Shezan Indian Cuisine, Edinburgh review

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

Shezan  – going strong and welcoming diners since 1977

Shezan, meaning ‘beautiful’ in Urdu and Arabic, has been here for over 40 years since 1977 to be precise, and we have passed by it many times, often wondering what it’s like.

The restaurant is ideally situated at the top of Leith Walk (the official address is 25 Union Place) for pre-theatre dining before a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse or the cinema at the OMNi Centre across the road, or after shopping at the brand new St James Quarter or a full day of sightseeing if you are a tourist. The tram stops nearby on York Place and a number of buses to and from Leith and Wallyford etc. stop nearby.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

As this is such a busy restaurant with a returning clientele and popularity with theatregoers, Shezan has competed for a number of awards over the years, including the British Curry Awards, the Spice awards and Curry House of the year.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

And they proudly display a selection of these on the walls. Their most recent accolade was Curry Chef of the year in 2019 before Coronavirus disrupted the restaurant industry and award ceremonies.

A la carte menu

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food Menu

The menu has grilled and tandoori dishes, biryani, vegetable dishes, samosas and a selection of bread and two types of pakora. They also have fish & chips and a small children’s menu.

Dessert Menu

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food Dessert menu

Gulab jamun, kulfi, ice cream plus chocolate fudge cake and carrot cake are all available for pudding.


Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

We had poppadoms and a pickle tray to start. Poppadom (V, VG, GF 65p each). Pickle tray (£4.95). This comes with six different ramekins of chutneys and dips which are all made in house. These are Mango chutney, Green Mint and coriander chutney, Spicy onions, Mint sauce, Chilli sauce and Tamarind sauce.

An excellent mix of flavours here, Mark picked the mint and coriander as his favourite.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

Mixed kebab (GF) £6.95 – chicken tikka, seekh kebab and lamb kebab. Special mention for the seekh kebab which wasn’t overly spiced like others we have tasted so a more balanced marriage of spice and meat. The lamb was a bit dry though so needed the dip we recommend ordering a side of raita to go with this, which also goes well with biriyani or naan.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food
Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi foodVegetable pakora (V / VG / GF) £5.95 – dense but fluffy with a crisp coating. Not greasy at all and pleasantly spiced.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

Karahi (GF) with lamb (£11.95) – flavoursome, medium spiced, tender meat topped with sliced ginger. A plentiful portion and tasty.

Masala Naan (in the background) – a spiced naan cooked in a tandoor (£4.50).

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

Prawn Biryani (GF) £13.95 – there’s a good kick to this biryani so Emma mixed some raita through the rice. This was another big portion that was happily scoffed at.

Tandoori paratha £3.50 – flaked bread, ideal for dipping into the biriyani sauce and scooping up the rice.

With our meal, we shared a bottle of Castelmarco Inzolia – Pinot Grigio 2018 white wine. A pale, straw colour and a sort of jam doughnut aroma (In Mr Foodie’s opinion anyway!), and a light neutral – slightly acidic taste making it a wine that could probably be paired with many dishes as a result.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi foodGulab Jamun and vanilla ice cream £4.50

We are big fans of gulab jamun so despite being full, we made sure to order a bowl of these with vanilla ice cream, and they did not disappoint.

Shezan Edinburgh Punjabi food

We also had a Pistachio kulfi for £4.99, which was light and creamy with a mild nutty taste.


Overall, our first visit to Shezan was excellent. An easy location for a couple of Glaswegians to get to with welcoming staff and delicious food delivered promptly. Highlights included the pickle selection, veggie pakora and both mains. The masala naan was a bit disappointing though as it tasted just like a plain naan to us. The only other suggestion we have is that the restaurant is brightly lit, which is good for food photography but with dimmed lights, the restaurant could be more atmospheric and thus more of a date-night location. Prices are good too for where it is, they do takeaway and can cater to dietary requirements. They also have certificates from the AA and Visit Scotland to show that they are COVID-19 compliant.

Toilet check – both male and female toilets were in good working order.



+ Big selection of homemade pickles
+ Well-executed pakora and curries
+ Good prices for central Edinburgh
+ Perfect location for dinner before the theatre or cinema or after shopping
+ Great location for bus and tram transport

– Masala naan didn’t taste all that different from a regular naan
– Lighting isn’t as atmospheric as it could be



25 Union Place (top of Leith Walk)

Open 7 days per week from 12 noon until 10 pm (takeaway 12 noon – 11 pm)


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Steps into the restaurant. Wide door. Staff advised that they can accommodate a wheelchair (there is another door at the side of the restaurant which could be used).



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Fred purr of honour

Disclaimer: we were invited to Shezan so did not pay for our meal.




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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