Grand Trunk Road, South Woodford, London
In his e book Kim, Rudyard Kipling described The Great Trunk Road, Asia’s oldest and longest highway as “such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world”. These phrases consult with the wealth of tradition and religions and certainly flavours encountered alongside some 2,400 km /1,491 miles that stretch from Kabul to Kolkata. It’s a Big Read.
Rajesh Suri, the colourful proprietor of the restaurant of the identical identify should absolutely agree with the sentiment. After all, he has traversed that highway selecting up age-old recipes in every place and honed them into effective eating creations served up in South Woodford within the east of London. It’s a Big Eat.
It appears fairly a feat however then once more Rajesh has received the BIBA Award and Restaurant Personality of the Year award, introduced Michelin star glamour to his previous culinary endeavours in effective Indian delicacies and took part in Masterchef as a choose.
Can you think about how a lot I used to be trying ahead to the culinary journey forward?
Rajesh is singularly charming, with a conviviality that permeates all corners of the lengthy, darkly lit restaurant. A gold lattice panel black-lit in amber hues and a vibrant bar provides a contact of grandeur to an in any other case easy decor.
The proficient crew are attentive and really pleasant and the sounds of completely satisfied diners, laughing and chatting round plain wooden tables, was uplifting. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to take my very own seat and tuck into the menu’s choices.
The menu stays true to its heritage. There’s no beef or pork reflecting the dietary preferences of Muslim and Hindu religions which can be prevalent in South Asia. But oh boy, the rooster, lamb, and fish are so full of flavour it’s paramount to savour every mouthful.
Even the curly popadoms, each plain and spicey, are crispy, not greasy and able to dip into 4 tangy dips – beetroot and fennel, mango with chilli flakes, contemporary mint yoghurt and carrot and ginger.
One of my pet Indian snacky dishes is Dilli Ki Chaat and this appeared pretty wearing purple flowers. This rustic street-food starter contains wheat crisps, spicy chickpea, candy yoghurt, contemporary mint and tamarind chutney and is a kind of morish snacks that begs to be completed.
The rooster chapel kebab merely bounces with the flavours of child spinach, caramelised onion, coriander, floor spices and comes topped with spicy tongue titillating beetroot cream cheese. Delicious and gentle, maybe a tad too gentle as a bit extra texture would have made this beautiful.
“Indian food always tastes better after a long time in spices – it’s a process of osmosis”.
The Peshwari Lamb Chops, all French cuts, have been completely cooked for hours of their marinade.
Chef Arup Dasgupta stated: “Indian food always tastes better after a long time in spices – it’s a process of osmosis”.
Certainly, their gentle succulent juiciness was given a turbocharge by the charring and marinade. The combine comprised fennel star anis, uncooked papaya and crushed spices. It was served with a playful Indian model of mint sauce.
These are so good that after I was distracted by the waiter my eating companion cheekily swiped mine. I promptly ordered 4 extra to take out so I wouldn’t miss out.
The stone bass fish was a contented shock. This hefty fish comes marinated in a fragile mustard sauce with a coconut marinade that each one melded very effectively collectively.
There’s a profusion of flavoursome facet dishes included Zafrani Pulao, a basmati rice dish with complete spices, cumin and saffron, Dhaba Dal, a lentil dish cooked in a single day, with tomato & fenugreek, completed with cream and Chatpate Aloo potatoes marinated in mustard seeds, ginger, inexperienced chillies and contemporary coriander.
The nan breads together with a scrumptious tandoori roti and apple and smoked cheese nan are served in able to dip triangles.
The desert was, shall I say, a most uncommon scoop of rose avocado ice cream with inexperienced pistachio, a set of intriguing flavours.
I all the time discover it onerous to pair Indian meals with something aside from beer and positively not cocktails. Vik, the mixologist, assured me that cocktails are a should. He has taken the core of in style cocktails and added a touch of Indian panache. The Turn & Twist Kraken rum, lime, mint, Tamarind syrup raspberry and jaggery did the job. But then once more so did the Masala Smash, a mix of whisky, Angostura Bitters, apple Juice, lemon, and Garam Masala syrup.
I can’t assist questioning if Mr Kipling may dine right here whether or not he would recognise that “river of life” within the flavours of the dishes so lovingly curated by Rajesh Suri.