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REVIEW – The Spice Pavilion, Dundas Street

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Many new Indian restaurants have opened in Edinburgh recently and I walked past The Spice Pavilion several times as it was preparing to open.  Positioned in a basement property on Dundas Street, near to Abercromby Place – the restaurant offers  ’refined yet creative North West Indian Frontier Style cuisine’.  I was intrigued by the food description on their website as I love Indian food and have been known to travel to the other side of town to sample my favourite dishes, but was extremely pleased to find Spice Pavilion located in my New Town neighbourhood.

Dundas Street Indian

 The restaurant has been open for a few weeks now and currently has an offer on until the end of June - 25% discount on all food, which gave me the push to try out their menu.  This review is based on one visit only  – but I couldn’t keep my findings a secret whilst I tried to fit in a second visit around forthcoming holidays.  You can book a table online or phone ahead.      

We were warmly welcomed into this beautifully decorated restaurant that seats 50 people.   It may be a basement building, but is furnished to make it feel bright and airy, with ample light in the dining areas.  Fresh flowers and tea lights in glass are on each table with cloth napkins and fine cutlery.  Stunning pictures of India have been hung on the walls in a subtle manner and my dining partner who normally doesn’t notice his surroundings, was blown away with the decor.   Word has obviously spread quickly through the streets of the New Town about the quality of food on offer here as the restaurant was fairly busy despite it being a Monday night.      

Kids are also welcomed to this family run restaurant with a special menu featuring various simple curries with chips/rice  in small portions (and an option of chicken nuggets) giving adults an opportunity to eat Indian food together with their children.     

Garlic mushroom starter


The wine list is reasonably priced with glasses of house white, red and rose available from £2.95 and bottles of house wine starting from £11.95.  My preferred choice with an Indian meal is beer and a pint of Cobra will set you back £3.50 and £2.95 for a bottle of Kingfisher, with other choices available.  We leafed through the comprehensive –  but not overwhelming menu and our mouths began to water.  Vegetarians are well catered for here and my dining partner chose this route, but I decided to have a meat based dish.     

Large poppadoms started our Indian feast at £1 each (including ample chutneys and pickles) and they were extremely light and crispy and most definitely fresh.  We shared a generously-sized starter of garlic mushroom puree on fluffy bread, £3.95 which did well to whet our appetites for what was yet to come.   

 Our main courses soon followed and the beer I had requested with my main course, arrived in perfect timing with a silver trolley containing our mains.  Plates had been heated and we were ready to tuck in.    

Main courses and chickpea rice

I opted for the Kashmiri Murgh chicken, £8.95  and a side of peshwari nan, £2.75.  The dish was nothing short of  moist chicken curry-perfection which left my taste buds tantalised.    

My dining partner had and a portion  of Sabzi Achar at £6.95 which is mixed steamed vegetables in spicy sauce and a side of chickpea rice, £2.50.  I also tried this dish and it was the enhanced spices that made this dish so good without an overpowering taste.    

At the same time our plates were cleared (and table swiftly cleaned) we were served a hot moist towelette to freshen up with.  Just when we thought this dining experience couldn’t get any better, we were each offered a selection of their desserts as a thank you for our custom (free for everyone until the end of May) and we loved the Indian style ice cream the best.     

Selection of Indian desserts

Fans of the more traditional curry can opt for the classics such as jalfrezi, korma, bhuna and rogan josh.  There are several dishes that I will be ticking off on the menu on my next visit – such as the Shajani vegetable biryani and my dining partner has already eyed up the Tale Mache Ka Salan which is cubes of sword fish with coconut and mustard seeds.  The Spice Pavilion also serves up a tandoori quail dish as well as a steak that has been cooked tandoori style as opposed to the usual frying.  There are just so many fabulous dishes on offer here, the difficulty will be choosing which one to have. 

Business lunches are available Monday – Saturday between 12 noon and 2.30pm and the Spice Pavilion offers a starter, a curry with rice or nan and tea or coffee for £8.95  – which is a fantastic deal to get indicate the quality of their evening a la carte menu.  The business lunch is also 2 for 1 until the end of May.  The restaurant is open in the evening 7 days a week  from 5pm to 11pm and takeaway dishes are available at this time.    Wifi is also offered and the bathrooms are spotless.   Italian is fluently spoken here should you wish to order your meal and practice your foreign languages at the same time.   

The only reason that this restaurant does not get the ‘Edinburgh Spotlight Recommended’ award at this time is because it has only had one visit.  We are booking the rear area for a private party in June (solely off the back of this visit) and know we will not be disappointed.  

Verdict?  The Spice Pavilion is a welcome addition to the New Town which offers authentic, creative and good value Indian dishes served with a genuine smile.      

Good Indian food

Suitable for disabled?  Unfortunately not as the restaurant is set down a set of stairs, but the staff indicated they would be more than happy to help any customers into the restaurant.   

Map of this location

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11 Responses to “REVIEW – The Spice Pavilion, Dundas Street”

  1. Tracy Morrison says:

    Great, I was looking for an Indian in this area and this review has just made my mind up as we didn’t fancy any in the centre of town. Free desserts – mmmmmmmmmm.

  2. monica says:

    Thats gr8 now we have chinese ,thai and now indian more choice too eat out and did read 25%discount till may end should look forward to that………

  3. julie barclay says:

    I had a lovely meal there today the decor is lovely the staff are very nice and friendly and make you feel so welcome, The food was so tasty and lovely presented, I am going back on tuesday yummy can’t wait.

  4. nicola blyth says:

    fantastic . amazing food and atmosphere . have been twice and defo going back . great prices and excellent service . best indian resturant in edin by far

  5. Denise Dean says:

    I had a meal here last week off the back of this review and it really was good. The most pleasant staff and surroundings I have eaten in a long time and the food was faultless. Will be going back for sure

  6. [...] read and it’s an ongoing project.  Another food related gems recently discovered is the Spice Pavilion in Dundas Street which is [...]

  7. julie barclay says:

    Was back again tonight for my friends birthday she has never tasted indian food so was not sure about going but decided to try it and she loved everything about the meal and the surroundings and is now going to recommend it to people we work with who were waiting to see how she got on so well done again for a lovely ngt and lovely food,

  8. Avery says:

    I have been in The Spice Pavilion a few times now and I found the service spotless and the food excellent.
    If you want to have a real Indian experience you have to come here.

  9. Nicky Rodgers says:

    I and a friend from India ate here this week on a visit and were delighted with the superb food and service.
    As someone who lived in India for 7 years and experienced Indian cuisine in many countries this restaurant is to be highly recommended.
    Our only regret was that we could not return for another visit!

  10. Shona Smith says:

    My husband and I ate here on 10th July and it was excellent. Food was delicious, would recommend a visit to the Spice Pavilion.

  11. Alix says:

    Fabulous restaurant. Ate here for my 21st birthday last month with my family and friends. The meal was fantastic, the atmosphere was lovely and the service was amazing….Would definately recommend this restaurant to everyone.

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