A Taste of the Far East: Best Asian Cuisine in Edinburgh

Asian cuisine in Edinburgh has come a long way since the first Chinese restaurants opened their doors in the 1950s. Gone are the days of endlessly repeating set menus with bland versions of classic dishes, such as the ubiquitous sweet and sour chicken made with cheap ingredients and packet sauces.

Now it is possible to sample the delights of a wide variety of Asian cultures in Scotland’s capital from the delicately spiced, hot and sour Thai dishes of Passorn or the delicious, fiery Malaysian curries at Kampung Ali. Yet it is still the case that Chinese and Indian restaurants are more predominant than those of other cultures, reflecting the large community of Chinese and Indian people now resident in Edinburgh. You can keep everyone happy at the wonderful Mintleaf, which is equally at home serving Thai food and Indian cuisine.

There are now a number of good quality Asian supermarkets in the capital making some of the more exotic ingredients a great deal easier to obtain and in turn improving the quality and variety of offerings on the dining scene. Some of the more exclusive eateries import yet more specialty ingredients directly from the east, increasing the cost and the quality of Asian cuisine available. 

Once a cheaper option, Asian cuisine in Edinburgh has been brought into the twenty-first century by bold young chefs keen to serve contemporary and avant-garde dishes, which are nonetheless inspired by the traditional cuisine of the east. 



With the Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Usher Hall nearby, not to mention the busy Lothian Road area, Jasmine is a popular Chinese restaurant. Visitors enjoy dining here before or after shows and it caters for groups of all sizes. Menu selections...  Read More



Sushiya is a small, but perfectly formed sushi restaurant which brings a little slice of Tokyo to Edinburgh. The decor is minimalist and stylish, as are the bowls and plates, with the flourish provided by the intricately prepared dishes and...  Read More



Mintleaf is an opulent Indian and Thai restaurant located in Bernard Street, close to the bottom of Leith Walk. It can be risky to try to specialize in more than one cuisine, but Mintleaf has an abundance of highly qualified chefs who ensure...  Read More



Wee Budda is a laid back bar and restaurant serving delicious tapas style Asian dishes. The entrance hall is home to a large smiling Budda. Moving downstairs there is a single cosy room furnished with reclaimed wood tables and chairs and...  Read More



Vietnam House is the charmingly laid back restaurant attached to the gallery of the same name in Grove Street. The interior is warm and welcoming and replete with colorful artworks. Beautiful woven placemats adorn the tables and paper lanterns...  Read More



If you're a big fan of really authentic dim sum dishes you'll find great quality food on offer here at great value prices. This small and unassuming restaurant is to be found just off Leith Walk and you're unlikely to think much of it looking at...  Read More



Nok's Kitchen is a wonderful Thai restaurant nestled in a cobbled street in trendy Stockbridge. The interior is beautifully decorated, but retains a warm and cosy feel. This warmth extends to the welcome and to the cuisine. Nok's Kitchen is a...  Read More



Kanpai Sushi is a hip Japanese restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh, a short walk from the Usher Hall. Winner of the Best Newcomer Award at the Scottish Restaurant Awards 2012, this sophisticated eatery has been making friends fast and looks...  Read More



Annakut is a lovely Indian restaurant in the south side of Edinburgh serving delicious vegetarian dishes. Behind a relatively innocuous facade lies an immaculately clean and comfortable interior. The leather upholstered seats are comfortable and...  Read More



Passorn ("Angel") is a relative newcomer to the Edinburgh dining scene, but has quickly earned a loyal following. Using only authentic Thai recipes (many of which are the well-guarded family treasures of the exclusively Thai chefs) and with an...  Read More


Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

After...  More About Simon