Exposed brickwork, hanging lights and cream banquettes give this upmarket local a modern appeal. Ask the keen, helpful staff for a table towards the rear of the narrow dining area for a view of chefs skewering kebabs and placing them in the clay oven. Last year, we were impressed by the authenticity and diversity of regional dishes – we’re slightly less enamoured this time.
That said, a first course certainly hit the spot; chargrilled whole sea bass, infused with smoky mustard oil, lime juice and fiery chilli powder, was our star dish, notable for its tender, juicy flesh and punchy mustardy flavour. Good news continued with squishy baby aubergines, covered in fried onion-ginger paste, seasoned with sesame seeds and sharpened with tamarind. But that’s an end to the highlights. Five-lentil dal had as much spicing as a school-dinner soup.
Laal maas from Rajasthan was a shadow of the real deal; a severe shortfall of red chillies and the addition of floral screwpine essence discredited this traditional, slow-cooked hunter’s dish. Even the crisp gram-flour droplet raita was too sweet. Let’s hope culinary matters will be back on track soon.