The Mosque Kitchen is something of an institution in Edinburgh. Ask anyone who was once a skint student in this magnificent city and they will be able to tell you, at length, about how wonderful the food is here and how reasonably priced it is.
Now, I’m sad to say its been quite a few years since I’ve been a student, but I still like to pay this place a visit now and again if I get the hankering for a cheap, but tasty, curry fix.
The main Mosque Kitchen restaurant is on the corner of Nicolson Square, however this establishment actually started around the corner, in the King Fahd Mosque on Potterrow. The story goes that the kitchen used to serve chicken and rice for reasonable prices to patrons after Friday prayers, however after 9/11 the manager decided to open the restaurant to everyone, no matter their religious persuasion, to show that Islam “was not about terror”.
The word of their tasty food and reasonable prices soon spread, and its popularity skyrocketed. It expanded to the premises on the main road, but you can still find the original kitchen around the corner if you would rather have lunch in the mosque itself.
I normally just go to the restaurant on the corner, which is still owned by the same folks and serves the same delicious scran. The inside has a bright but simple interior, and you have to go up to the bar at the back to order your food – no table service here. But for the prices, you really can’t complain.
As you go up, you’ll see that all the food is already out and ready to go. All you have to do is tell the server what dish you want, he’ll slop it on a paper plate for you and away you go. Being a creature of habit, I always go for the vegetable curry. At £3.50, its the cheapest meal on the menu, but its a big generous serving and absolutely delicious.
Mr Bug normally goes for the chana masala (chickpea curry) but the last time we went he got the chicken curry, which he says was just as tasty. It’s a bit more expensive, but at £4.50 it’s hardly going to break the bank.
So, if you’re in Edinburgh and on a bit of a budget, then the Mosque Kitchen is definitely a good shout for a meal. It’s a no frills experience, but the food is excellent and unlike many eateries in Edinburgh, you won’t leave with a crying wallet.