Fancy spicing up your nights and injecting a little bit of film star glamour to your menu? The new name up in lights is the Bollywood Brasserie.
Words: Jonathan Trew
Strange as it may seem, the biggest film industry in the world isn’t based in Tinseltown, USA. Los Angeles makes its play for the title by spelling out Hollywood in massive white letters on a hillside bleached by the Californian sun but it's Bombay, in India, that produces more films per year than any other country.
The bright lights of Bollywood are the theme for a new restaurant which has opened at the bottom of Edinburgh’s Victoria Street. On the former site of Hafiz, the Persian/Indian restaurant, the Bollywood Brasserie aims to re-create the traditional dishes of the subcontinent. What you won't find on the menu are any madras curries,
7 Old F ishmarket Close Edinburgh Lunch and Dinner Monday to Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday open all day
telephone 0131 225 5428
vindaloos or rogan gosh. Rather than serving dishes which were concocted for the British palate, and Which bore
_ little resemblance to the real thing,
Bollywood has opted for a touch more authenticity.
’We don‘t call it curry,’ says Dr Jogee, one of the partners behind the restaurant. 'In India, "curry" JUSi means sauce, we're doing something a bit different. The heat of the spice is not the main point of each dish but just one part of a variety of flavours.’
Dr logee and Mr Bhardwai are the people behind the enterprise and between them they have over 50 years experience in the Edinburgh restaurant trade, running Howtowdie, the Shamiana and the Kalpna at various points. ’Twenty-five to 30 years ago, Indian food in Britain was a ioke,’ says Mr Bhardwaj. 'It was like Irish stew With curry powder in it. Over the years, people have become more educated about Indian food and what we have here are the real dishes of India.’
Both the menu and the decor reflect the Bollywood theme With stills of Indian film stars smouldering down from the pastel walls and up from the menus. Dishes are named after the
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12 ASHTON LANE
25 years of traditional Scottish cooking
Tel 0141-334 5007
108 THE lIST 3o May-12 Jun 1997
Bright lights and spicy nights at the Bollywood Brasserie
greats of the Indian silver screen With Raveena's butter chicken attracting slavering fans with its sauce of yoghurt, fresh tomatoes, cream and butter, all tied up in a combination of aromatic herbs and spices. Alternatively, Kaiol’s anjeer chicken is also attracting admirers. Originally, a festival dish, this blends apricots With garlic, ginger and spices. The end result is a richly complex blend of frurty flavours.
The menu is deliberately selective With Just four chicken, three lamb, one prawn and two vegetarian dishes forming the basls of the menu. Rather than making up a huge variety of dishes from a couple of vats of generic sauces, Bollywood makes each dish from scratch and the attention to detail shows. The samosa are crisp rather than soggy and each indiVidual dish stands out from its companions in terms of both taste and texture. Wines are recommended for each dish.
Since the premises' revamp, the upstairs room has been converted into a relaxed lounge bar Where diners can have a drink before their meal or coffee afterwards. This has the added advantage of |eavmg the dining area
downstairs a smoke-free zone. Most of the main dishes cost £6--£7 and, until the end of July, the Bollywood Brasserie is offering 10 per cent off repeat vrsits on bills over £30.
Bollywood Brasserie, 110 West Bow, Grassmarket, 225 5028.
Dine in the company of film stars
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