Cosy, no reservations drop-in Indian restaurant serving family recipe dishes
From Nirmal Save (formerly of Tamarind) this is a homely, kitchen-style restaurant serving family recipe dishes with influences from all over India but using British, seasonal ingredients. Although the title of the restaurant would suggest you need a pint of milk at the ready to soften the blow of the spice, I actually found the kick from the dishes quite doable (and this is coming from someone who does not normally handle spice well). This is because only the roots of fiery plants in all dishes here are used for the spice with no chili or spiced powders of any kind, giving a fresh, cleaner, kick than one might normally get with powders.
In terms of the food I liked the pick and mix nature of the tapas sized dishes and it turned out to be quite reasonable as a result as well (£27 for 5 courses essentially). The rasam ke bom shot glass of tomato soup with spiced potato inside a spherical crisp was a fun little choice and I loved the subtle pickled cauliflower with the steamed fish (and I don’t normally enjoy cauliflower!). The pengus fish steamed inside a banana leaf with mustard sauce was fresh and vibrant; the pulled duck was indeed a good recommendation from the house and I enjoyed the cheese toast (who doesn’t?) complete with Indian twist. The gem at the end was the chai custard to go with the (slightly) spiced chocolate cake (frankly I could have drunk another 3 small pots of the custard it was that good – I probably will do next time!).
I was informed by the staff and the head chef that the people often come in for just the venison doughnut and as a result they had sold out – quite an effective pitch! So, when I am next passing I will of course come in to try and ensure I get by early to ensure I can (remember, the restaruant does not take any reservations). It is rather narrow and enclosed which may not be to everyone’s liking, but I thought added a certain charm as was the whole point of it not trying to be anything other than itself. A very easy-going and unassuming place, with pride and care gone in to its offerings and very worthy of sampling if you are a fan of Indian food. A pleasing visit.
Food Grade: 71%
Location (Click google logo for directions)