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.