Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Tippoo Sahib, Rose St, Edinburgh
I visited Tippoo's as it was advertised as being such a customer friendly restaurant and it has been in Edinburgh 30 years. I have had better customer service in McDonalds.
I entered the restaurant down the chintzy staircase, the entrance looking like a Berni Inn from 1975. My feet stuck to the floor but oh well, isn't that the good old tradition of an Indian. It got worse. The restaurant was in a sleazy, airless basement and had the atmosphere of a Jobcentre. The place was hideously decorated with a mural of Scotsmen (I thought it was an Indian) and turbaned princes.
I was presented with the menu which was in one of those folders you put your projects in at school, and it still had the remains of the previous diner's food on it, as did the tablecloth. The food on offer was plentiful and cheaper than the other restaurants on Rose St. The staff were intent on hard sell and tried to get us to order 6 popadoms (there were only 2 of us). When we ordered our mains, they kept trying to force more on us and the lady sitting behind me was in an argument with another member of staff about his sales technique.
I ordered a Vegetable Pathia, a sweet, hot and sour curry. It was really tasty and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Peshwari however was soggy and tasted like a cake. The mango lassi was a disappointment, it tasted like one of those cheap supermarket milkshakes.
We were then asked about 5 times if we wanted dessert and the staff were rude when we said no, plonking the bill down. I then had a small heart attack when I saw the bill, 3 popadoms for 4.50. A disgrace.
One month later.....
You know how it is, you're in work and you fancy a works night out. You get caught up in the planning- it has to be a central location, easy to get to, usually curry or Chinese, close to clubs, good for a loud, talkative group.....
Yep. You guessed it. I ended up in the horror that is Tippoo Sahib and the repercussions were damaging.
I didn't want to put my friends off so agreed to come along, as a night out was overdue. I entered the sleazy basement, my feet sticking to the carpet and the garish drawings on the wall seemed to be laughing at me. I was about to give these awful people my hard-earned money much to my digust. I am such a hypocrite...Plus we were a big group, they were definitely going to try and hard-sell us the dishes that were on the turn. Some of my colleagues weren't British- either they didn't know what authentic Brit curry was supposed to taste like and think it was nice, or their sophisticated continental tastebuds would cause them to mock us Brits with derision.
We ordered popadoms, they forced 18 on us, a lot of which didn't get eaten. Instead of the ubiquitous chutney dip, they bizarrely gave us a pineapple ring for reasons unbeknownst to us. Maybe it was to cleanse our palates, like the way ginger is used while eating sushi? For starters, we shared bhajis and pakoras. They were swimming in fat and reeked of supermarket frozen section. Although our bellies were full, the hard sell patter continued as they tried to sell us side orders. We refused- power in numbers, there were 9 of us to shout at them!
My main was a veg madras and it was vile. The curry tasted cheap, the vegetables looked like a leftover Xmas dinner. There was a sprout-I kid you not, a SPROUT- bobbing up and down in it and a few Netto mini carrots. The rice was the only decent thing about the meal, and I admit, the naan was ok too. Serves me right for being a hypocrite, I knew what I was letting myself in for but didn't want to spoil a grand night out. But the joke was on the shifty staff as we left no tip and were wise enough not to buy into their hard sell patter!
Sorry to spoil your appetite, but the next day I couldn't leave the house if you get my drift. And I had no Imodium at home.