Talwar Express really is the newest kid on the block for Indian street food and delicious curries having opened in February, tucked on the corner of St Augustine’s Parade. It’s perfect for a pre-theatre light meal being close to the Hippodrome and the Bristol Beacon, and of course their menu is available for takeaways. Indian food is the natural choice of vegans and vegetarians, and this is well catered for here, along with plenty of dishes that are gluten free.
We popped in for an early supper and found the restaurant simply furnished but comfortable, the full menu card being used as the place setting, a novel and practical idea. The agreeable chill music playing softly in the background created a calm atmosphere and set the scene to enjoy a nice meal. A couple of pints of chilled Cobra made the right start and we looked through the menu, which is split into street specials, chaats, plates to share, chef’s specials and Talwar house curries. To start we chose from the plates to share : a bajji selection, gram and rice flour fritters with Kashmiri chillies and curry leaves, together with ambur chicken, crisp fried chicken marinated in chilli, ginger and garlic. As main courses we ordered from the chef’s specials, briyani of the day, which was chicken, and from the house curries, junglee maas, a chicken curry made from a one hundred year old, traditional Rajasthani-style recipe with slow cooked lamb which was once enjoyed by Maharajas and their hunting parties.
The starter combination was great; the bajji selection with its soft green chillies lightly battered but packing a punch of hot spice that had us reaching for handkerchiefs for brow-mopping, and the ambur chicken, crisp on the outside tender and flavoursome within, made the perfect sharing dish. The main courses were nicely presented, the briyani served in an earthenware bowl and the lamb in a metal bowl, both of which kept them piping hot to the last mouthful. Both dishes were delicious and medium spiced, the Talwar Express may be focusing on all things vegetarian but their lamb and chicken is so worthy of recommendation for those meat-eaters amongst us. We had sides of paratha bread and lemon rice to accompany the lamb; the paratha bread being a lighter and flaky cousin of naan bread (allegedly with less calories if you’re interested) which we very much enjoyed.
The service is friendly and relaxed, and despite the “express” in the restaurant’s name we were encouraged to enjoy an unhurried supper which was just what we wanted. The bill was very reasonable (£22.75 per head excluding drinks) and the Talwar Express ticked all the boxes for us.