Indian

Indian-Restaurants-London

I have to admit when it comes to Indian restaurants, I do have a couple of firm favourites which makes it very difficult for me to go off-piste and try something new. After all, once you’ve found something you like, why look around?

Recently, I was invited to try Kishmish on Fulham Road. Goodness knows how many times I’ve passed it over the years when heading towards Fulham Broadway. It’s always been there but because I know what I like, I hadn’t thought about venturing inside.

To my surprise, inside was bigger than expected. The restaurant isn’t just what you see from outside. There’s a whole other area that makes up more than half of the restaurant.

Kishmish Fulham Broadway

Kishmish Fulham Broadway

Kishmish Fulham BroadwayAfter we sat down and ordered, we were given an amuse-bouche which I enjoyed so much, I watched with great interest as OH finished his.

Kishmish Fulham Broadway

For pre-dinner cocktails, I ordered the lychee and rose petal martini … Kishmish Fulham Broadway

… whilst the OH ordered the Mumbai’s Tipple which involved lime, brown sugar and fresh pomegranate along with Bombay Sapphire Gin and pomegranate liqueur. Kishmish Fulham BroadwayFor starter, OH had an Onion Bhaji which came with aubergine chutney …

Kishmish Fulham Broadway

… as I enjoyed the Seafood Platter, which included king prawn marinated in peppercorn and cheese, salmon infused with dill, grain mustard and a hint of honey, and Goan style Devon crab cake with coriander mayo.Kishmish Fulham Broadway

For OH’s main, he ordered the Goan Jhinga Curry, which included king prawns gently poached in red curry sauce, finished with okra, and steamed basmati rice.

Kishmish Fulham Broadway

And I had the Nariyal Ka Gosht, which involved diced lamb cooked in lime leaf Masala and baked in a fresh young coconut, served with steamed basmati rice.

My curry was quite hot and so I had some of OH’s dish, which I enjoyed. What I found refreshing about my curry is that despite finding it quite hot, I still could taste the flavours of the dish. This I’d not experienced before. I usually go for mild curries but should I happen upon a hot one, they just tend to burn my mouth and that’s it. But with this dish, sensation and flavours were merged.

Kishmish Fulham BroadwayKishmish Fulham Broadway

If by now you haven’t grasped the concept of this Indian restaurant, you will do with the desserts. The chocolate samosa and carrot halwa, which I really enjoyed but I didn’t think my photo showed it off in its best light – are clues to Kishmish’s Innovative Indian Cooking concept.Kishmish Fulham Broadway

Kishmish’s recently appointed chef, who comes from
Zaika and Ginger restaurants, endeavours to be both creative and adventurous with his menus. And it shows.

I had a very pleasant evening but I was more interested in what the OH thought, given his love for Indian food. He really enjoyed his meal and gave it a thumbs up.

We were guests of the restaurant but this hasn’t affected my opinion. We also had a very early dinner because we had Little Man with us, who enjoyed his curry dish very much. And by the time we left, there were other diners around us and more coming in.

Kishmish, 448 – 450 Fulham Road, London, SW6 1DL.

Last night I popped along to the first Ladies in Blogging event at Avista restaurant in Mayfair, where Paul Winch-Furness kindly shared his wisdom on photographing food: at home and in restaurants. We had bubbles, canapés and it was a great opportunity to meet other bloggers for the first time or again.

After much time spent talking about food, a few of us took a wander down to Roti Chai. Even though, after last week’s indulgences, I had promised myself an early’ish night yesterday. But with twinges of FOMO kicking in, I didn’t want to miss out on what was supposed to be a really great Indian foodie experience. So, I tagged along.

It was Diwali yesterday: the festival of lights, so not only was it appropriate to have Indian last night, it was extra special to see the streets lit up as we made our way to the restaurant.

There are two floors at Roti Chai: upstairs is more casual and is in keeping with the Street Food essence of the restaurant whilst the downstairs dining room is more formal and has a balanced element of kitsch-chic to it. Each floor has different menus.

And given that there was no room upstairs, we were grateful to be seated downstairs – especially as the dining room had a real buzz to it.

I always find looking at a brand new menu a bit challenging because it’s always so difficult to pick something off the cuff, for ‘fear of missing out’. That’s why I like to geek out on the restaurant’s website before visiting it for the first time. So, I was very happy to leave it up to Paul to pick the dishes for us – as was everyone else.

In the meantime, I ordered a cocktail that included whiskey, amaretto, and coffee which I really enjoyed.

Eventually the small plates arrived. The succulent pork belly; spicy lamb; hot chicken; spicy potatoes – all of it was SO good! My tastebuds were tingling with delight as I tasted each dish.

And after all that, we actually ordered dessert too. I had the mango kulfi and tried the Chai brûlée (served in a teacup) which were both so so yummy.

I’m very much aware I can be a creature of habit so it was a wonderful surprise to be introduced to this place. I feel like I really need to step it up slightly and as much as I love Noor Jahan, I cannot wait to return to Roti Chai.

So another indulgent evening was washed down with some gorgeous fresh mint tea and as I headed home on the top deck of the 414 bus, I was very happy to see more lights.

I hope those who celebrated Diwali had a great evening too! x

In last week’s Sunday Times, Quilon was rated 18 in the top 30 sexy places to eat in the country.

The Sunday Times describes the venue as perfect if you love Indian food and suggests booking one of the two private booths for some privacy.

A couple of months back, I visited the Michelin starred Indian restaurant to meet with its head chef Sriram Aylur – to talk about Quilon which he moved to after it was set up in 1999 and to discuss Bombay Brasserie which he now also oversees.

CG: How did you find your way to Quilon?

SA: I had been working for Taj Hotels, which owns Quilon and Bombay Brasserie, for 24 years in India and before they asked me to move to London, I was posted in Bangalor.

I was very excited to move here because I consider New York and London the food capitals of the world.

CG:  What is the most exciting aspect of the London restaurant scene.

SA: There is so much competition here. We are not just competing with other Indian restaurants but with all cuisines.

Customers are also more discerning because of the increased exposure restaurants now receive. The restaurant scene is more different than ever. There is exposure to the quality of ingredients and the range of foods available to us.

CG: What do you like to eat?

SA: I eat all cuisines. I’m always trying something different.

CG: So what is the difference between Quilon and Bombay Brasserie?

SA: Quilon’s menu focuses on the West Coast of India whereas Bombay Brasserie reflects the diversity of Bombay. Bombay is the melting pot of India and there are so many communities within this city. As you can imagine, there is also a large variety of cuisines.

Quilon is located along Buckingham Palace Gate but sadly, if you’re thinking of popping in during the Jubilee celebrations it will be closed. 

 

On Sunday I visited The Painted Heron on Cheyne Walk for brunch.

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Although I’d walked past this Indian restaurant so many times, this was my first visit. It is so easy to miss and unless you know how good it’s supposed to be, you may be forgiven for not bothering to try it out. Thank goodness for the power of Twitter and a recommendation to a fellow tweeter, which I decide to jump on as soon as I saw the fabulous brunch menu.

Painted Heron on Urbanspoon

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It was very quiet on Sunday which at first was surprising but when a member of staff explained that they were starting midweek lunches in February, I wondered if anyone knew that it was actually open the day we were there. I mean after a bit of research I know how popular this place is in the evenings, given the type of crowd who likes to come here. I will name no names. Ok, perhaps one? Here’s a clue: Batman.

So what about the food?

As we looked through the menu, the poppadoms arrived with such delicious chutneys.

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For starter, I ordered the crab dish but without the pancake. Instead for my gluten free request, the chef added potato to the dish which included a coconut chutney. So good!

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The bf ordered the Delhi masala omelette, which was just as excellent.

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For main, I chose the duck roganjosh with rice instead of naan.

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And the bf had the lamb nihari.

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And for dessert, I threw ALL my dietary requirements out of the window to enjoy the fig and pistachio tart. It was so delectable and so worth it.

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I didn’t have any wine, just a vodka soda and fresh lime at the start whilst the bf sipped on a Cobra beer.

And all I can say is that an elegant feast was had. I never thought anything could pull me away from Noor Jahan, but now I think perhaps I’ll just divide up my time. Win!

There used to be a time when the Indian restaurant on everyone’s lips was Star of India but as I walked past it the other night and noticed how quiet it was, I wondered why.

Then I stepped into Noor Jahan and found it was busy; so busy that I noticed a couple sitting at the bar later in the evening and leaving. They couldn’t wait any longer. We had luckily arrived when there were just a couple of tables free; sometimes we’re not so lucky.

That night I ordered my favourite dish for my main: the Salli Boti, which consists of lamb cooked with onions and spices, sweetened with apricots and topped with crunchy straw potatoes.

So why do I like Noor Jahan so much? Because it’s just such a pleasure to dine here. There’s always a good atmosphere and the owner is really friendly. A great sign about this place is the amount of regulars that hang out here. You can spot them as they’re greeted almost like friends when they take their seats.

The restaurant isn’t fussy and the food is good. What more can you ask for?