There’s no problem waiting for good takeaway food to be delivered, but there was a problem when Eastern Spices promised a delivery time of 40 minutes and eventually delivered after 90 minutes. Eastern Spices, of Edinburgh’s Canonmills area, gained my custom after I saw their advert in The List’s Eating & Drinking Guide. Eastern Spices’ advert proclaimed themselves winner ‘Best takeaway in Scotland’. After a rather poor trip to the multiple award winning Britannia Spice I know to take such awards with a pinch of salt. But one bad piece of meat shouldn’t ruin the whole kebab, so it wasn’t long before I called Eastern Spices order hotline.
The omens were not good. I was initially told the order would be at my door within 40 minutes. Two minutes later my phone rang; Eastern Spices wanted to confirm my address. Let me say the road I live on is not new - it’s on all major maps and is only, even with bad traffic, a maximum 15 minute drive from Eastern Spices HQ. I explained my location as clearly as I could and was reassuringly told “I know where you are”. Fifty minutes later and my phone rings again: the delivery driver. Again I explain where I live and again he sounds confident. Seventy minutes and many tummy rumblings later it’s my turn to phone Eastern Spices. After a quick check I’m assured the food is “almost here”. Eventually it arrives, a full 90 minutes after ordering. There was only one tip to give the driver: get GPS. Eastern Spices may have won a best takeaway award, but they’ll never have a Duke of Edinburgh.
With such a delay it was inevitable some, or maybe all, of the food would be lukewarm. We had ordered Eastern Promises’ non vegetarian set meal for two persons. At Â£26.95 we understandably had high hopes. The pakora and lamb kebab starters would have been faultless, had they not cooled on their long journey. Thankfully both main courses had retained their heat better. The chicken pasanda was fine, but not the best I’ve ever tasted. The Karai Gosht was the evening’s finest course - lamb in a great combination of tomato based sauce, peppers and plentiful onion. A saag aloo side dish was delicious: perfect spinach and perfectly cooked potato. One portion of pilau rice and large plain nan were good accompaniments, although (you guessed it!) the nan could have been warmer.
After such an assault on the stomach we’d forgotten the gulab jamon dessert. Gulab jamon is a popular dessert of fried milk balls of dough served with sugar syrup. Although we could only manage one ball each, the gulab jamon provided an enjoyable and refreshing end to the meal. Indian desserts are often neglected after a curry the size of a small planet, which based on this evidence is somewhat of a shame.
Eastern Spices provided a good quality feast for a reasonable, but not cheap, price. The most disappointing aspect was the excessive and poorly advised delivery time. Based on our experience there’s nothing particularly distinct about Eastern Spices. In that regard they’re just another Indian takeaway name to add into the hat.
Eastern Spices is located at 2 Canonmills Bridge Edinburgh EH3 5LF
Telephone: 0131 558 3609