I very rarely venture out Blackhall way, but when I was asked by The Raj Restaurant’s folks to give the restaurant a try, I couldn’t turn the offer down as I am an absolute sucker for Indian food!
Still, the journey wasn’t as arduous as I thought it would be – a brief bus ride from the city centre will get you right to the restaurant’s front door.
Looking around, the Raj Restaurant struck me as quite a traditional place, but their menu is varied enough to cater for a wide range of dietary requirements and tastes. All the staff were incredibly friendly and there were a good few tables dining even on a quiet Tuesday night, which I always see as a positive sign.
As we waited to order, we were given a plate of poppadoms and a wide selection of dips to nibble on. There were the standard onion and mango chutneys of course, but I really enjoyed their green herby coriander concoction, which was really fresh and light and worked perfectly with the crispy poppadom appetiser.
To start, I had onion bhaji (one of my favourites!) while Mr Bug had chana puri – chickpeas served with a puffed up flatbread. The bhaji was delicious, and the two patties were the perfect serving size to start off the meal. Mr Bug thoroughly enjoyed his chana puri too and it wasn’t long before there were two clean plates and we were eagerly awaiting our main course.
For our main course, Mr Bug had a hearty portion of bombay potatoes while I had vegetable rogan josh. Mr Bug really enjoyed his meal, which he wolfed down with a large naan bread, while I opted to have mine with rice and a roti (rotis and chappattis are not on the menu, but they are more than happy to make you one if you ask).
I like to think I am pretty good with spice, but the vegetable rogan josh was a little hotter than I usually like it. It was still really tasty though, and I definitely gave it a square go before I was full to bursting.
So far so good, but what really sets The Raj Restaurant apart is their service after the main course is over. Shortly after our plates were cleared, we were served a small selection of deserts, completely free of charge. There was a small sweet sponge, some cream, fruit and even a small sugar dessert which was dairy free.
Then after the dessert, the server came over with a trolley of digestifs including Drambuie, amaretto and bourbon. Again, this just comes as part of the meal at no extra cost and it was an excellent touch to round off our visit.
The Raj Restaurant may be a little bit out of the city centre but it is well worth a visit – the service is impeccable, the food is great and the complimentary little extras are just the cherry on the cake.
You can find The Raj Restaurant (website) at 12 Hillhouse Road, Blackhall Edinburgh EH4 2AG. The best way to get there from the city centre is on the 42 bus from Princes Street, which will get you there in about twenty minutes.
Many thanks to the Raj Restaurant for inviting me along to try their food. Opinions are always mine.