It’s 9pm on a Friday night in Edinburgh. After a few beers, including an excellent pint of Schiehallion at Indigo Yard, the Edinburgh Blog headed to Club India on Lothian Road. Club India has been open for one year, yet is still relatively unknown to the curry loving Edinburgh public. Even though, to find only two tables occupied on a Friday night is surely a worrying sign. Apparently the restaurant had been busier earlier in the evening for Club India’s pre-theatre deal, but its large interior was now empty. Infact by 10pm we were the only table left - the chef had long left the building and the waitress had made her intentions to close Club India as soon as we had left perfectly clear.
Evidently Club India aren’t looking for the late night crowd to keep their kitchen busy. The number of starters available at Club India was inline with the number of occupied tables. We settled on vegetable samosas (¬£3.95) and chicken pakoras (¬£3.95). These were traditional affairs, served with a small salad of chopped lettuce and pepper. Reasonable value but rather dull.
The nan breads were Club India’s best dish, with the taftan nan (¬£3.45) the star. Popadoms were 60p each, but happily there was no extra charge for mango chutney and spiced onion accompaniments. On the drinks front Kingfisher was initially unavailable, so we settled on Cobra (¬£4.10 a pint).
Apparently Club India’s emphasis is on flavour and not heat. Therefore I was disappointed to find my kashmiri chicken tikka (¬£7.95) taste rather bland. There was lots of sauce, but the dish would have benefited from more chicken. Vegetarian curries are often overlooked, but Club India have a good selection to choose from. Sabzi Tarkari (¬£5.95) was an inexpensive dish; packed full of peas, carrots and green beans.
There was no offer of dessert, which was fine by us - now we were the only customers in the whole restaurant, so things had gotten awkward enough. The prices we were charged are cheaper than those advertised on Club India’s website. It’s plausible that prices have been reduced and dishes changed to try and entice more people to dine at Club India. I don’t know if this tactic will work, as although there was nothing terrible about our visit to Club India, there was also nothing to suggest we should hurry back.
The Club India experience was uninspiring. There are many very good Indian restaurants in Edinburgh, so Club India will have to up their game and find some way of getting more folk through the door if they are to make an impression.
Club India is located at 105-09 Lothian Road,Edinburgh, EH3 9AN
Telephone: 0131 229 7747