Khushi’s Indian restaurant is something of an Edinburgh institution. The owners of Khushi’s are proud of their history; their website and menu describes their rise from a small Indian restaurant in 1947 to their current status of probably Edinburgh’s largest Indian restaurant. A plethora of seating options on ground and upper levels mean Khushi’s now have the capacity to cover for literally hundreds of diners. Most people in Edinburgh, especially past and presents University students, will associate Khushi’s with a no corkage Bring Your Own Booze policy. This is a feature our group took full advantage of last Thursday, when we arrived an hour before our booking with a few carrier bags fresh from the off license. Khushi’s were happy to look after our alcohol while we enjoyed drinks in The Villager nearby, but unfortunately didn’t store our alcohol in the refrigerator. Luckily Khushi’s policy where excess alcohol must be left at reception was unnecessary for our group!
The team behind Khushi’s have done a fair, yet antiquated job with the design of their Victoria Street restaurant. The lower level hosts a small reception, customer toilets and dining tables. We were directed upstairs and passed the transparent screen to the kitchen. It was interesting to see the chefs plying their trade in such cramped surroundings. Space isn’t a problem in Khushi’s dining room and this allows tables to have a good distance between them. This is very welcome, especially given the loud groups Khushi’s entertain.
It wasn’t long before complementary poppadoms were delivered to our table, although we had to pay extra for the condiments tray. Infact we had to pay Â£1.25 per condiment, so the poppadoms actually cost near on a fiver. Crafty Khushi’s! The waiters soon started opening our bottles of beer and wine. As the night progressed our rate of bottle consumption was quicker than than our waiting staff could (or maybe would) handle, so it was fortuitous we had a keyring bottle opener. Khushi’s menu is larger than I remember from their Potterow days, a fact our waiter seemed oblivious to when trying to rush our choices.
The quantity of fish in my Lahori Fish Tikka (Â£4.95) starter was on one hand generous, on another repetitive. The fish was nice and white but although a solid starter it was far from inspiring. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their traditional starters, which would have been as home on the menu in 1947 as they are today.
My main course was the major disappointment of the evening. I asked our waiter if Khushi’s kitchen could rustle up a chicken bhuna. The waiter stated Khushi’s original curry was just the ticket. Despite a huge quantity of lamb I could have created a more imaginative sauce if given a few ingredients and a 5 minute Google on Indian cooking. Khushi’s original curry was blander than a spoonful of boiled rice. My handy advice would be to trust only the written word and not those of your waiter. Thankfully my fellow diners’ choices fared better, with ratings hovering around 7.5/10.
Full marks to the chef in charge of the nan breads; our selection of garlic, plain and keema nans were all excellent. Price wise I think Khushi’s Indian food has a little premium, to make up for no corkage on their BYOB policy. On the whole though their prices are reasonable. An out of date menu is available on Khushi’s multimedia heavy website.
Service started off very friendly, but later on in the evening it became abrupt; possibly the staff were growing tired clearing away our empty glass bottles! After receiving the bill we were told in no uncertain terms to pay at the reception on our way out.
There are certainly curry houses in Edinburgh which offer better quality, better service and more inventive Indian cooking. To only eat Indian food at Khushi’s, like some people I know, would be an awful shame.
Overall Khushi’s provide reliable food in a large environment which is easily able to cater for the masses. Khushi’s have a robust business model and have developed an efficient conveyor belt for curries. For a curry with a reasonably large group of friends Khushi’s is the de facto choice.
Khushi’s is located at 9 Victoria Street, Edinburgh.
Telephone: 0131 220 0057