Britannia Spice for an award winning curry

Brittania Spice was named the best restaurant in Scotland this year by the Best in Britain Awards. It’s worth noting these awards are organised by the Real Curry Restaurant Guide, which are sponsored by Carlsberg. Incidentally the only draught lager available at Britannia Spice is Carlsberg. This Leith based restaurant, on Commercial St, was also named best curry house in Scotland by the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs last year. After my recent trip for dinner there I’m a little confused why - I experienced a distinctly average curry, that could be bettered by numerous Indian/Bangladeshi restaurants throughout Edinburgh and Scotland.

The Britannia Spice premises are nice, with the interior full of nautical props such as steering wheels or sails. Numerous staff certainly look the part and wear buttoned up white outfits, that further the sea link - the Royal Yacht Brittania is only a short walk away. The one page appetiser menu consists of a handful of dishes such as chicken or vegetable pakora, prawns, samosas, mixed kebab, baked fish and lamb chop. After some poppadoms served with the usual mango chutney, onion salad, etc. I tucked into a Chicken Pakora. It was ok but fairly standard, unimaginative fare. A little salad sat on the plate along with a lemon in metal squeezer. The pakora tasted ok, if not a little dry but this was helped by some sauce that was delivered to our table.

As mentioned before the only draught lager was Carlsberg, but Cobra and Kingfisher were available by the bottle. Service was polite, but sometimes a little confusing i.e. the waiter would take our orders then have to go through it again, as within the space of 30 seconds he’d completely forgotten.

For mains I went for the traditional Tikka Masalum, with lamb (I think this was £8.95). We also ordered a selection of nans and some bowls of rice. I’d rate the curry slightly below average, with the sauce a little powdery and a meagre quantity of fairly tough diced lamb. The rice was ok and the nan breads were fine, if not a little on the small side. The menu contained a fairly decent selection of other mains, with the most expensive being the mixed tandoori at £14.95. Generally the prices came in at between £3 and £5 for starters, while mains were typically between the £8 and £11 mark. I didn’t think the prices were extortionate, but by the time nan and rice had been added to dish it was up to the £13 mark, which given the quality of the food I did find a little on the pricey side i.e. I’d have expected better quality dishes for this money.

The substantial dessert menu was delivered to our table, but we skipped this. One thing worth mentioning is that apart from the traditional Indian/Bangladeshi food choices there are also Nepali and Thai choices to be found on Britannia Spices sizable menu.

When I compare Britannia Spice to Ignite and 9 Cellars in Edinburgh, the result is not favourable. Both Ignite and 9 Cellars add something a little more innovative, fresh and tasty to the menu and have developed the traditional curry a little further. Also the quality and quantity of dishes, especially the lamb, is far higher at such rivals. When through in Glasgow a while back I ate a spectacularly good curry at Mother India. These are just three restaurants in Scotland that I would place well above Britannia Spice.

It’s worth noting that a takeaway service is available from Britannia Spice, where 15% is taken off the menu prices.

So in conclusion: Britannia Spice wasn’t terrible, but was distinctly average. After having the appetite whetted by favourable media coverage regarding this award winning restaurant I expected so much more, but left very disappointed. There are better curries to be had in Edinburgh, Scotland and Britain.

Britannia Spice is located at 150 Commercial St, Edinburgh, You can see the location on Google Maps.

10 Responses to “Britannia Spice for an award winning curry”

  1. All the talk of its acolades etc, one is easy to forget they got raided by immigration just a couple of weeks ago… does this FACT affect their food? I don’t know - one should just not forget thought.

  2. They are great self-publicists and average chefs at best. Been once - won’t be revisiting. As you say, they are many better ones.

    Wonder how many other restaurants entered these competitions they’ve won and what the judging criteria were…

  3. Found Britannia Spice very average, management were rather rude and money hungry. This weekend will order food over this site that was recommended by a friend. You can order food online, heard great things about this service. Currently there are 2 restaurants you can do this with Eatalia’s and Silverbowl. Hopefully there will be some decent Indian restaurants added soon!

  4. The Cavalry Club on Athol place is the best curry in edinburgh

  5. Despite the fact this place was recently closed for several days due to hygiene issues and the fact that most of the staff were arrested as illegal aliens, I foolishly went there for a curry. What a hassle. The new staff barely spoke English and when the food arrived – chicken dish – the sauce was very watery.
    The waiter attempted to tell me this was normal before taking the dish away for a replacement.
    The dilemma came when he brought the dish back and his colleagues were looking at me and laughing. You’re probably thinking what I thought at this point?? No way am I paying to be made a laughing stock – plenty more Indian restaurants in Edinburgh.

  6. I have honestly no idea what the others are talking about.
    I’ve eaten at Britannia Spice regularly for 7 years and will continue to do so. I’ve always found the staff friendly, efficient and attentive without being overbearing. They’re knowledgeable about what they’re serving.

    As for the watery curry comment, you’ve obviously never had an authentic curry. They’re not all sugar-laden, overthickened bowls of goop. If the staff laughed at you, it’s out of character. I’ve always found the food to be well cooked, ingredients fresh and of good quality.
    The food isn’t overly cheap, but not outrageous either for what you get. However, I will say that the takeout prices are a bit high. We’d get more takeouts if it was cheaper, as it is, it’s only another extra 10 quid or so to eat in.

    I have no qualms about having a large family gathering, a small group of friends or a romantic dinner for 2 there.
    As for whatever staffing problems there were, don’t let that deterr you.
    I can’t recommend this place highly enough.
    Well Done B.Spice! Keep it up!

  7. I agree with most of the postings here, being a regular to Edinburgh’s curry scene I would say Brit Spice is well overrated and overpriced too!

    In my view there is no better than Khushis on Victoria Street for quality,price and service…

  8. Hellow readers

    I love curry I been to INDIA 5 times so I know sort of Indian resonal cusin I been to many Indian restaurant in edinburgh but never got that taste I found at 9cellars restaurant on york place couple of week ago there was very good review in SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY by RICHAD BATH about 9cellars saying that there head chef PC THAKUR won best internatoinal indian chef of the year 2007 award so we booked table for 5 on sat 29 sap restaurant was full as we reached to our table I could smell same taste as I could smell in India during my visit I think I know where to go for dinner know Its worth to try

  9. I wish I read a few more of the reviews before visiting this restaurant.
    I found the staff, slightly unconcerned and impossible to attract their attention.

    The food was ok, not terrible but certainly not something to be excited about.

    I should have known the moment I asked the waiter if they served Lassi, as it didn’t appear listed on the menu….. No we don’t he answered..

    What kind of indian restaurant doen’s serve Lassi?

    I find it hard to believe this resataurant has a headline at the top of this page as ‘Award winning Curry’

    Hardly Award winning Curry it should say.

  10. “Fantastic in every way!”

    We have visited Britannia Spice very regularly since we moved to the area over three years ago. The decor is modern, value good, the staff are welcoming and kind, the Cobra is cold and the food is fantastic. The curry is always fresh and perfect flavours, very generous portions, naan bread to die for and they are also happy to cook off the menu requests (ask for the Chef’s Special!). 

    We’ve used their main deck for our birthday party which is tucked away from Quarter deck separate from the main restaurant for a couple of special occasions and they cope excellently with big groups.

    As massive curry fans and they have every choices we have tried most dishes from different countries  and continue to do so, but we just keep coming back to Britannia Spice our firm favourite. We would recommend this place over many others currently rated a best Multi -Ethnic restaurant many food critics .

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