Want craft beer and curry with a celebrity angle? All bases are covered at comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli's VDeep: knee-deep in the hallmarks of the hip eatery, including sharing plates, quirky wall art (including a mural proclaiming the absence of mango chutney), communal dining, good-looking staff in vintage Adidas tracksuits, a pun-heavy menu (Bubble & Sikh, Bangras & Mash) a fusion concept (a modern British take on curry staples plus in-house “vinda-brews”) and a meal deal (thali and a lassi for £10). Dishes include pork cheek vindaloo, garam masala cauliflower cheese, venison meatball korma and apple and haggis pakora.
MOTHER INDIA CAFE
The first place to do Indian tapas in Edinburgh, since opening in 2008 award-winning Mother India's eastern offshoot has a menu and prices that positively encourage diners to sample everything on the menu. Order two to three dishes each, share and share alike, and you should have it covered. Highlights include the chilli garlic chicken, lamb karahi, okra with tomatoes and spicy potato fritters. Throw in poppadoms with ridiculously moreish coriander chutney, perfect naans and incredibly speedy and friendly service and it's no wonder you're well-advised to book ahead.
Tapping into the street food trend, Tuk Tuk - named after the motorised rickshaws in India - in Tollcross aims to bring the dishes of the Indian roadside and railway station to Edinburgh. The tapas-style dishes include Bengali fishcakes, channa puri (chickpeas with deep-fried flatbread), haka chilli noodles from Kolkata, a chicken-on-the-bone curry eaten by tuk tuk drivers and mini kebab burgers, plus lassi, chai and Thums Up Indian cola to wash them down with if you don't BYOB. Go on a Monday, give the dice a shake and if you roll a six your meal is on the house.
THE INDIAN CAVALRY CLUB
Or maybe you'd like your curry all to yourself? The Cavalry Club is a West End institution that has been serving up classic Indian food on your very own plate in airy, elegant, white linen-festooned surroundings on one side of Atholl Place or the other since 1986. With chefs from North and South India and Anglo-Indian colonial influences both in the décor and on the menu, you'll find all your favourites: dosas, biriyanis, pasandas, rogan josh, dansaks, madras – even mango chutney.
Not just the budget option, the Mosque Kitchen attached to Edinburgh Central Mosque (head down the cobbled lane on West Nicolson Street behind the mosque) is the real deal when it comes to filling, nourishing and authentic South Asian food, originally catering exclusively for its congregation. Open to all since 2004, the canteen-style set-up serves a daily selection of both meat and veg-based curries in generous portions, plus dhal, samosas, rice and naan, all for a long way below a tenner.