweetness and the restaurant fullfills the promise of its name by having a specialist pâtissier in the kitchen. The dessert menu offers a range of desserts from seasonal fruits with lemon grass jelly through to rich ginger pudding and even a cheese board.
An address in Leith
Away from the main Festival areas, Mithas is worth seeking out for the calm and intimate atmosphere as well as for the excellent food. I wish them the best with in acheiving their Michelin start goal. It will be exciting to see this restaurant establish itself at the top of the Indian dining scene.
7 Dock Place
Edinburgh, EH6 6LU
Tel: 0131 554 0008
Or use the contact form to email the restaurant.