It seems there is always a business opening or closing on Dalry Road. The latest restaurant to try their hand in the West of Edinburgh is Kebabish Original, which has opened in the premises vacated by The Bed Depot. The interior has been stripped out and replaced with a large contemporary styled dining area, with open plan kitchen. The chiller proudly displays skewered meat of titanic proportions and is a visible demonstration of the “Thrill of the grill” slogan associated with the Kebabish Original brand.
Kebabish Original has undergone a rapid expansion in the past 8 years, due to its franchising model and the popularity of food from the Indian subcontinent. I believe the owner of this franchise, who also runs The Curry House in Corstorphine, is not advertising Kebabish Original heavily at the moment while he gets the restaurant running fluidly. This is a wise choice, considering the courteous but extremely nervous service we received. Our service culminated in a bizarre trip to the counter to pay the bill, despite the chip and pin device being wireless. The lack of advertising does not appear to have affected the trade at Kebabish Original - it’s been busy almost every evening I’ve walked past.
The menu is largely what you’d expect from any good Indian based restaurant, with the “Thrill of the grill” section where those ridiculously sized pieces of meat are cooked over charcoal. Kebabish Original’s starters were all on the money. Perfectly cooked chunks of cod for the fish tikka (¬£4.50) and a wonderfully light and crispy puffed bread, with an excellently prepared chick pea filling, for the chana on puri (¬£2.95). There’s no free poppadoms at Kebabish Original (70p each) and ¬£3.50 for a pickle tray seems excessive.
We had the king prawn starter (¬£6.95) as main. It had only three prawns, but thankfully they were huge, fabulously succulent and juicy. Bhunas, kormas and vindaloos are all available at Kebabish Original, but I chose the lamb karahi (¬£8.50). The lamb was tender and cooked just right, while the thick sauce accompanying this dish was perfectly balanced. A side order of saag aloo (¬£3.50) is for hardened spinach enthusiasts only - it only had three small potatoes in it. The taste was there though. Our nan (¬£1.95) was light and fluffy - a great reminder of how brilliant nans straight out of the tandoor oven are. Pilau rice was ¬£2.50.
The area around Haymarket and Dalry is rich with very good Indian restaurants and takeaways, including the easy to overlook Lazeez Tandoori opposite Kebabish Original. According to the Kebabish Original official website, over 70% of the food served at their franchisees is pre-packed and pre-prepared. If the food tastes this good, then does that matter!? I’ll definitely eat again at Kebabish Original, while continuing to support the other very good Indian restaurants in the area, which prepare all their food from scratch.
Kebabish Original has no alcohol licence, so you can “Bring Your Own Booze”. Takeaway is also available; there’s a small seated area by the door for you to wait.
Kebabish Original is located at 128 Dalry Road, Edinburgh.
Telephone: 0131 337 3371