The original Pakistani owners of the highly acclaimed Nauroz restaurant sold up in 2009, leaving local residents bereft of a good community ‘Indian’ restaurant. It’s now under new family-run management, renamed Hot Red Chillies.
It remains a brightly lit café, furnished with functional seating and wipe-clean tables – but the cooking is still the Hot Red Chillies biggest draw, along with the choice of BYO or alcohol sold on the premises. Expect north Indian comfort food, by way of meaty curries, smoky grills and baskets of fab breads.
The weekend specials are worth seeking out, such as paya – lamb trotters, simmered in richly spiced stock; or the affordable tiffin box lunches, offering a curry plus steamy basmati rice for less than a fiver.
Our starter of tilapia fillets was steeped in lime juice and seasoned with thyme-like carom seeds, before being griddle-cooked to perfect tenderness. Hearty deigi gosht, a dark-hued lambon- the-bone curry, was notable for its slow-fried onion masala spiked with chilli and garlic – a marvellous match with soft, butter-smeared chapatis.
Only the slight toughness of undercooked meat marred an otherwise excellent course. Punjabi-style black lentils, simmered with cream and finished with a shedload of butter, were earthy and robust – central heating for the soul on a chilly evening.
Desserts are mainly bought-in; however, the own-made rice pudding, a legacy from the previous owners, remains on the menu. Sadly, ours was a letdown – lacking creaminess and falling short on cardamom aroma.
Service is personal, warm and knowledgeable – and the cook is prepared to take advance orders for off-the-menu specialities. Once the new owners get into their stride, Eastcote should soon be boasting one of the finest hot spots between Uxbridge and Harrow.