Friday night Curry and a Cobra
We enjoy a good curry and living in Edinburgh are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a restaurant. We are however always on the lookout for new places to try so were happy to make the short trip round the bypass on a Friday evening to try out Itihaas in Dalkeith. They specialise in Bangladeshi cuisine and have amassed lots of awards over the years. They also have a strong local customer base if Tripadvisor is anything to go by. Itihaas occupies a corner of the main street and with large open windows looks very welcoming from the outside.
First impressions are that the decor is contemporary while retaining a traditional formality with the smartly dressed staff and white linen on the tables. The restaurant was busy with diners and take away orders too judging by the ringing phone. The menu is pretty extensive and we made a dent in the large plate of crispy popadums while deciding what to have. These were served with the usual array of chutneys, pickles and sauces. The brightly coloured mango chutney was sweet and a bit lacking in fruity flavour and texture. It also wasn’t very tablecloth friendly. The mint and yoghurt sauce had quite a sweet vanilla flavour which Donnie enjoyed but wasn’t really to my taste. The pickles were much more exciting with a delicious spicy-sour flavour and nice crunch – yum.
Itihaas have a few well-priced wines to choose from but Donnie fancied a nice chilled Cobra beer. I followed suit with the non-alcoholic version as I was on driving duties.
I had the mixed vegetable puri to start with – a generous sized disc of puffed flatbread filled with a decent selection of tender vegetables and chickpeas in a robust tomato sauce. This was my first puri experience and it was a revelation. I thoroughly enjoyed the gentle heat from the sauce combined with the crunch of the bread – delicious.
Donnie went for his usual onion bhaji which was crisp round the edge but slightly oily in the middle. They tasted nice and came with a little jug of spicy bhaji sauce. Both dishes arrived with the obligatory mixed salad and a wedge of lemon inside its own little squeezer – no need to get lemony hands here.
Our main dishes
After an unhurried rest, our main dishes of Shatkora Lamb for me and Kathmandu Murgh for Donnie arrived along with some pilau rice and a large naan – portions here are hearty so we weren’t going to starve!
My lamb was tender and tasty with a rich tomato and ginger sauce which along with the sourness of the shatkora fruit make this dish refreshingly different. When you get the occasional mouthwatering sour taste from the fruit combined with the heat from the chillies it’s a real winner.
Donnie’s Kathmandu Murgh was also enjoyable with the lentils and cinnamon making a thick and warmly flavoured sauce. The dish is rated medium hot on the menu, and although Donnie is more of a Korma kind of guy, even he thought that it was quite tame – maybe Vindaloo next time!
Booking a table at Itihaas