I’m by no means a curry expert. When making one, I’ll throw in any combination of spices. Or on Sunday night, we’ll order takeout and eat it shamelessly on the sofa. So whilst we view Indian food as a treat, I don’t associate it with fine dining, nor is my palate developed enough to recognise different herbs. But at Mumbai Mansion it was clear each dish was produced by a sophisticated hand, beautifully emphasising the qualities of each spice to create flavours that were subtle, complementary and distinguishable. Coupled with moist meat, puffed naan and impeccable service, I realised what a disservice I regularly do this culinary genre.
Last summer Mumbai Mansion took on some of the staff from the wonderful Mithas, which sadly closed in early 2015. Like Mithas, many dishes at Mumbai Mansion are marinated then grilled, ensuring soft, delicately flavoured meat. To fully appreciate the technique, we began with a grilled platter for two. The fragrant Chicken Tikka coated in English mustard and yoghurt was my favourite, whilst dining companion R adored the Chargrilled Prawns. Coated in a dry rub and fresh mint, they were unbelievably juicy. The Lamb Seekh Kebab was a blissfully textured combination of closely packed, finely ground mince and the soft, herby Corn and Pea Kebabs were a surprise hit too.
For mains we enjoyed Chicken Jalfrezi and Lamb Chops. The jalfrezi came in a huge portion with plump fresh tomatoes, big chunks of chicken and a fruity, deliciously spicy sauce. R wolfed it down along with simple boiled rice (so as not to distract from the rich curry) and a spectacular garlic naan – I suspect he could have eaten two. Thin, crispy and ideal for folding and scooping, it was too good to share, so I got my own to accompany the lamb chops.
With six in a serving, I wasn’t going hungry either. Even the burnt-on marinade was worthy of nibbling and I ended up cleaning each chop down to the bone. The flavour of lamb stood firm through its ginger rub and both elements were in perfect harmony to the accompanying saag-like wilted spinach with nutmeg. When I’d learnt the lamb was dry, our helpful waiter said he would bring a side of sauce and I was glad he did. A version of the lamb’s marinade, it had a tangy, sweet red pepper base; a flawless companion to the meat and very moreish to boot.
At this point, we were VERY full but after a pause still decided to order the Indian Trio dessert. It consisted of gulab, a steaming, syrupy, sponge served with natural yoghurt to cut straight through the sweetness; carrot halva, small pieces of carrot mixed into a sesame paste, roughly textured and gently sweet; and a milky rice pudding, topped with crispy burnt sugar but cold underneath, which perhaps didn’t fit so well. An entirely unnecessary but highly enjoyable end to the meal.
Throughout dinner we enjoyed seamless service. Jovial, patient and attentive without being intrusive, Mumbai Mansion’s staff talked us through each element and kept the drinks coming. Amplified by the fantastic food, it was clear everyone was having a good time, with larger tables and groups creating a lively atmosphere. The menu probably sits at a higher price point than other Indian dining options in the area, but with smart decor that’s neither formal nor pretentious, outstanding service and an exceptional menu, the price is certainly worth it. Just let me know when you want to go and I’ll clear my diary.
Amy dined at the invitation of Mumbai Mansion.
Edinburgh EH3 8DT