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SIDE DISHES Reincarnation in the restaurant world

PASSORN 23–23a Brougham Place, Tollcross,, 0131 229 1537, £9 (lunch) / £20 (dinner) Thai fine dining is still relatively limited in Edinburgh but female duo Cindy Srisotorn (owner) and Ning ChaiYalearn (chef) are building this new venture from a successful catering partnership which saw them produce lavish meals in clients’ homes. A succinct but well crafted menu has warm salads of tender beef or fish dressed with chili, lemongrass and lime juice, Choo Chi, a modern take on red curry, and the unusual kaeng massaman, with lamb shank braised in a traditional southern Thai curry.

There are openings. And closings. Then the things in between. Take The Apartment in Bruntsfield (pictured), for instance. It’s getting a new name, a new look and new opening times (including lunch), all to be revealed next month. Original owner Malcolm Innes remains at the helm. Then there’s La Cerise on Great Junction

Street in Leith. Claire Coussmaker and Martin Wilson’s local patisserie and café suffered a freak sewage flood in November last year, destroying their basement kitchens and prep areas. Determinedly, however, they’ve rebuilt the kitchen, and plan to have the café reopen by mid March, serving all their own cakes, bakes and ice cream. Finally, it seems that we’re bidding farewell

to Susie’s Diner on Nicolson Street nearer Edinburgh University after 15 years. Owner Ian Wilson says that Susie’s may rise again in the future, though it’s unlikely to be at this site. Watch this (but also that) space.

Full independent write-ups on all the restaurants listed here can be found on our online Eating & Drinking Guide, Prices shown are for an average two- course meal for one

split-level dining room in muted beige and brown tones is cosy enough, even if it does leave you feeling that a stronger sense of style and vision might be required to set The Cellar Door apart from considerable local competition.

MANNA MAHAL 113 Buccleuch Street, Southside,, 0131 662 9111, £16 (dinner) A new Indian restaurant in town isn’t always a notable event, which is one of the reasons why Sebastian Joseph’s simple Manna Mahal, located in the premises previously occupied by Jamaican adventure Coyaba, has taken some time to attract the attention it deserves. Hailing from Kerala in south-western India, Joseph creates dishes with chilli, spices and lashings of coconut, including mutton coconut dry fry or regional favourite varatharachathu lamb. While the takeaway menu also caters to the local student population with burgers, kebabs and European dishes, the curries are some of the most intriguing in the city.

18 Mar–1 Apr 2010 THE LIST 11