Mother India is generally reckoned to currently be the best Indian restaurant in Glasgow, and in 2008 they opened a branch in Edinburgh. Just off South Bridge, the restaurant has two dining areas and a menu with portions designed for "sharing", as is the fashion these days. It is quite a casual place, with no tablecloths and service that was so relaxed it was practically horizontal. The menu had a fairly long selection of familiar north Indian dishes. There was a short wine list too, with seven choices ranging in price from £17 to £21. Example labels were La Farfalla Pinot Grigio at £18 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £7, and Coin des Coquins Sauvignon Blanc/Gros Manseng at £21 compared to its retail price of about a tenner.
The best dish was fish pakora, fried fish in this case using haddock rather than tilapia, and with a clean tasting coating. Haddock has enough flavour to work well in this dish and hold its own with the spices, and was accurately cooked (14/20). This was better than garlic chilli chicken, whose small chunks of chicken lacked inherent flavour, and with a sauce that was just one dimensionally hot, though there were a few shreds of fresh ginger (11/20). Aloo gobi came with green beans as well as potato and cauliflower, and was a reasonable rendition of the dish, though the vegetables were cooked a little longer than ideal (12/20). Paratha is a difficult bread to do well: it can easily be too buttery and greasy, or go the other way and be dry and crumbly. This was a good balance, and was served fresh and hot, which it often is not (13/20). As noted, service was barely functional despite this being a very quiet early lunch with only a couple of other diners. I actually had to get up and head off to the bar to get a top up of water, the waiters being otherwise engaged with, well, something other than actually serving customers.
The bill came to £17.40 before service with just water to drink, though if you had alcohol and a dessert then a more typical cost per head would be around £40 all in. The food itself was quite reasonable overall, if rather variable in standard, but if they struggle to serve two tables of diners competently then I dread to think how slow things must be on a busy evening.Book