City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland


Average Rating:
Restaurant Photos
Photo of the Edinburgh restaurant
Restaurant profile
Edinburgh Area: 
Southside, Edinburgh
Serving times: 
Mon-Sat: 12:00-14:00, 17:30-22:30 Sun: 18:30-22:30
0131 667 9890

Long-standing popular vegetarian and Indian restaurant not far from the Royal Mile. Caters to vegans too.

The Reviews


£10 Challenge: Kalpna

Reviewed by Euan Andrews

Monday, August 9, 2010 - 1:22pm

Buffet Lunch: £7.

Justly renowned as a jewel in Edinburgh’s glittering array of Indian restaurants, Kalpna is an oasis of calm and contented diners amidst the dusty clutter and clamour of South Clerk Street. No chicken tikka masala here, however. Kalpna specialises in vegetarian cookery from all across India’s different provinces and really deserves its reputation as a vegetarian restaurant where carnivores will not miss the absence of meat.

Not only that, but an excellent lunch deal offers up Homer Simpson’s holiest of grails, an all-you-can-eat buffet at the bargain blow-out cost of £7. One small niggle was that, having been assured by the proprietors that prior booking was not necessary, Father Andrews and I were somewhat disgruntled to arrive at Kalpna to find every table in the bright and airy front room taken. We were duly shunted into a small, stiflingly warm seating area in the back room wedged between bar and buffet.

This slight annoyance was quickly forgotten as the waiter exhorted us to simply “help ourselves”. So by golly, we did. Self-service is very much the procedure here and we picked up our plates and piled them high with delights. Crisp yet moist potato fritters and samosas to nestle at the plate side, two different types of rice (boiled and pilau), spicy daal and a variety of Indian dips and dressings.

Despite this excellent selection, they were ultimately mere side dishes for what was, without question, the best veggie curry I have ever tasted. Filled with aubergines, potatoes, sweet potato and peas, this curry simply glowed with the appearance of fresh ingredients cooked to perfection in a deliciously creamy sauce. Worth the £7 alone, Father Andrews and I helped ourselves to three helpings of this marvellous feast. Any empty trays were swiftly hurried into the kitchen to be replenished by the attentive staff.

Finally, at around the point where our waistbands were visibly expanding, the buffet heaters and lights were switched off and the trays removed for the last time. We stumbled out into an overcast Edinburgh in July, more than satisfied. Kalpna is well worth a visit from anyone who loves great Indian food, vegetarian or otherwise.