The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

The Street Charm of the Bourgeoisie

The Village – Edinburgh’s best kept secret

villageMid to late July is a strange time in Edinburgh – there’s that curious lull, the calm before the Festival storm. Even outwith the month of August when everything goes completely bonkers – like most tourist/university/capital cities – Edinburgh is never truly quiet. However this current fortnight with the graduation ceremonies out of the way and permanent residents battening down the hatches is the closest we ever get to some respite. So the perfect time to get out and eat, drink and be merry with a little bit of space around you. So for that reason – and the glorious weather of course – we decided to be adventurous and try somewhere brand new. Turns out we made a great choice in The Village on Brunswick Street just along from Vittoria’s. It’s first and foremost an Indian restaurant with adjoining takeaway but there’s a middle eastern streak with shisha pipes and falafel/kebabs. The menu is reassuringly shortish with ample choice for vegetarians. We had samosas and spicy aloo (Indian style potato fritters)  as starters, bhindi (okra) and spinach curries with rice as mains and extremely yummy gulab jamon and rose-flavoured ice-cream as pudding. As well as the mains we had, the other veggie choices are daal, aloo gobi and aubergine served with either rice or nan bread. Now we both love Indian food but tend not to frequent Indian restaurants as they usually fall into one of two camps – ones that serve up suspiciously uniform veg in a generic, ghee-laden sauce which is sure to give you indigestion if the faux ‘opulent’ surroundings don’t get you first – or else there’s the new breed of light colours and light sauces tending towards the healthier and closer to authentic Indian home cooking, only trouble with these places is they tend to confuse ‘healthy’ with tiny servings at inflated prices.

Glad to say The Village serves up healthy food, in healthy portions at mini prices. Veggie main courses are only £7.50 including rice or nan and if that isn’t cheap enough there’s a special deal Mon-Thurs with two mains for £10. We had three courses each and the bill only came to £27 for the two of us!! It’s BYOB with no corkage charge so it all makes for a super cheap night out.

The service can’t be faulted either. We were about to order three mains as we had had recent experience of one of the more ‘nouvelle’ Indian cuisine places where the dishes were less than filling however our waitress at The Village warned us the servings were huge and they certainly were, she also pointed out the two-for-£10 deal which we hadn’t noticed. So big thumbs-up to her for doing that. There was also a guy whom we took to be the owner who was really friendly and told us he hoped to extend the menu in the future including a bigger selection of traditional Indian desserts… sooo much better than the usual bought-in frozen desserts.

All in all a very pleasant dining experience. The décor is light and airy in shades of green and pink, everything is spotless – including the loos. In fact there’s nothing not to like – so get yourself along there before the word gets out and you can’t get a seat!

Even though we managed to tear ourselves away from The Jolly we couldn’t avoid our usual Leith haunts of The Brass Monkey (for aperitivi – impeccable service as usual) and finishing up in the inimitable Tourmalet where I had the most delicious iced coffee ever before succumbing to their alcoholic delights – of which there are many. If you’re visiting for the Festival or just visiting and staying in the Leith Walk (probably Pilrig Street) area you can do worse than make these places your locals. I’ll be covering stuff on the Fringe and the main Festival so keep checking my blog for reviews.

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