Out to lunch in Leith

Wednesday is curry day at Dr Bell’s Family Centre, the thriving new community centre in the heart of Leith.

Between 12 noon and 2pm you can eat freshly made vegetarian curries, cooked and served by volunteers from the women’s group Sikh Sanjog. In the first few weeks of the scheme the small cafe in the old Dr Bell’s school has rapidly filled with young mothers and local office workers keen to try the new menu.

For the other four days of the week the cafe offers soups, sandwiches and scones. But as the kitchen was closed on Wednesdays the ‘curry club’ developed as a joint venture between Sikh Sanjog, generating income for the community centre and providing experience for the volunteer chefs.

Now Steve Cochrane, cook trainer at Dr Bell’s, says the partnership is likely to continue when the month’s trial is over. As the scheme develops, income from the very economically priced meals (around £3.50 per plate) is likely to be split between the two organisations.

“It’s the kind of cross cultural partnership we hope to develop,” says Steve, “We have financed the purchase of equipment and provided space and support while Sikh Sanjog has had the opportunity to hone their skills and gained confidence and experience in running a small enterprise.”

And local people can enjoy a delicious lunch. If there isn’t room to sit down, then you can buy a carry out meal. And traditional Scottish favourites – soup and scones – are always on the menu too.

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