The Radhuni is an absolutely superb Indian restaurant in Loanhead, a small town in Midlothian that stands just to the west of the valley of the River North Esk, just to the east of the Pentland Hills, and just to the south of the Edinburgh City Bypass. With amazing food, fantastic service and great surroundings, this is a restaurant it's worth travelling to enjoy and we are very pleased that, having discovered it for this review, it's within a reasonable range of where we're based. We visited for lunch and we walked out thinking that we'd both just enjoyed one of the very best lunches we could remember. We will certainly, as someone once said, "be back": and probably very soon.
The Radhuni really is that good. They say on their extremely stylish website that: "The word ‘Radhuni’ means ‘passionate cook’, and that passion comes with every mouthful. From sourcing the best ingredients to providing smart service, we’ve designed an experience that’s as much about relaxing in a peaceful setting as it is taking in a memorable dining experience." We tend to take promotional blurbs with a pinch of salt: in this case you get exactly what you've been promised.
It had been quite a while since we'd been in Loanhead and as we drove into the centre from the direction of the Edinburgh bypass, we knew that we were looking out for The Radhuni on the right, not far short of the traffic lights at the end of Clerk Street. What we found was a little surprising. The street frontage is not much more than twice the width of the front door. How could the restaurant we were imagining, that we'd seen interior pictures of, really lie behind that door? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We parked nearby and walked back to the restaurant. Beyond the front door is a welcoming entrance area that leads through to... Well, talking of somewhere as a TARDIS is a rather overused trope, but The Radhuni really is one. Beyond the entrance, The Radhuni opens out into a very large, beautifully decorated and exceptionally clean space that is both much broader than you could imagine possible and very deep. It's even deeper if you take the large garden dining area at the rear into account.
As already noted, we called in for what turned out to be an exceptional lunch. Lunch is served from 12pm to 2pm from Tuesday to Saturday. The Radhuni is also open for evening meals six days per week (it is closed on Mondays) and it is open from 2pm to 10pm on a Sunday. The lunch menu we ordered from offers two or three courses for fixed prices. There's plenty of choice, with five starters and twenty mains on offer, plus a thali option, various accompaniments and ice cream or coffee. The children's menu ranges from chicken tikka kebab and chips to chicken nuggets or fish fingers and chips, so there's plenty on offer to bring the smaller members of the family into the Indian dining experience gently.
The à la carte menu is available at lunch or dinner time and gives an even wider choice. We counted sixteen non-vegetarian starters on offer, plus nine vegetarian starters; seven tandoori dishes; around thirty-five "Radhuni specialities"; seventeen "Radhuni classics"; four balti dishes; seven biryanis; thirteen vegetarian main courses; plus side dishes, European dishes; rice dishes; breads; riatas; and poppadoms. Or you could really push the boat out and pre-book a "Kurzi lamb dinner for four people". The menu describes it as "a very special feast" and it does look like it! The menus note that no processed beef, chicken or lamb is used: "we only use 100% meats in all our dishes". There is also comprehensive information about dietary needs and allergens. This is dining the way it should always be done!
It's worth noting for completeness that The Radhuni offers "Sunday banquets" and also does deliveries - to a list of locations within six miles - and collections.
With such a broad menu, what we chose to eat - and enjoyed so much - can only give a glimpse of what's on offer. The poppadoms and chutney/onions/pickle combination was a great way to set the meal up. For starters we chose an outstanding chicken tikka kebab and equally good onion bhajis. For mains we went for two contrasting styles, a chicken korma and a chicken jalfrezie. They have to be up there with the very best Indian dishes imaginable. The quality of the ingredients really comes through, as does the care with which the dishes are prepared. Add in attentive but non-intrusive service and... yes, this has to be a contender for the best lunch we've ever eaten. As we've said, we will certainly be back!