Press Release - The Verandah

Press Release of Best Local Indian Restaurant in Dalry Road Edinburgh EH11

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

October 27th 1988

CLIFF RICHARD ATE MY CARNATION!

An astonished restaurant boss couldn't believe his eyes as pop star Cliff Richard polished off a tandoori chicken meal.

For his choice of dessert was a juicy... RED CARNATION!

Startled Wali Tasar Uddin, 36, of the Verandah Restaurant in Edinburgh's Dalry Road, said yesterday he was standing behind the bar when he saw Cliff pop the flower into his mouth.

Wali said the star had eaten there regularly and fixed up a special menu for him and 15 others in his party following a show at the City's Playhouse last Friday.

Then the pop star thanked his host and ate the red carnation on the left. He added: "He enjoyed his chicken tikka massallam with hot vegetable dishes and dry white wine.

PUZZLED

"He wrote his thanks in the visitors' book - and then ate the carnation.

"I don't know why he should eat one of my carnations and I didn't ask him or his friends.

"He's a good customer and I hope he'll be back next time he's in Edinburgh.

"But I'm very puzzled and I've been asking other customers why he might have eaten it. Nobody has any idea.

"I've never seen any other customers eat a flower before and l don't fancy trying one myself."

Last night, Cliff was in Manchester where he was unavailable for comment. But his managing director, Malcolm Smith, laughed last night: "I'll ask Cliff about it but I am not aware that he has changed his diet.

"I've never known him to eat a flower before. It's a good laugh and I think Cliff will enjoy the story."

By DUNCAN ORKNEY

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11
Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Wednessday 28th September 2002

THE NAN THAT CAN

The Verandah Tandoori Restaurant
17 Dalry Road, Edinburgh
Telephone: 0131-337 5828

Quick critique:

Food: Ubiquitous Indian selection, with a better than average emphasis on fish dishes, such as pungash, and boat, flown in from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh.

Wine: Comprehensive range devised by Cockburns of Leith, including good value French classics such as Crozes Hermitage of some pedigree.

Ambience: Slightly weary stab at the last days of the Raj, with languidly swirling ceiling fan, floating candles and wooden-slatted venetian blinds along one wall.
Cost: £55.35, including wine and coffee

INDIAN restaurants come and go more frequently than the 33 bus. So it takes a certain determination and staying power to gain a permanent place in the hearts and minds of Edinburgh curryholics. The Verandah, opened by Wali Udin in 1981, has donejustthat. It may still be clinging stoically to the same wooden venetian blinds, circling ceiling fan, rattan-backed chairs and the, by now, somewhat jaded photographs of waiters alongside Clint Eastwood, Jmran Khan and Cliff, but the standard of food served is enduring. (A further judgment on that is the fact there was only one table unoccupied.)

We settled down to a Bangladeshi banquet that started with butterfly king prawns fried in butter and served with spices, and mach kebab, which is diced haddock cooked with garlic, ginger and coriander.

Next up, with a bottle of Crozes Hermitage 2000 Domaine de Champs Morel close at hand, we plumped for mixed tandoori, and methi gosht, with savoury side

portions of sag aloo, keema mattar, some rice, a chapati or two and one dessert, the ubiquitous gulab jamon. The last is home-made cottage cheese balls deep-fried in syrup and served with cream (if our dietician is reading this - yes, it is a cholesterol timebomb, but needs must).

The gorgeouslyfresh mach came in a dark red tempura-style batter that was feather-light, the fish falling apart on the fork, and the prawns succulent and huge. Overcooked king prawns can swiftly become cheugh, but here they were timed to perfection.

There is an expert hand at the tandoor too, with the mixed tandoori selection holding chicken, lamb tikka kebab, sheek kebab, chicken tikka and tandoori king prawn, all of it dripping with succulence, the dark, red torpedo-shaped sheek particularly standing out with an immense flavour-burst.

The mince lamb mattar dotted with green peas was also a texture revelation, as was the methi gosht, fall-off-the-bone tender lamb cooked to a sweetness in that wondrous herb fenugreek.

Endeavour to sample the Verandah nan. The time the tandoor-wallah gives these unleavened loaves the size of snowshoes is critical and the smoky, crispy result had.

exceptional flavour. In fact, so delicious were they, we mentioned it to the manager, one Foysol Choudhury, who confided through huge grins that one woman customer makes the pilgrimage to Haymarket every Saturday for a curry, but she has told them it is their nan she cannot live without.

The Verandah menu holds all the usual suspects such as pakora, somosa, lamb pasanda and bhuna, pathia and dhansak. But explore further and you will discover dishes such as gingery murgh-e-ada, amer murgh (chicken cooked with mango pulp), kurma badami made with curd cream, and palok gagor, which is fresh spinach, carrots and cashew nuts in herbs and spices.

In fact, if you show enthusiasm for the menu, then genial Choudhury, who works the tables like the consummate pro he is, shows enthusiasm in return, even going as far as to offer us a gratis plate of one of the dishes chef Laba makes for the staff - a tangy, smoky, spicy sardines dish called sadin bhajee, with a devilish creeping heat that tookthe throat unawares. Spiced sardines? Believe it.

With more medals and awards to its name than Field Marshal Gaddafi, the Verandah thrives on consistency on the plate. And it takes its wine list extremely seriously too.

There is a huge range of liqueurs and spirits arrayed on the gantry, from mescal

to Royal Mint liqueur, Glayva to Tia Maria and even a bottle of Campari on an optic, which must say something about the place, if only to underline its colonial allusions.

Whatever you do, don't mention the Jambos - Choudhury is Hearts-daft and at the drop of a hat can give regulars a 15-minute dissertation on the subject. Without drawing breath.

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Slatted wooden blinds and a swirling ceiling fan are reminiscent of the days of the Raj. (Picture Ian Munrow)

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Casserole Tour of Britain

Smiles all around from the award winning team at the Verandah Tandoori in Edinburgh, collecting their first Routiers "Casserole" award - the only Indian Restaurant to receive this coveted award to date.

While Edinburgh sees the first ever Indian Restaurant achieving the Casserole recognition in the Verandah Tandoori Restaurant.

Photo Coutrtesy of The Scotsman Publications

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11
Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

September, 1999

Fifty hot Edinburgh places to EAT

WHERE: 17 Dalry Road, Edinburgh
TEL: 0131-337 5828/539 8777

WHEN: Seven days, lunch noon - 2.15pm, dinner 5pm-midnight

HOW MUCH: Three courses £11.60 - £20 for one

DISH TO DIE FOR: murgi tikka masallam -marinated, tandoored chicken in a sauce.

You might think it a bit tricky getting a seat in here, what with all the personalities who pop in. You may have to "shoulder" folk aside - Gavin Hastings likes a spicy plateful hem. Not only that, the Scottish cup party ended up in the Verandah after Hearts won the trophy.with photos of staff with the stars.

Dishes include prawn pun (£4.25) ci-ooked bhuna style and served on puffed bread. Main courses to get your teeth into are their superlative chicken jhalfrezie (£6.95), cooked with fresh green chili, coriander, green pepper and garnished with a touch of ginger and methi gosht (£5.95), lamb cooked with fenugreek and fragrant spices and a touch of garlic and herbs.

Cold comfort: The homemade almond kulfi ice cream (£2.45) is wizard after a curry.

Picture it: The walls are lined.

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Issue 2007

VERANDAH - BEST IN SCOTLAND

At our Awards ceremony, the Award for BEST IN SCOTLAND was ungraciously received by another Scottish restaurant in another city. We graciously therefore transfer the Award to this highly deserving and highly appreciative restaurant. It's a tiny 4-seater, and the first opened (in 1981) by Wali Tasar Uddin, MBR, JP. It is now run by his nephew, Foysol Choudhury, who describes it as'reassuringly low-key' serving northern Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine. It's a pretty, relaxing restaurant with cane chairs and bamboo-slatted wall blinds, a clever and effective illusion.. DBAC says: I first ate there, well, let me see, a very long time ago, the decorations were unfussy, in fact simple but never-the-less effective and the food served in generous portions. We continue to get many appreciative reports:

“First class restaurant by any standards. The welcome and the ambience of this establishment is all that once could wish for, when sitting down to dine. The welcome is friendly, the staff attentive and the food is flavoursome and well prepared. We have been before and do recommended it. We are fortunate in having restaurant so this calibre in Edinburgh.' ANON. '

The staff were very polite and welcoming with an excellent neat table. The candle was a beautiful touch. Been before but only for a takeaway, even better sitting in. Would definitely return. Thank you staff, you were all fabby! L.H.

‘coming here for two years, and always recommend it.' FC.

'We have been coming here for twenty five years, you may think us biased. However, although visiting once a year, we have never had a poor meal. The extremely high standard of food, delicate flavours of creamy Lamb Pasanda £6.25 and Chicken Tikka Masala £6.25, are a bench mark, which other restaurants can only hope to approach.

Even after a years absence, the warm family welcome sets the mood for an excellent experience. Portions generous, menu extensive and meals very reasonably priced.' ckl. I visit quite often, always friendly, excellent food, prices reasonable. Everything is clean, including the toilets. There is no background music, which is very good, as I am hard of bearing. Friends and colleagues always impressed.' ADK. '

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Second to none.' PS.

You have to visit their website to see the array of stars who have visited here; to name just two: Clint Eastwood and Cliff Richard. Weekday Lunch Menu: £5.95 per person. Menu Snapshot: Mach Kebab £2.95 - fish cooked with garlic, ginger and coriander leaf; Amer Murgh £5.95 - chicken cooked with mango pulp, cream and mild spices; Palok Gagor Cashew Nut £3.95 - fresh spinach, carrots, nuts, medium hot, Delivery: £15. Hours: 12-2.15/5-12am.

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Friday March 21, 1986

EDINBURGH EATS BETTER

Healthy competition keeps down prices, ensures more variety.

MORE restaurants, more variety in styles of cooking and the possibility of lower prices in a city where costs are controlled partly by healthy competition, partly because there is a large middle-class dining out market, and partly because there is a fat tourist supply - in short, Edinburgh eats better.

Until the end of 1985 a new Edinburgh restaurant was serving food of superb quality, Interestingly prepared and presented for a lunchtime fiver. In 1986 you will have to pay an additional 75p for the kind of fixed price lunch worth travelling for.

Edinburgh surely is spoiled for choice and unless I just printed a list there would not be room without elastic pages to do everywhere justice.

What follows must therefore be arbitrary but before looking at two restaurants in some detail it is worth mentioning that you can eat the best Indian food in Scotland at the Verandah Tandoori in Dalry Road.

By Raymond Gardner

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

September 15th 1990

Your Capital guide to eating out and what's on at the cinema.

CLINT Eastwood made Wall Uddin’s day recently when, unannounced, he ambled into his restaurant, The Veranda in Dairy Road, for an Indian nosh. This week good sport Wall in turn made our Grand Slam rugby heroes’ night with a belated Grand Slam celebration banquet.

Holidays and honeymoons prevented a full turn-out but Gavin Hastings, who accepted a suitably inscribed silver salver from Wall, was there along with Iwan Tukalo, Kenny Mime and Derek Turnbull. Some like it hot.

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11
Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

May 9th 1992

YOUR WEEKLY GUIDE TO THE VERY BEST IN CAPITAL FOOD & DRINK

CATCH A CURRY IN EDINBURGH

Virtually next door is another excellent Indian restaurant. The Verandah. Wali Uddin has owned it since 1981. when the fashion for red wallpapered Indian restaurants was, he felt, on the wane. He instigated a totally different style, both of interior design wicker chairs and matching blinds and of food. The dishes (a blend of North Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine) are simple, yet of the highest quality; the service is impeccable. This combination has led it to win numerous awards, the latest being "Les Routiers" Casserole Award, for the fifth consecutive year. Lamb Passanda, Murgh Massalla (chicken with spicy minced meat) and tandoori dishes are great favourites with regular customers. Their Naikoli Nan (nan bread with a layer of coconut, sugar and cream) is unusual and delicious, as is their Kulfi, either mango or coconut flavoured. "Banda Gobi" is a dish often served at a "special night" to celebrate Christmas or the Grand Slam (infrequent! or Valentine's day. It is a roll of home-made cheese, which is spiced and deep-fried, then served tucked under a blanched Savoy cabbage leaf, both original and tasty.

It is little wonder The Verandah continues to win awards at national level and also attract regular customers by the droves, for their exceptional food and service..

By Sue Lawrence

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

October 29th 1993

YOUR WEEKLY GUIDE TO THE VERY BEST IN CAPITAL FOOD & DRINK

Indian style for winter warmth

INDIAN food always appeals greatly to me, particularly with the onset of the cold weather. There is nothing better than something hot and spicy (but not too spicy) when the wind is blowing a gale outside.

Here are some essentials to cooking and eating good Indian food, whatever the weather.

Grinding your own spices is intrinsic to good Indian cooking. Old jars of spices lurking at the back of your larder will taste stale and musty and certainly do nothing for the other splendid ingredients you have planned for the dish.

Either grind whole spices yourself (it is easiest in a coffee machine or small grinder) or buy them freshly ground from a whole-food or specialist Asian shop. Some recipes call for the spices to be ground to a paste, so a pestle and mortar is usually better for this. Many spices can be dry-roasted: this means toasting them in a dry frying pan, without any oil or fat, to bring out their flavours and aromas. Keep your eye on them, though, or they will burn.

Once you have chosen your recipes, decide what accompaniments to serve. Rice is the obvious choice, but I cannot resist naan bread, which also has the advantage that you can break off huge chunks and dip it into your fellow diners' dishes too.

This is, by the way, the authentic way of eating Indian food anyway (without cutlery)- although only the right hand should be used; the left is considered unclean.

The best naans, I think, are at The Verandah Restaurant in Dalry Road. Their Peshwari Naan (naan cooked with almonds and sultanas), or Naikoli Naan, which is flavoured with coconut, have to be tasted to be believed.

If you cannot face a long spice-grinding session, here is a recipe for cheats; you use, some bought tikka paste, but as long as yo use a reliable name, the flavour should be fairly authentic.

Serve with lots of cooling raita (yoghurt and cucumber salad), naan, dhal (spiced lentil) and pulao rice.

Easy Chicken Tikka

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 rounded tbsp tikka paste
4 fl oz natural yoghurt
salt
I tsp sugar
4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned coriander leaves, to garnish

Method

1. Mix together the tikka paste with the yoghurt, sugar and a little salt. Prick the chicken all over, with a fork, then place in dish.
2. Pour over the yoghurt marinade and leave, covered, for two hours.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place under a hot grill for about 30 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. (Test with tip of a sharp knife; if the juices run clear, it is done). Serve at once, garnished with some fresh coriander leaves.

By Sue Lawrence

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11

Thursday, October 28th 1993

Your Capital guide to eating out and what's on at the cinema.

Bangla's Best

EATING OUT

"WHETHER you have visited us before, or this is your first Verandah experience, we can wish for little more than that you feel the warmth of our welcome and taste the magic of our kitchen" - the words of Wali Uddin, dedicated to filling Scottish stomachs with the best of Bangladesh.

We sampled from the Thali selection, complete(and filling) meals offering small portions of different dishes from the menu, served in small bowls. My Mixed Thali comprised substantial, luscious King Prawn Pathia, a remarkably distinguished Chicken Tikka Masallam, Lamb Rogan Josh, brilliant Chana (Chick Peas) Masallam, Pulao Rice, Chapati and Chutneys, and Madam's dishes included Keema Motor, Lamb Pasanda, Mixed Vegetable Bhajee and Tandoori Roti.

There are six Thalis, plus Tandoori specialities, Pungash and Boal fish delicacies, selected dinners, vegetarian dishes, side dishes and a two-page extravaganza of Bangladeshi and North Indian platefuls well known to Edinburgh curry eaters - Bhuna, Dhansak, Kurma, Kashmir Chicken.

PS: Sample the Prawn Puri starter (£4.25). It's remarkable, as is the understated decor, the wooden-slat wall-coverings catching the eye.

And there's a fair range of beers and lagers, including Indian Cobra.

The Bill

Non Vegetarian Thali £13.95
Mixed Thali £16.95. Wine: silky smooth,
Easy drinking Bin 555 Shiraz £10.65.

Total £41.55

Ratings out of Ten

Choice (range of menu) 9
Taste 9
Service 10
Atmosphere 9

A WARM WELCOME:
that's the promise of the spicy menu at The Verandah.

Bill Clapperton

Press Takeaway The Verandah Restaurant EH11