9a, Antigua Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3NH
tel = 0131 556 6446 and 0131 557 8855. „
A visit to Edinburgh is always something to which to look foward. A wonderful city and surprisingly well appointed for eating as well as drinking. I was staying at the Royal Terrace Hotel and expected to be able to eat in their restaurant. I was astonished to be told at 7.30 that they wouldn't have a table until 9.00. That decided it. They lost my custom and my colleague and I walked out to see what we could find. As it turned out they did us a good turn. We didn't have to walk far. Right on the roundabout at the bottom of the Royal Terrace I spotted a Nepalese/Gurkha restaurant, the Gurkha Brigade. The exact address is 9a Antigua Street. Living very close to Aldershot as I do, I am very familiar with Gurkha food. Many of the Gurkhas who have served with distinction with the British Army and have completed their service have stayed to open restaurants specialising in Nepalese cooking. We have eaten at many of these and have always found them to of the very highest standard. The Gurkhas take enormous pride in the quality of their food, and rightly so. The Gurkha Brigade is a very unpretentious restaurant. From the outside it looks nothing special but don't be deceived. Inside the same can be said. Very ordinary decor with the usual panoramic photos of spectacular views of the Himalayas and the inevitable one showing Mount Everest, with the label above it making sure that you know that this is the one and only. But, to the meal itself. A comprehensive menu offers an enormous variety of dishes with a range also of specialities of Nepalese and Gurkhas origin. The dishes, unlike many UK "Indian" restaurants are based on a variety of meats, chicken, lamb, pork, beef... In the UK, many such restaurants limit the meats that they use be reason of the religious persuasion of the owners. No such problems with Gurkha cooking. The wine selection is limited but we chose a Montepu
lciano d'Abruzzo and it was excellent. For starters we had the chicken wings, prepared in a spicy marinade and served with a delicious sauce dressing, number 14 on the menu. It was quite filling and could have made a more than adequate light meal in itself. The main course was a Gurkha speciality. I don’t remember the name but it was number 45 on the menu. It was a pork dish in a medium hot sauce and served with saffron rice. Outstanding. We ate it with a Nan bread. Well, by that time we were stuffed. I would dearly have loved to have tried one of their desserts but I really didn’t have room. The service throughout was impeccable. The table was wiped absolutely clean of all “debris” between courses and a hot towel provided after the main course. My Danish colleague greatly appreciated this as, being unused to very spicy food, he was “glowing” a little! Most astonishing however, was the bill. The total for two starters, two main courses, a side dish and a bottle of wine came to just £33. Outstanding value for an outstanding meal. I cannot recommend this restaurant too highly. Do not be put off by the unsophisticated décor. This is about the food and the unequaled value for money.