Wednesday, 22 July 2009
RESTAURANT REVIEW: Britannia Spice
WALKING INTO BRITTANIA SPICE IS LIKE ENTERING THE DINING ROOM OF A FANCY SHIP, A GREAT ATMOSPHERE TO OFFER AS IT'S SECONDS FROM THE SEA. AFTER MY FRIEND AND I ARE KINDLY GREETED AT THE DOOR, WE ARE SHOWN TO OUR TABLE AS WE SOAK IN THE NICE, NAUTICAL FEEL TO THE RESTAURANT.
As we ponder over the menu, we realise that they offer a wide range of Asian dishes from Bangladesh, Northern India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nepal. It's not easy to narrow down here so it's handy that there's the mango chutney, mint onions and curry pickles to snack on, all delicious and freshly prepared.
I decide to go to Thailand for a starter with the Tom Yum soup (£5.75). It's on fire with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, imported herbs and red chillies for the brave. My friend has the king prawn butterfly (£5.75) - a rather large prawn deep fried with herbs and spices until crispy. Its accompanying sauce is a testament to what real sweet chilli sauce should taste like!
For a main course, I go for a Britannia Spice selected dish: shahi chicken (£10.95). It comes through on its promise to be mild as I needed a breather after the fabulous but fiery soup! The chicken has been cooked with cashew nuts, rose water and cream, the rose water adding a beautiful flavour while the cream aids the smooth texture. My friend is the one travelling to Thailand this time with her main of Thai sesame chicken (10.95), cooked in spices, capsicums, carrots, sesame oil and soy sauce, garnished with sesame seeds and coriander leaves. She, who has lived in Thailand, raves of its authentic flavour. The garlic naan bread is top notch, and our sweet server, Shamim, tells us the dish actually originates from Pakistan, a little known fact!
For dessert, the kulfi (£3.25) seems the most tempting as that texture and taste is always so bewildering so we share a mango and pistachio, and they're a satisfying finish to an impressive night. The server to customer ratio is very high here so everyone gets ample attention.
I will be back, perhaps travelling to Sri Lanka next time I board the ship of Britannia Spice.
150 Commercial Street
Edinburgh EH6 6LB
Tel: 0131 555 2255
Fax: 0131 555 0800
Mon-Sat: 12-2pm; 5-11.45pm
Also published in Bite Magazine, August 2009