Dil Se Kirkwall

Dil Se is an Indian restaurant and takeaway located on Bridge Street in the centre of Kirkwall. We had a takeaway from here twice during our recent trip, the first time on our first night – we chose the restaurant from a selection of menus in the house we were staying in, and then went back later in the week.

The menu offers a wide range of food. Spicy, mild and medium hot dishes; meat fish and vegetarian; chef’s specials and “old favourites”. There is a wide choice of starters and side dishes along with the main courses, and a good selection of rices and naan breads. One thing I love about Indian food as a vegetarian is the breadth of choice I have – generally most dishes are offered with various meats, fish and vegetarian, and Dil Se is no different. It took me as long to decide as my meat-eating dad.

While I cannot comment on the restaurant experience at Dil Se, I can say that it is certainly nicely decorated, modern and well kept. For takeaway you have to walk through the whole restaurant to the bar, which I don’t particularly like doing.

The service for takeaway was pleasant and efficient, by the same staff who wait in the restaurant. On both visits we were told our food would be about 20-25 minutes so we went for a walk. On returning to collect the order, we were met at the door with the bag of food.

Now, the food. My mum and I shared a curry both times, as she is not a big eater. We had vegetable dopiaza, which was very tasty although not as onion-y as I like it, or as it is usually served. The saag balti we had on our second takeaway was also very good, and something slightly different to what we normally have. My dads choice of lamb tikka vindaloo and chilli balti were both on the spicier end of the scale, and he thoroughly enjoyed them – but it would probably take a lot to bring a complaint from him about a curry! He did comment that the meat was perfectly cooked.

We shared rice between the three of us. First visit we had a small pilau and large boiled rice, which although it all got eaten, was really a bit too much. So the next time we only had a small portion of each which was much better.

On both occasions we also had a garlic naan bread to share, which was nice but I felt could have had a stronger garlic taste and it was a little thinner than I prefer. We also had vegetable pakora and onion bhaji. My mum wasn’t very impressed with the pakora, she felt it a little too stodgy, but my dad and I weren’t too bothered. With the pakora and bhaji we had a little tub of mint raita style dip which was rather tasty. I am partial to those little minty dips that you get with pakora etc and poppadums.

The fact that we went back again during what was only a week long holiday I think speaks for itself – generally my mum in particular doesn’t like to revisit places on holiday, even if they’re good she prefers to try lots of places.

I would definitely recommend Dil Se for takeaway, and given the food and service we received, I would also expect the restaurant to be good.

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