Published On: Sun, May 13th, 2012 at 7:50pm

Restaurant preview – Spice Lounge Kitchen

By Mark A Brown

Drum Brae’s Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow…

Shamy Singh invited me to join him at a table to discuss his new venture in the heart of Drum Brae, the Spice Lounge Kitchen.

Immaculately turned out, Singh’s reflects on his decision to transform the site of the old Rainbow Bar on Drum Brae South, into a 96 cover restaurant serving luxury Indian cuisine.

“I used to drive past the building when it was closed up, and couldn’t help thinking how much of an eyesore it was in the area - that’s what kind of attracted me to the place. I was fed up with the reputation it had too. I want to bring it back to what it was like in the late 70′s – it was the place to be!”

He’s a local lad too. Singh was a pupil at Royal High School. ”I want Spice Lounge Kitchen to be a place where fellow locals can come in and  enjoy themselves, amongst friends and family – that is what we strive to do.  By providing the right atmosphere, as well as the food & quality of service, the community can get together.”

Singh’s passion for the community is reflected in his desire for providing fine Indian cuisine for the hungry masses.  Tonight’s event is a ‘soft touch’ opening night, where the host has invited members of local community organisations along to sample a selection of what will be on offer when the restaurant opens its doors to the public.

A feast of food was on display for the local guinea pigs; it was Singh’s opportunity to show what he is capable of.  And he didn’t disappoint.  From a mixture of pakora to samosa, butter chicken to jalfrezi, the 30 or so who took up the generous offer to sample what’s in store were, like me, very impressed with the quality and flavours on offer.

Singh aims to cater, literally, for the broad church he seeks to serve. “I’ll be offering 3 different types of menus.  On the Restaurant side, we’ll have A la Carte fine dining. Meanwhile, in the Bar, we will have a Tapas Menu and a Bar menu.  Within that, 70% of the food on offer will be predominantly Indian, with 30% a mix of steak, fish, pasta dishes etc.”

The restaurant even boasts its own dessert chef, all of which are made on the premises. “Masterchef quality” boasts the modest Singh!

At the bar, table service is in operation. Champagne, beers, cocktails are all on offer, or you can choose from the wide range of hot drinks to fruit smoothies.  He’s really thought of everything.

Singh’s energy is reflected in his decision to put a big investment in the area.  Lots of money has clearly been spent transforming the boarded up boozer to a tastefully decorated family restaurant.

He wants his customers to shape the future. He has brought his idea to the community and he wants their feedback in sharing the success. ”If there’s something we are doing well, tell everyone else – but if there is something we aren’t doing, tell me.  I could have simply give the place a lick of paint, threw open the doors and started serving - but that’s not my style.”

Style and substance are clearly high up on Shamy’s agenda.  Spice Lounge Kitchen will be one of the hot tickets in town. I’m looking forward to it already.

The final coat of paint is being applied and the menus are being finalised.  Spice Lounge Kitchen is set to officially open (daily,
11am til Midnight) by the end of May. Check out their website for further information: www.spiceloungekitchen.co.uk

Our reviewer Mark A Brown was a candidate for Drum Brae/Gyle Ward at the recent local authority elections. He was close but not close enough to getting a seat on the council.

About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born Freelance multimedia journalist, always available for commissions!

Displaying 7 Comments
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  1. Ray Sheerin says:

    My wife and i have now been twice in the last fortnight to the Spice Lounge Kitchen. The first time was just out of intrest, to see the changes made to the old rainbow and to give it a try. Both of us were astounded, the difference is huge, the whole feel of the place has been transformed. We were greeted by Shamy at the door and from that first introduction we were treated superbly. The food is excellant, the service faultless and the experience one to be savoured.
    The second time was as the first, we are delighted to have found an excellant restaurant on our doorstep that not only offers superb cuisine but the space to relax and have a drink in comfort, in the bar section.
    Both of us can’t recommend the Spice Lounge Kitchen highly enough.
    Ray and Angie Sheerin.

  2. john mcilwraith says:

    i visited the restaurant on sunday 17th june 2012 with my 12 yr old son ! i informed staff that we had a table booked for 19.30hrs and i would be joined by a further 3 adults and asked for a separate bill for my self and my son, the three adults would have a separate bill ! this was ignored when the bill arrived !
    we were invited to the table at 20.15hrs – not acceptable !
    the menu is not extensive with maybe 5/6 starters and the main courses divided into chicken, meat and prawn – and again only 5/6 dishes in each section !o
    on ordering both my sons, and my first choices were ‘not available’ and of the other three adults – two additional courses were also ‘ not available !
    so for a table of five diners – four separate dishes not available ! not acceptable !
    the waiter asked on taking our orders if he could bring popadums and a pickle tray to which we agreed – these failed to appear !
    we also ordered three glasses of water with ice – these were brought to the table when we had all finished the meal !

    what we did eat was pleasant enough – but the level of service was very poor indeed for a new establishment !

    i will certainly not be returning !

    john and oliver

  3. mike scotland says:

    Thought i would take my wife out for a meal and make it something different from the usual.
    I firstly made a reservation via phone but the man that answers struggles to understand what i am saying, i had to call back 3 times in order to made a simple booking. Putting that aside when i arrived the decor and feel is nice, until the waiters come up who just seem to want you to order straight away and know very little about the dishes. Food time took over 20 mins but not bad considering they have just opened. Would i visit again probs not only because staff have attitude problems and prices a little high for nothing special. A good bet is the indian restaurant down the road or khushies is never a fail. Other reviews of the spice lounge are pretty on par with my thoughts, i just wanted a good meal out 4/10 for me.

  4. jim patterson says:

    Have been to Spice Lounge a couple of times now and i have found the owner very friendly and chatty which nowadays i find rare. The staff are friendily and if asked any questions thay answer professionaly. The menu is vast and very excellent value for money and as for taste it is clearly the best i have ever had. Having been a few times once with partner and once with a group of 10 even thou sat upstairs for the 10 the service wasa still flawless and nothing was a problem for thw waiters. We will def be going back again as it far the best indian i have been to and prob will ever go to. Well done Shamy and your staff keep up good work

  5. c.stewart says:

    would you publish a sample menu on your website it would be most useful

  6. We have given a link to the restaurant’s own website where we think they may have a menu. Do let us know what you think if you get along to try it out!

  7. mrj4ck says:

    As I have been to spice lounge when it was busy I still found it hard to believe the flawless service. on arrival we got told by the bar man it would be roughly 30mins for our table. As it was a Saturday we happily waited in the bar but lo and behold the same barman got us a table in the function area within 10mins. The bar was extremely busy but he managed to set it up seat us and still take our order as well as having a good bit of banter with us as well as the 5 other tables in that area. So marks out of 10 i would have to give a 10 as food service decor and management are all nice polite and nothing is ever too much.

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