Daika Kanm, Edinburgh


Daika Kanm

3 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW

0131 225 1329  www.daika.co.uk


The Bill

 A la carte

Starters  £8.60 - £10.50 | Mains £17.95 - £22.85

Desserts £6.50 - £8.95

The Score

Cooking  4/10 | Service 3/5

Flavour  3/5 | Value 3/5

TOTAL 13/25

A confession. The Johnston family owes an apology or two to the good people of Kurdistan. Me first. I changed barber after The Great Plague, as my local place mysteriously failed to reopen. Which part of Turkey are you from? I asked innocently. Fortunately my (Kurdish) man was in a good mood, but I did see his eyes dart towards the cut throat razor. Then there was the time when L was looking for people to befriend a couple of refugee pupils who arrived at her school from Kurdistan. Discovering that they spoke some Turkish, she entrusted them to a couple of kids from Istanbul so they could have people to talk to.

The apology? Well, Turks and Kurdistanis hate each other. Think oil and water, Rangers and Celtic, me and inappropriately used apostrophes. Anyway, I shall report back to my tonsorial chums about eating Kurdish food here. I wish it could be a better report, but hey ho. The greatest pleasure of the night was getting to meet Lee H, founder of Edinburgh Food Review on Facebook, and influencer supreme on Instagram (@veggieburgh).

This place used to be called Hanams. Like many buildings in and around the Royal Mile, it's more rambling than you might think. There's a private dining room downstairs and a terrace where a shisha (hookah) of any flavour can be yours for a mere £18.50. A bad habit which, thankfully, passed me by. The main dining room is a pleasant, fairly capacious space. We were first in for an early dinner. A few more tables were filled later.

Whipped Feta

In middle eastern cuisine, selecting a starter provides no problem for a vegetarian. I'm glad that I reined in our order to two, as the bowls are enormous. My first taste of the whipped feta was underwhelming, but my second spoonful caught some honey and mint, which improved things no end. I make a pretty mean muhammara (with help from Mr Ottolenghi), so I was keen to see what the pros would produce. It's a dip with red pepper, chilli and pomegranate molasses. Mine zings in both colour and flavour. Sad to say, Daika's did neither.

The Slow Cooked section of the menu called to us both. I hadn't heard of Qozy Lamb. You'll also see it on menus as Quzi or Qozi. Anything slow cooked on the bone is generally a winner. There was a large portion in a thick sauce. A little one dimensional. Lee's Tapsi


was the clear winner on the night. This is slow cooked aubergine with onions, potatoes and peppers. You may also find a non vegetarian version, Tapsi or Tepsi Baytinijan, which contains meatballs. At Lee's suggestion we upgraded to pomegranate rice. Good choice. As was a completely unnecessary side dish of Fatoush, a Lebanese salad with crunchy bits of toasted flatbread. Nicely refreshing, with surprisingly decent tomatoes for the time of year, though the advertised sumac failed to register with me.

I assume you're picking up on the faint praise. With a couple of drinks there wasn't any change out of 100 quid. We both felt it was pricey, though, in fairness, what we were served could have fed four. I seldom return to places I've reviewed. I don't think I'm going to make an exception here.

Thanks to Lee for the magnificent food photographs. Unfortunately, for reasons of space I had to crop and shrink them.

Tom Eats! Write A Restaurant Review Competition

As we announced recently, the competition was won by Miranda Heggie. First prize is a meal for two with cocktails and wine at Tapa, Tom Eats! Restaurant of the Year 2023. Read the review here. The picture shows Miranda receiving her prize from Daniel Shearon, co owner of Tapa. Thanks both, and congratulations.

Tom Eats! will be back in a couple of weeks

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