This small chain of Indian restaurants made its name with the first successful vegetarian branch in Stoke Newington, N16. As the original restaurant and with its strong Tripadvisor reviews, off we went. On a Thursday night at 7:30pm it was packed, luckily we (Lewis) had booked and requested a good table, not one in the back room (worth remembering).
Since we had never been before picking a large number of small dishes is always a lengthy process, we opted for ‘the feast’, where they bring a surprise selection of pre starters, starters, mains with sides and dessert, you can also pick a few of the dishes that you would like this to include.
The pre starters, lots of tasty little chutneys and rather than just papadoms you have other fried crispy snacks too, more as scoops to the dips than flavours in their own right, decoration if you will.
The starters above not selling themselves quite as much.. (we are starting to miss meat here) the fried vegetable selection includes; plantain, which we liked but served with a sweet sauce creating this weird greasy dessert situtation in your mouth; aubergine, tasteless; potato blob surprisingly flavourful and not greasy; our surprise extra as we didnt want dessert was an inedible dry lentil treat.
Enthusiasm slightly waning we start the mains, as I mentioned you can pick some dishes that take your fancy. We requested the beetroot and spinach one, this was probably our highlight so im glad we did. We requested only breads and no rice as they are usually more interesting, again I’m glad we did lovely textures, flavours and freshly made; chapatti, rice flour bread and parathi. The other mains they brought had a good variation of flavours, but nothing was really fragrant or heavily spiced.
Overall the whole restaurant and the individual dishes felt a little tired. Their niche, vegetarian Indian USP is clearly doing well the restaurant was thriving with groups of friends enjoying the relaxed pace, tapas style dishes and unintrusive (uninterested) staff. We will be looking out for a classic meat based indian when we next have our curry cravings, probably using a tastecard spending the same as we did here.. £56.