Good Things In Small Packages: Mya Restaurant, Leith

Posted at February 3, 2012 by 0 Comment

Having worked in Leith for some time we’ve made our way to a fair number of the restaurants around the Shore area, but were yet to venture to Commercial Street’s Mya, so when we were invited to lunch last Friday to have a gander we happily accepted.

SEEK

If you’re looking for warm surroundings, knowledgeable staff and a wealth of options…

Mya offers both Thai and Indian cuisine on an unusual split menu which means you can mix and match starters, sides, mains and sundries from both to create your meal.

We opted for mostly Thai dishes having been taken in by the tempting descriptions on the first few pages of the menu before we even reached the Indian section. To start, we chose the mixed starter set for two, which allowed us to try the greatest number of appetisers and seemed to provide a good mixture of textures and flavours.

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EAT

To play to the variety on offer we recommend the mixed Thai starter platter followed by one Indian and one Thai dish…

The starters came quickly and their aromas swept our way before they reached the table – an enticing mixture of lime, hot seafood and freshly fried pastry – the menu listed mixed seafood in filo (served as samosas), filo wrapped prawns, tod mun (fishcakes), hoisin duck, spring rolls and rice flour wrapped seafood though we were not served the duck, with two of each of the other five on the plate. However, we were so absorbed with the items that were in front of us that we didn’t notice those missing from the plate until writing this.

We were also served a side salad of pak choy, red pepper, cucumber and tomato with a zingy dressing which we completely finished as it was really rather good.

The starters themselves were good, with crisp pastry and flavoursome fillings; the samosa in particular was a delicious mixed seafood number with a sweet and lightly spiced filling that included baby octopus and prawn with the finely chopped vegetables that made up the crunchy parcels. The wonton had a pleasant sticky layer of rice below the pastry before the prawn in the centre was reached and it was well matched with the sweet chilli sauce and chilli vinegar dip that were served alongside. The prawn pieces were nice, though not quite as well executed; the prawn in filo pastry was slightly overcooked giving a rubbery texture and the prawn in a sticky marinade just didn’t make much of an impression, lacking any distinct flavour outside of the prawn itself and salt. The remaining fishcakes, however, had a good meaty texture encased in crunchy batter and were just the right size to polish off in two bites.

Our plates were whisked away shortly after we finished and then it was on to main courses and a selection of sides. With a long standing love of Chicken Satay, Emily settled on this as soon as it was spied on the menu, Georgia decided to venture over to the Indian menu and ordered the Tandoori Murgh; marinated spring chicken cooked in the tandoor and served on a sizzling platter. When we ordered, the staff helpfully informed us that the tandoori dish was served on the bone so could be ordered ‘as is’ or that you could opt for pieces of chicken instead, though we stuck with the former. We then selected two Thai side dishes, the sweet potato fritters as recommended on the menu footer and a tofu and vegetable dish.

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The mains arrived with some excitement on our part, the tandoori chicken sizzling loudly on the cast iron platter and smelling wonderful, served with another of the crunchy pak choy salads, though this time accompanied by a fantastic fresh mango, ginger and lime sauce on the side.

The chicken satay arrived with less fanfare and was a rather more muted dish than the tandoori chicken on several levels.

As it was lunchtime we intentionally hadn’t ordered rice or bread, preferring to sample the side dishes instead and avoiding an afternoon of sleepy stupor as can happen after a big meal on a Friday. However, the satay portion was made up of just three skewers of chicken and a dish of sauce. With no garnish or other elements on the plate and at a higher price point than the tandoori chicken dish, this seemed slightly lacking, especially when viewed alongside the tandoori chicken in all its glory.

The chicken on the skewers was well cooked and the marinade very mild but tasty enough, lightly flavoured with turmeric, ginger and yoghurt. The satay sauce however was not quite as expected; it seemed overwhelmed by the coconut cream leaving it quite runny, sweet and lacking the thick nutty texture, taste and colour that we’d hoped for. Given how good the sharp and fragrant mango accompaniment that had come with Georgia’s side salad was, Emily ended up eating most of the skewers with that, which matched the meat nicely.

The tandoori chicken provided a burst of colour in comparison to the subtle, elegant Thai cuisine preceding it. The sizzle and steam of the hot plate died down to uncover a substantial portion of well marinated chicken lying on a bed of nicely seasoned peppers and onions. The spice of the chicken was not strong, but enough to brighten the dish, and the mango accompaniment cooled and refreshed each mouthful well.

The sweet potato fritters were well made and had a pleasingly soft inside that contrasted well with the crisp batter. They were served with the same sauce as the satay chicken, however, and we both agreed that a spicy sauce that contrasted with the sweet potato would have been a better fit. The other tofu side dish had chunks of the bean curd with a firm outer edge and soft yielding interior texture as you bit into it from the tofu being cut again after frying and added to the other ingredients. It had deep umami notes from the caramel coloured sauce that enrobed it; the familiar tang of nam pla balanced with sweet spring onion and red pepper.

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CELEBRATE

Good service, delicious accompaniments and catering to many tastes

On the whole, the dishes were well cooked from a technical perspective, presented nicely, and accompanied by strong side dishes and salads. Understandably, as Mya is catering to the sometimes-sensitive British palate, not all dishes are intended to be hot, but we were looking for a more significant presence of chilli in some of our dishes, and sometimes the depth of flavour and spice that we expected from the cuisines of Thailand and India lacked. However, the staff were attentive, friendly and knowledgable about the dishes, and so for those that like spicier meals it would be worth asking for recommendations or stating this preference when ordering.

Cost

Average cost for two courses with sides and drinks: £25-35 per person

To visit Mya’s website:

http://www.myarestaurant.co.uk

Follow Mya on Twitter

Like Mya on Facebook

Photo Credit: Georgia Artus

Sponsored post: This review was made possible by Crimson Edge PR.

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About Emily

I like to experiment with ingredients and make something new and exciting with things otherwise old and familiar. Food is a big part of my day to day life and in the family so it's always very social - nothing better than good food and good company to make time fly. I'm something of a competitive cook and like to perfect my own versions of recipes through trial, error and practice so weekends are usually filled with one food-based project or another, and making a lot of mess... I geek out over: Old Cookbooks, Unusual Ingredients, Bread Making Twitter: @trudy_peaches

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