(Update: Imli Street is now Tamarind)
The best part of Indian food, for me, is the starters. I could eat them all evening. And sometimes do! Curry, I love, of course, but would be perfectly happy to just eat my way through the starter menu in any Indian restaurant. Which is why I was drawn to Imli Street, a few minutes walk up Wardour Street in Soho. Previously known for it's tapas-style Indian dishes, it has now become a contemporary, cool and classy restaurant, serving 'railway cuisine', a take on Indian street food, served to passengers travelling by train across India.
The décor was modern and sleek, the bar at the front offering cocktails and drinks should you wish to wait there for your friends, and the atmosphere was humming with tourists and Londoners alike. The staff were friendly and most accommodating, particularly when we couldn't decide which of the many dishes on the tempting menu to choose from.
We (eventually) chose two appetisers: Malachi Amritsari, which is Tilapia (a sort of white fish) fillets in a seasoned gram flour batter with ajwain - an anti-flatulence spice! It worked, I'm sure. The fillets were tender and the batter crispy and just the right amount of spicy. The minty sauce accompaniment was delicious. Shikampuri Kebab, a ground chicken tawa-kabab with spices & fresh herbs. At first we thought this was the fish dish, it was a little dry and crumbly, hard to distinguish the flavours, but mixed with the sauce, it worked well.
|Shikampuri Kebab and Malachi Amritsari|
Next we shared one tandoor dish, Tandoori Jhinga, a marinated prawn dish, served with more of that lovely mint sauce; a main, Lamb RoganJosh, just to be able to compare to our 'usual', and it did so most favourably; a Tadka dal, a spiced yellow lentil dish; a Pulao rice; and a Peshawari Naan. Portions in typical Indian restaurants tend to be huge - I can never understand how one person can eat so much rice, but everything was perfect. We pretty much licked the plates clean and were left satisfied and not over-stuffed. The only downside was not having anything to take home for Himself!
|Tandoori Jhinga, Lamb RoganJosh, and Tadka Dal|
Dessert was Chocolate Pataki, a nutty chocolate brownie, served on a sizzling hot skillet, doused in chocolate sauce by our waiter. Novel, and yes, delicious (and more-ish!). All washed down with the very delectable Trebbiano white wine.
I look forward to returning to Imli Street soon (every two weeks, we promised each other!) and trying more from the menu. And perhaps a cocktail or two...
167-169 Wardour Street
020 3589 1689
Meal for two including wine: ~£85