As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m terrible at actually going to The Fringe Festival. I’m paralysed by choice. There’s just far, far too much and I have no idea what I want to see so I end up seeing nothing unless someone else organises it. Fortunately, my friend B suggested we see a comedian and then get dinner at a South Indian restaurant that she likes – I was in!
Tanjore is a small-ish restaurant, maybe a 5-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley. Like many restaurants in Edinburgh, they don’t take bookings during The Fringe so we were forced to just show up and hope for the best. After a 20 minute wait, they found us a seat and we got started analysing their menu.
With a little guidance from B, we decided to share a couple of starters. Not eating with P meant that, for once, I could order a starter that wasn’t pakora (to be fair, surely everyone loves pakora, but it is nice to switch it up a bit) so we got the Rasa Vadai and the Potato Bonda, neither of which are dishes I’d tried before.
The Potato Bonda were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, lightly spiced, hot and entirely satisfying. The only thing wrong with them was that we only got two when I could happily have eaten an entire plateful. Probably for the best, on reflection. The Rasa Vadai was a kind of doughnut made with chickpea flour (B said it should really have been lentil flour but never mind) and came soaking in a rich broth of rasam. Both starters had brilliant, punchy flavours with a very clearly different blend of spices used to those you might expect from other regions of Indian cuisine.
Next up, I ordered a Karala Fish, since B suggested that South India generally does great fish and seafood. Oh my god. I think it might have been the best fish curry I’ve ever tasted. I’m getting hungry again now just thinking about it. It wasn’t overly spicy and the curry had a coconut milk base but it was so fresh and flavourful and the fish was tender and perfectly cooked and oh god I want it again right now. It was very slightly sweet and packed with ginger and (I think) tamarind. Yum.
Finally, we ordered a couple of coffees which came served with a small jug of espresso sitting in a small bowl of hot milk. Our waiter invited us to add sugar to our taste and then poured the espresso into the milk and then the milk and espresso back into the jug and then back and forth between the jug and bowl a few times to stir and froth the coffee. Unexpected? Yes. Cool? Definitely. Oh, and the coffee was gooooood. No complaints from me
So I think it’s fair to say that the meal was a total success, as well as being very easy on the wallet. It has actually presented a bit of a problem for me because I’m trying to get to know Edinburgh better, which means trying out lots of new places, but now I just want to go back. I suppose that’s a nice problem to have.
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