Black Cumin, Cotham, Bristol Review

Only open since December 2023, Black Cumin is very new and packs a punch when it comes to the on-trend interior but most of all its eclectic approach to serving traditional Indian cuisine with an authentic modern twist. Boasting a Michelin Guide Head Chef whose inspiration was first garnered from his home cooking, but then honed to excellence in some of Delhi’s most luxurious hotels, his dishes radiate from the North to the South taking you on a colourful culinary journey through India.

For all this the restaurant maintains a homely and community feel, somewhere you can come and meet friends, have fun and of course, find a great meal! Pickle tray to hand, with a most glorious beetroot chutney which I think they should sell by the jar, a pint of Cobra and we were away to explore the diverse menu.

We began with Gol Gappa, fried puff pastry balls, filled with spiced mashed potatoes and served with spice flavoured water, and Aloo Tikki, pan fried potato patties stuffed with masala (a special blend of spices), and to follow Lucknowi Chicken Biryani, slow cooked in a sealed pot with basmati rice, onions, coriander and saffron. There are four Chef’s signature dishes and on the recommendation of the restaurant we decided to be very adventurous and try Champaran Meat which is goat on the bone cooked in a clay pot with Champaran spices.

 

 

Our starters were beautifully served; the Gol Gappa puff pastries sitting in stand with the spicy water in a glass below looking rather like small glasses of Guinness, the trick is to take the puff pastry and fill it with the spiced water and then eat in one for an immediate explosion of flavour in the mouth. They were amazing and the Aloo Tikki were delicious too, sitting under their garnish of leaves and chutneys – a most appetising sight.

Attention to detail is everywhere in the restaurant, the cutlery a gleaming black in a nod to the restaurant’s name, arresting murals in vivid colours to take the eye and entertain. Our main courses were served with a theatrical flourish from a small side table, enormous white plates appeared along with a neat cooking pot, sealed with thin pastry under which the biryani gently gave up its fragrant steam, and the chef’s masterpiece of Champaran spiced goat coated in a thick and spicy sauce. The biryani was outstanding, full of tender chicken, and the goat also tender and wonderfully spiced; we were so pleased to have found a new dish to enjoy. Portions were beyond generous, and the food was top quality, coupled with friendly staff and convivial surroundings it’s a win-win new venture.

Jacquie Vowles

Black Cumin, 50 Cotham Hill, Redland, Bristol BS6 6JX

 

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