Is that Gordon Ramsay, I hear?? Believe me, if it was things would make a hell of a lot
more sense. It’s a Saturday evening, couples hoping to dine are being turned away – surely
the sign of a popular place. The problem…? The place is half empty!
Located at the top of Leith Walk swarmed by intense competition, Passage to India sits rather
compressed, jammed between a chip shop and Italian restaurant. If you threw a stone it would
literally glide passed two Indian restaurants both that are better situated for the passing public.
Greeted by a bar that was completely entrenched with wine glasses and pint tumblers – seriously – if even only half of it was to crash the rumble would be felt at the Kirkgate. Their methods for getting things done are pretty puzzling. It hints at a family-run business but to be honest that would be disrespectful to family-run businesses.
A trolley cart is used for clearing and serving the tables so you know when the food is coming just like you know when the 15.41 is pulling in at Haymarket. Tables in the back had the customers’ drinks glasses stacked on them simply because there was no more room at the bar. It was that or ask the Buddha peacefully poised on the bar to hold some…
Two staff on the floor and if it was as if it was both their first nights. Surely any quiet moment should be dedicated to tackling this bar top that is now like a manky mirror. What do these guys do? Literally, have their backs to it staring at the till – they weren’t even pressing buttons or nothing – just staring. I suppose if you can’t see it then it doesn’t exist.
At this rate we were definitely expecting food to be missed from our order, to be grateful of any food at all but to our surprise, the only thing missing was the poppodoms and pickle tray to which he couldn’t hide his surprise when we said we still wanted them.
Two curries, one rice, one garlic naan, haggis samosas, poppodoms and we devoured the whole
The food in here is extremely tasty. Our experience was enhanced by us ordering well as we had a
sweet and sour curry in the Patia but the saltiness in the Methi- Gosht to create a fine balance
between mouthfuls. The meats and sauces are beautifully cooked and had the perfect level of
spice for that specific dish.
I dined in (the always mobbed) Khushi’s just about twenty yards away from Passage to India the
week before. The atmosphere was deafening, food was forgotten and took ages to arrive to which
they still charged us for despite arriving later than promised making it a pointless addition to our meal. It is considerably more expensive than Passage to India by an average of three pounds
more per curry.
Despite Passage to India being run like a complete shambles that night the entertainment of it all was very endearing. To compare the custom Khushi’s gets to Passage to India it’s fair to suggest that it gets easily overlooked. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood and fancy a Ruby then Passage to India is one I recommend but please prepare for the unconventional – in true Indian style!