They’ve clearly set out their stall to be apart from the high street curry houses. Not least in the menu which, I felt, had something of a westernised edge to it. In heading down that route, I think they’ve lost some of the vibrancy that you might expect from an upscale south asian place.
Seekh kebab when done well can be a belter of a starter. And I thought they did it well. Restrained spicing, moist meat, presented in a very modern style, complete with “swoosh” of sauce trailing across the plate. A pea and corn kebab was light and fresh tasting, perhaps a little too sweet but the chutney accompaniments perked it up.
An “authentic” Lahori chicken may not have been a great pick. It had all the interest of a chicken tikka masala. OK, a well-made chicken tikka masala, but chicken tikka masal all the same. Tarka dhal was a good version. I liked the texture - much better than the almost liquid slop you can come across when it’s done badly. Had great flavour as well.
We had a couple of other veggie dishes that my partner enjoyed more than I did. They seemed almost the most westernised dishes – one a stir-fry of broccoli, green beans and baby corn, lightly spiced. The other a roasted sweet potato affair drizzled with tamarind sauce & yoghurt. It was all overly restrained. Rice and tandoori roti were fine.
Don’t get me wrong. It was all pleasant enough but it all lacked something or other.
Jay Rayner also has a pop at upscale Indian places, along the same lines, in today's Observer. Needless to say, he writes better than wot I do.
"In reaching for ideas of luxe, the kick and fire of the food, the very thing we come for, gets blanded out; it feels a desperate echo of itself. Sure you get a better quality of tablecloth. You get more waiters and better lighting but the rest of it.......feels corporate, one long exercise in blah".
That's what I meant to say about Mithas. Thanks, Jay.