4,500 Miles from Delhi it may be, but this fine Indian restaurant has been offering the true taste of India from its stylish abode in the centre of Bristol for some twelve years now. Coming off the busy city centre it’s a pleasure to be welcomed into the gloriously light and airy interior with high ceilings, dark wood and exposed red brickwork, tables lain beautifully with good cutlery, and the potted palms to soften the edges.
Excellent service is paramount here; we were greeted and shown to a table within seconds of arriving, a friendly and informative waiter at our elbow to guide us through the menu and the wine list (which by the way has some first-class wines, including a splendid Saint Émilion). After much deliberation, to start we chose a king prawn sizzler, king prawns in an ajwain and garlic spiced marinade, char-grilled in the tandoor, and chicken dosa – dosa are thin and crisp pancakes made from a fermented batter of ground black lentils and rice – filled with chicken tikka served with fresh coconut and tomato chutney.
For main courses, which we intended to share we ordered, lamb Mughlai which was billed as for Korma lovers and called to me immediately; cubed lamb in velvety ginger and garlic laced onion gravy, with mace, cardamom and saffron cream, and a chicken dish from the Tawa tak-a-tak list (which are sautéed on an iron griddle (Tawa) and the tak-a-tak refers to the spitting noise of the meat cooking) strips of chicken breast marinated and basted in the tandoor served with a fresh melee of peppers, tomatoes and fresh green chilli. Together with sides of basmati rice and garlic naan bread a feast fit for a Maharaja we thought.
Beginning with crisp poppadums beautifully presented like a fan along with a choice of four pickles in beaten copper pots, we progressed to our starters which were outstanding, especially the sizzling prawns, juicy and fat, fresh out of the pan, and then to the banquet of the main course. We loved the Mughlai lamb, tender and melt-in-the mouth pieces in the rich and tasty sauce, and to my surprise I found some glacé cherries hiding in the sauce which were an amazing addition. The chicken tak-a-tak was great too, and we had just enough wind in our sails left to be persuaded by our charming waiter to take a dessert.
We tried gulab jamun, a traditional Indian festival dessert which are small fried dumplings scented with cardamom, with rose and saffron syrup, plus gajar halwa, a carrot-based confection, served with two scoops of ice-cream. Truly delicious and a sweet treat to end our lovely evening.
8-10 Colston Avenue, Bristol, BS1 4ST