The Mosque Kitchen
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Quick, cheap and tasty – if you’re after affordable curry without the wait, then this no-frills canteen-style Indian restaurant will hit the spot
A full belly, and change from a fiver. That’s the main draw of The Mosque Kitchen – a no frills, queue-up-with-a-tray, canteen style set- up, with plastic cutlery and plastic plates. The owners aren’t angling for anything more ambitious than filling up their customers with cheap and tasty Indian food – and the curry is good, so, as mission statements go, they deliver. (They don’t actually deliver, just to be clear. But, you can get takeaway.)
While we’re on the subject of clarity, this particular Mosque Kitchen is not to be confused with The Original Mosque Kitchen, which is about two minutes’ walk away, on Potterrow. For the full story behind the two restaurants, and which in fact was the ‘original’ mosque kitchen, it’s probably best to consult the internet, where the controversies and confusions seethe on. For simplicity’s sake, The Mosque Kitchen first began in the ’80s, and was originally a pit stop for Muslim congregations after prayers, where it served up rice and curry for £2.
In 2001, the owners decided to improve Islamic relations with the community, and open the kitchen to non-Muslims. On most days, it’s packed with students, tourists, Muslims on their way to or from the mosque, bargain- lovers, curry-fans, or people sheltering from the rain between Fringe shows. Dishes include a small selection of piping hot – not overly spicy or fancy, but still delicious – chicken, lamb and vegetable curries to choose from, as well as kebabs, tandoori chicken legs, dahl and vegetable side dishes. The fridge is packed full of juices and bottled lassis, and the wait to be served is never longer than a few minutes.
A three-course buffet is available on Fridays for a tenner, but avoid 12.50- 1.50pm when the restaurant is closed for Friday prayers. Like they say on the website, it’s tasty curry in a hurry. Simple.