Mezbaan for South Indian tapas

Mezbaan is a South Indian restaurant which has been open for business in Edinburgh’s Tollcross area for over 5 years. We’ve always had the restaurant on our “todo” list, but for one reason or another a visit has not materialised. Eating at Mezbaan today wasn’t part of our plan either. We had intended to visit El Quijote (the Spanish tapas restaurant opposite Mezbaan) - but on closer inspection we found it desolate inside and their large menu looked too confusing for our hungover minds to decipher. We will be back though as the praise for El Quijote is seemingly unanimous. Mezbaan won our wallets this time round, with a clear lunch menu of Indian tapas - each dish costing either £1.99 or £2.99.

Poppadoms at Mezbaan Indian restaurant, Edinburgh Interior of Mezbaan restaurant, Edinburgh

Mezbaan only offer their tapas menu at lunch-time (12pm - 3pm every day) and rely on their reasonably priced a la carte menu in the evenings. Inside Mezbaan is simply decorated, although some of the walls are due a coat of paint. We started with some perfectly crisp poppadoms (£1.20 each) which were served with an excellent selection of accompaniments. The wait for our dishes to arrive was made even more enjoyable, by the excellent Kingfisher lager (£4 a pint).

Masala Dosa (tapas) at Mezbaan restaurant, Edinburgh Chana Masala at Mezbaan, Edinburgh

Mezbaan’s tapas menu has over 25 dishes to choose from. The staple order in any South Indian tapas selection is a dosa - basically a pancake made of rice batter, with a choce of filling. Mezbaan serve this in a silver airline tray with a couple of creamy sauces - our vegetable and chicken filled dosas were delicious (£2.99 each). With Mezbaan serving South Indian dishes there are some unusual offerings on the menu and coconut features in several of the dishes - it’s definitely a restaurant where you can try something new, so don’t expect to find a dish of chicken tikka massala on the tapas menu.

The portion sizes of Mezbaan’s tapas dishes are generous. Indeed it was a struggle to finish our portions of chana massala (chick peas in a very pleasant sauce), lamb goan curry and bagarey baingain. The latter is chopped aubergine in a semi-spicey sauce and is apparently very popular in Hyderabad. Three different dishes for £7. Outstanding value. Rice and chapathis are available too, at £1.99 each.

Mezbaan offer an inventive and great value tapas menu for lunch. Many of you will know that Mother India’s Cafe is our de facto choice for Indian tapas. But Mezbaan’s lunch tapas menu makes a great alternative choice. And in a crowded sector of the market, South Indian cuisine offers something to differentiate Mezbaan from the crowd.

Mezbaan is located at 14-14A Brougham Street, Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9JH
Telephone: 0131 229 5578

7 Responses to “Mezbaan for South Indian tapas”

  1. Ian Jamieson on June 1st, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for the Post. Great review and I agree whole heartedly.

    A number of people have recommended Mezbaan over the years but I only recently got around to visiting, after convincing my wife to go. Decor is a bit standard but the food certainly isn’t. I’ve taken mates back since.

  2. very bad Restaurant and food.. Never try in this Restaurant..

  3. I would rate this Restaurant -5(minus 5)..

  4. Mezbaan, for me, is the best Indian restaurant in Edinburgh. I’ve cooked my own curries at home for 8 years now and whenever I go to an Indian restaurant now, I’m typically let down. I usually feel I could have cooked something much better at home. With Mezbaan not so. I’m consistently impressed by the freshness and complexity of their curries. Also, because Mezbaan is South Indian this makes the variety far more interesting than a traditional North Indian curry house. If I was taking a client or a friend out for food this is the best place. I agree the decor is not very exciting, but then I think the food speaks volumes. If you do go, try the fish stew, because the head chef is from Kerala and this is a very traditional dish from that region.

  5. Meezbaan for us is the Best South Indian restaurant. We ordered Dosa for our tea. Delivery service is very impressive. Dosa was very very beautiful. We loved it.
    I would rate this restaurant 10/10.

  6. I went to Mezbaan last night and was extremely disappointed. First of all, the service was slow and at times almost shambolic. For example, we were only given 5 menus between 12 people and it took a further 10 minutes before the waiter spotted this and handed out a few more. When the main course arrived, each dish had at least one component missing or, it was the wrong dish altogether. My chicken dish was meant to be a dry dish but when it arrived, I found 5 small chicken pieces floating rather forlornly in an ocean of creamy, non-descript sauce. Two pilau rice side dishes arrived 40 minutes after the main course had been served up and were subsequently returned.
    The Chicken Dosa had very little chicken in it — the main ingredient were potato cubes and peas.
    When it came to settling the bill, we had to remind the waiting staff 3 times before it finally arrived 35 minutes later.
    Perhaps, we picked a bad night but based on this experience, I would not recommend this restaurant and certainly will never go back.

  7. My wife and I visited this restaurant after reading some good reviews. Went in midweek and I went to the toilet while my wife looked over the menu. The toilets were by the kitchen and upon seeing the state of the kitchen we left immediately as I do not think vermin would go there it was that disgusting.

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