Mango Lassi. To settle my nerves at having travelled so far out of my comfort zone to far away Richmond, this was perfect. Smooth and creamy. A good calming influence.
Sand island, mango, passion fruit, papaya and orange. My dining companion went for something sweet yet refreshing. As much as I usually find frivolous paper umbrellas, frivolous, it was a useful pick to pick up the orange. Such liquid refreshments aside, next came more solid things.
Machli Amritsari, fish fillets with flavor of Ajwain spice. Light and succulent with delicate spicing these were perhaps dusted with a little too much little herbs for me. Yet perhaps this was a good thing as the strong flavours of the rest of the meal would have otherwise been overwhelming.
Chatpata Wings, tangy and spicy cooked to a secret recipe. After a bite, I can see why they don’t tell anyone how these are made as these were some of the best chicken wings that I have ever had. Forget about all those speciality chicken shops trying to cater to modern petty tastes, this is where you should go instead. A combination of spices with drumlets butterflied to make eating easier, these were excellent.
Chicken Mongolian, fenugreek and peanuts. The nuts and fenugreek gave a deep earthy taste to the chicken bringing to mind thoughts of food made in rural villages where things don’t get much more (and much as I hate using this cliched word, I think it is best used here), authentic. Eating the chicken with deep nutty herby flavour, I almost felt like I was eating something in Delhi.
Chilli garlic, mushroom, cauliflower, mogo ,stir fried in special chatpata garlic sauce. This was the biggest surprise as this was vegetarian. It tasted anything but. When the first bite entered my mouth, I remarked (with mouth half full) to my friend that this felt like meat. The springiness of the mogo brought to mind beef tendons which I would lovingly search out when in Asia. Yet, if more vegetarian food was like this, I might willingly follow my father into a herbivore lifestyle.
Methi Chicken, cubes of chicken cooked with fresh fenugreek leaves. I am starting to develop a taste for fenugreek. It has a distinctive nutty taste which added some excitement to that much maligned cut of meat, the chicken breast.
Lamb Roganjosh, a Kashmiri delicacy. Lamb cooked in tomato and onion based gravy. Meaty yet delicate, rich yet not sickly so, this was an example of how a good curry is done especially with the requisite fire leading to a bit of sweating.
Yellow Dal Tarka, lentils cooked with fresh herbs tempered with garlic, cumin and chilli. If I could only use one word to describe this it would be smooth. With careful spicing, this vegetarian curry provided great counterpoint to the heavier curries that went before.
Pulao Rice. With a mix of spices, onions and shallots, crunchy yet spongy, it was a great base to mop up the sauces.
Garlic Naan. Garlic is one of my favourite things. Bread too. As such, rarely would this combination go down badly with me and this surely did not.
Peshawari Naan. With a delightful sweet centre, this was catering to a different set of taste buds. Not to let the sweet part of my tongue go unexercised, this helped to ensure that bitter, umami, sour, salty and finally sweet were not left out.
At this point, in my moment of greatest weakness, I was asked about whether I wanted to dessert. Summoning a Herculean effort, I fought through my haze of confusion and dining etiquette. I knew that if I had as much as even a single more bite, it was likely to be terminal. Not to my health (although it would not be best for my image) but to my reputation. There was just too much already in processing. As another reason, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. A bit too much indulgence can sometimes be somewhat fatal to good memories. So this is why I stopped here to make sure that only pleasant memories remained. I guess I’ll have to go back for dessert.
A quiet eating 8.5/10.
We were invited to review. Lunch estimated cost (2 courses equivalent) was GBP20 per person excluding drinks and service.
181 Twickenham Rd,
Isleworth TW7 6AB