The name of Tommy Miah became synonymous with curry in Edinburgh after the entrepreneur opened The Raj in a prime position on the waterfront in Leith.
Now, 30 years on, Miah has relocated. He’s now in leafy, middle-class Blackhall and the 55-cover restaurant is tucked away near a bus stop at a busy junction and at the end of a nondescript row of shops in a suburban area.
However, Miah’s team have retained the quality of the food and his menus feature a wide variety of cooking techniques from the slow-cooked curries to grills and kebabs plus tandooris from the clay oven.
The cuisine is North Indian and many of Miah’s curry converts have also made the move to become regular diners in the restaurant which has been open at 12 Hillhouse Road since April.
He has relaunched his legendary Curry Club at the new location with appetizers, curries, rice, naan, popadums and pickles for £13.95. The offer includes a half pint of Kingfisher beer and will be on a Thursday.
Miah is renowned for his innovation and The Grand Thali – little bowls with a variety of dishes – will be offered from Monday to Wednesday for £24.95 for two people. It is much like Spanish tapas.
Entertainment nights are also on the cards and his Super Sunday Buffet for £10.95 (from noon until 10pm) is proving hugely popular.
Booking is essential on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, so popular is the restaurant, and there are two sittings (6pm and 8pm).
Commercial over so now to our meal. We picked mango and beetroot potato cakes. They were light, not too spicy and packed with flavour. Lal Mirchi – chopped chicken breasts marinated in the restaurant’s own recipe and mixed with Bengal tiger chutney on a bed of crusty onion bhaji – was outstanding, each of the flavours standing on their own to produce a wonderful entry to the meal.
This was followed by Amere Murgh, chicken cooked with mango pulp, onions, garlic, fresh coriander and spices. It was fragrant and, thankfully, not to hot and it worked well with the beautifully fluffy pilau rice.
We also savoured Lamb Nihari, basically slow-cooked lamb shanks in a stunning herb sauce which had traces of coriander, cumin, mace, nutmeg, cloves, star anise and peppercorn which worked well with the pilau rice but better, in my opinion, with garlic naan bread.
We were not finished. Complimentary sweets followed, mainly flour and milk based, but the apple and cinnamon on bread, yes bread, was yummy.
Coffee and a liqueur are also complimentary, a nice touch. Miah was renowned for having a Midas touch and he looks to have found the right formula for a second time.