Newington is a haven for curry fans, with lots of authentic options all along the main thoroughfare of Nicolson Street and South Clerk Street. One of the brighter restaurants is Kalpna, which is an exclusively vegetarian offering located on Patrick Square.
You can hardly miss it, with its bright yellow shop front and colourful elephant design. Being so close to Edinburgh University, it is a firm favourite with the students and staff who pop in to take advantage of its all-you-can-eat lunchtime buffet!
At dinnertime it has a solid a-la-carte menu, which includes a wide range of vegetarian dishes, as well as a selection of thalis (a large meal that includes a range of the best that Kalpna has to offer).
The restaurant has a very unusual interior, with intricate designs made from little pieces of mirrored glass set in the pale sandstone like walls. The lamps also sport charming figures, made from little holes punched into the cover. It all makes for unusual and memorable surroundings when you eat your meal.
Mr Bug ordered the mughal kofta with garlic rice. Kofta is a a fritter made from potato, nuts and other vegetables cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. Even though the menu says the sauce is hot, it wasn’t too spicy for him and he really enjoyed it. I had a cheeky taste too, and found the kofta too salty for my taste, but the sauce and rice were absolutely perfect.
I ordered the palak paneer, which is paneer cooked in a spinach based sauce.
I absolutely adore paneer – it kind of like cottage cheese and an Indian speciality. It’s incredibly delicious and the offering at Kalpna is no exception – all their paneer based dishes are a great way to go if you want a good alternative to a meat based meal.
Served with regular pilau rice and a chapati made for a delicious and filling feast, and I had no trouble polishing off the lot.
Even if you aren’t vegetarian (and believe me, I am not vegetarian by any stretch), Kalpna is an excellent choice. The menu is varied and there is something on there that would satisfy everyone. Definitely worth checking out!
Kalpna (website) can be found at 2-3 Patrick Square, EH8 9EZ. Take any city centre bus up North Bridge, and keep an eye out for it on the left hand side.