Review by: Nigel Duncan
From London’s celebrated Brick Lane – with all the attendant hassle – to the quiet of Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Street in three days.The difference is marked. Vinyasa was streets ahead in sophistication, style and service.And yes, Brick Lane and Vinyasa are both worth visiting. The new Edinburgh restaurant is ideally placed just off Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.
It will undoubtedly attract tourists, students – Edinburgh University is nearby – locals, and even, possibly, members and staff of the Scottish Parliament and the City of Edinburgh Council.
The detail in the tastly decor, and the care and attention taken in the composition of the bar, plus the varied menu were major pluses.
Furthermore, the waiting staff were at pains to ensure that we received the correct information about the varied selection of Bengali and Indian dishes on the extensive menu.
Dietry considerations were not a problem and the staff coped well with a screaming child on the night we visited.
As to value, the venue fitted the bill and they deserve patronage. We asked for advice and it was provided. Our waiter knew exactly what was in each dish.
And, when it arrived, it was piping hot and the vegetables were crunchy, particularly my green peppers. Even the plates were hot, that’s attention to detail which is missing in so many restaurants.
So, what did we have. Pam was recommended a house speciality, Dhaal Puri, puffed bread with stuffed lentils. This is not something which she would normally eat but it was a delight, soft flavours merging superbly.
I don’t usually select any fish dishes in an Indian restaurant – personal choice, I’m afraid –but I was advised to pick king prawn pathia with puri. You know what, it was packed with subtle flavours, particularly as I asked the chef to go mild. The soft prawns blended beautifully with the sauce. There was also a generous portion of green salad.
Then came the mains. Pam picked, on recommendation, chicken tikka biryani, basmati rice cooked in ghee with a delicate blend of herbs and spices served with a yoghurt sauce. It was beautifully served and a delight particularly with added chick peas and mushrooms, a tip from our helpful waiter.
My karahi was toned down at my request and the mixture of freshly chopped onions, green peppers – with real crunch, a massive plus - green chillies, tomatoes and coriander was served with pilau rice, the grains of saffron basmati rice being beautifully cooked.
The sweetness of the lamb came through but there was something missing. What can ‘t be faulted was the way it was brought to table, piping hot with the rice and at a time different to Pam’s. I really appreciated the thought in that.
Ignore the poor website which needs some TLC. Overall, we loved the experience, appreciated the expertise of our waiters and would have no hesitation in recommending Vinyasa. It has only been opened recently and I wish them every success. Their customer care is exemplary.
34 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SX
+44 (0)131 556 6776
Open seven days
Noon to 2pm: 5.30pm to 11.30pm