Queen’s Spice - Reviewed by Dinertec, Apr 23, 2015

Rating: 4/5

  • 1 High Street
  • South Queensferry

I gave the Moll a call as she’s the kind of doll that can easily walk tall on the cobbled streets of Queensferry. It was time to return to a dear old friend of ours and although it was off our patch I knew the Moll would not be disappointed.

“Welcome back to the Queen’s Spice! Where have you been?” inquired mine host. “Ah’ve no’ been to London, but ah’m here tae see this auld queen,” drawled the Moll trying to play funny with the name of the restaurant.

I am a regular without the tall blonde, so she rightly looked on this as a very special treat, as indeed she should. We sat by the window in this calm oasis on the High Street. It’s number one on the High Street says the owner. And that’s also the address.

Happily settled in the Queen’s Spice, named not after the Royal Burgh of Queensferry as is often thought. My gumshoe background never fails me, so I had made inquiries and can assure you this handsome place is named after Noor Jahan. Clutching a glass of the finest Sancerre, Toots smiled and whispered: “Who’s that, then, eh?”

“Why, my dear, bend your ear, Noor Jahan is the Queen of Spice, the favourite queen of the Mogul Emperor Janhangir.” As a selection of the excellent starters began to appear before us, I revealed the Queen of Spice is credited with creating rose perfume.

One by one, the usual suspects were rounded up: peshwari naan, garlic naan, mushroom bhajee and Bombay aloo. The red spiced onion was slewn across a pack of popadoms and for a fleeting few moments, the moll and I were swept into a delightful silence. That joy was punctured as she drawled: “Wannanurra?” as she pointed at the last piece of popadom on the plate.

“Why, no, dearest one, instead I suggest we tuck into these fine dishes being delivered to our table.” Her eyes lit up and became as wide as the brim of the hat Andy Murray’s mum wore to his wedding.

A galaxy of Asia at its best descended on our table. Here we had a sharing selection of fruity chicken, lamb tikka, king prawn massallam and the sabsi Parsi special of mixed vegetables in an unmissable wedding dish.

We complemented our dining with very fine house merlot, plus a little of the finest tap water Scotland can provide.

To the smiling passers by we were sitting as a vision of contentment, radiating such satisfaction across the table. The Moll even managed a smile that made me pause for a moment before diverting her attention and snatching the last piece of chicken in the bowl.

Ever the knight in shining armour, Javid had seen this coming and promptly produced a fine plate of chicken Manchurian before the fruity reached my mouth.

Nothing common about the Queen’s Spice. “Darned right,” chuckled the femme fatale as we made our way out into the sunshine of the Ferry.

“That wis a rerr terr wis it no’?” she hummed into my ear. “Shure hen, shure it wis. We’ll dae it again soon.”