Curries first appeared on a menu in London back in 1770s (Coffee House in Norris Street, Haymarket) but is was not until 1810 that the first Indian restaurant opened in London (Hindoostane Coffee House in George Street). Since then, Indian restaurants popped up across the country and Curry Houses opened in nearly every UK village, town and Brick Lane in London is mainly Curry Houses. This boom eventually peaked in the excrescence of the 1970s and 80s of “restaurants with flock wallpaper, piped music, obsequious waiters in bow ties and greasy glow-in-the-dark curries”. This did not do the cuisine justice as Indian is up there with some of the greatest cuisines in the world.
Luckily, in the last few years, London’s Indian restaurants have moved on dramatically and while the quality-of-food level has risen overall, several restaurants strive to showcase the best Indian cuisine has to offer. Tamarind, Rasoi, Benares and The Quilon, to name just a few – and all of them hold Michelin stars.
The tyranny of choice!
Our foodie friends from l’art de vivre were stopping over in London and we decided to have Indian food that night. But where to go? Spoilt by choice, we could have flipped a coin to decide on the list above, but eventually we came across some delicious looking pictures by Paul Winch-Furness of Trishna dishes (1, 2, 3) on Instagramm and that made the choice easy!
Trishna in London is an offspring of the famous Trishna in Mumbai and in 2008 Karam Sethi and Ravi Deulkar set foot to pamper Londoners with their exciting, fresh and fragrant take on South West Indian Coastal cuisine.
We (or let’s be correct, the male part of the table) decided for the Koliwada Menu which consisted of the following 7 courses:
- Crab & Pollack Tikkis
- Chargrilled Wild Tiger Prawn
- Duck Seekh Kebab
- Hariyali Bream
- Lamb Chops
- South Indian Coast Lamb Curry
- Alphonso Mango Kheer
Standout dish was the Lamb Chops – perfectly cooked meat, with a hint of tandoori smokiness and well complemented by a cool and crunchy Mustard Mooli. A touch of ginger added a bit of extra heat. A perfect combination of textures and flavours!
The second most memorable dish was the stunning Alphonso Mango Kheer, an Indian version of a rice pudding. It was such a delicious desert with really yummy ripe mangoes, pistachio and a sweet chili coulis.
The women opted for a more moderate selection of just a couple of dishes and were equally happy with their choice of Fish Tikka, roasted Aubergine and Guinea Fowl Tikka.
I would not say that this was the best Indian meal we have had so far, but if you’re looking for a modern take on Indian food and do not want the formality of dining at Rasoi and the like, I would definitely recommend Trishna. The four of us had a terrific time!
And here is what the girls chose:
15 Blandford St
London, W1U 3DG
p. +44 20 7935 5624