For a business to last even a few years in today’s competitive climate is good going. To still be in there 20 years after you first opened is a sure sign that you are doing something right.
Having said that, there’s no magic tricks to it, it’s just a case of giving customers what they want.
In the case of a restaurant that’s good food, in nice surroundings and at reasonable prices ... with a friendly welcome helping too.
Queen’s Spice has been a fixture in South Queensferry for two decades, one sign it has managed to find that mix.
We were there on a midweek night - damp, cold and miserable. One of those nights it’s a thought to pull yourself away from the central heating, couch and TV.
The fact that there was a steady stream of people dropping in - ones who clearly knew their way around the menu - was more evidence that the folk who run Queen’s Spice have got it just right.
Manager Kabir has been with Queen’s Spice since it opened, working his way up to running the show, and a very efficient operation it is.
A sign that the restaurant has become a bit of a Queensferry institution is the pride he takes in the fact that the children of those customers from those early days are now coming in with their own children.
The restaurant has a range of offerings, from lunchtime specials, carry-out and a selection of ‘banquets’ which take a bit of the stress out of choosing from an interesting and extensive menu. During the summer you can dine outdoors ... definitely not tonight, though.
There’s not the space here to give you a real reflection of all that’s on offer, suffice to say a good mix of old traditional favourites, new takes on well-known dishes as well as a selection of creations from their hugely-experienced kitchen staff.
With the obligatory poppadoms and onions preparing the way, I went for Sabzi Pakora, a quite dense but delicious mix of vegetables in batter. Myra’s chana puri was the hit, chick peas cooked with fresh herbs and a touch of lemon, served with puffed fried bread – she’s now wondering if she could make it herself. We’ll see.
My garlic chilli lamb was what it said on the tin, hot spicy and delicious. Myra declared her prawns in garlic with a mushroom bhajee side wonderful.
I liked the slices of orange, served as a palate cleanser, before rounding off with delicious Indian style ice cream.
It’s a few miles to South Queensferry, but a journey well worth making.
Queen’s Spice, 1 High Street, South Queensferry, 0131 331 4300