Credit: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Tuk Tuk - The Best Indian

Finding an Indian which serves authentic, rustic Indian food is almost impossible - luckily Tuk Tuk is the answer.

We first went to Tuk Tuk a couple nights before flying on holiday to India, and loved everything about the restaurant. Two weeks, 28 curries and countless dashes to the bathroom later, we all expected to want nothing more to do with spicy food, but just a week afterwards we were all in Tuk Tuk again. It is hard to give much higher praise.

On our second visit we went as a group of eight, and the lively Friday night atmosphere - undoubtably helped along by the BYOB policy - was perfect for a large group. It is nothing compared to the chaotic, madness of an Indian street, but from 7 till closing Tuk Tuk is a bustling, energetic place to be. The rustic wood tables and floor, double hight ceiling and Bollywood posters add to the authentic feel of the place.

There is a set menu which offers unlimited curry for £16.95 per person, or allternatively they recommend that you choose three to four tapas sized dishes from the menu. Six of our table went for the set menu and the amount of food for your money was amazing - not that quality was in anyway compromised. The boys, of course, were all initially over confident, assured that they would finish it. They didn’t even come close.

First were popadoms, followed by pakora (perhaps the most delicious fried vegetables ever), samosas and spring rolls. Served on two large sharing platters the starters all disappeared with frightening speed; the samosas were packed with delicious, spicy veg and juicy mince while the traditional street dish, pakora, matched anything we bought from sellers in India. Next their three chosen curries arrived: butter chicken, lamb and chickpea. Served with boiled rice, the curries were all flavoursome and unique, nothing like the fatty, over-creamy curries so often sold in Indian takeaways.

Opting out of the set menu, I had the Mumbai Burgers, Mirch Makai Dopyaza, Aloo Gobi and Tarka Dahl. As a vegetarian the choice is way more varied than most restaurants; real Indian food is often predominately veggie and this is a ‘real’ Indian restaurant. The Burgers were the best I have ever eaten: unique in flavour and with a spicy kick. After trying some, my meat eating friend then went on to order a portion (another great thing about Tuk Tuk you can keep ordering as you eat). The Mirch Makai Dopyaza and the Aloo Gobi were delicious and spicy but in no way over powering, and the Tarka Dahl was a rustic blend of black and yellow lentils. The potatoes in the Aloo Gobi were cooked to perfection. Everything is priced around the 4 - 5 pound mark meaning the meal checks in at under 20 pounds, and of course no need to buy alcohol.

Since then I have returned to Tuk Tuk with my mum and we loved it even more: halfway through our meal we ordered an extra three dishes to share. Mostly we went for repeats of the ones we loved but, feeling adventurous, we also tried the Gholgappa: the description on the menu simply reads, ‘Very famous dish from Benares, you will have to try it to experience it’. I don't want to give too much away, but it is definitely worth a try - you'll definitely be back for more.

Tuk Tuk is the best Indian I have visited in Edinburgh: the food is simple, rustic and easily comparable to everything I ate in India. Tapas style portions and a relaxed but bustling vibe make Tuk Tuk the perfect pre or post theatre destination.

Best Bits
  • Unique flavours and 'real' rustic Indian Street Food
  • Sociable tapas-style sharing portions
  • Exceptional quality at reasonable prices
  • Bring Your Own Booze Policy

1 Leven St

Eat & Drink