Elegant and sophisticated, Tamarind’s basement dining area is enhanced by muted lighting, crisp linen, and speckled mirrors across walls. The sedate atmosphere and warm, efficient service make the restaurant a popular destination with office groups and mature couples. Classic Indian dishes score over modern interpretations on the menu, with several choices verging on the homely – despite the setting.
Skewered and seared morsels of chicken had been well steeped in cream cheese beaten with ginger-garlic paste and pounded cardamom. Although the dish was tender and juicy, the spicing could have done with an extra hit of green chilli. Chat (a pile-up of crisp-fried pastry discs, bathed in yoghurt and made tangy with tamarind sauce and mint chutney) was topped incongruously with blueberries. Although OK, it did feel like a vast amount to plough though.
Mains were more memorable. Rogan josh lamb curry had an outstandingly mellow and mild red chilli sauce, enriched with fried onion-ginger paste, yet the meat could have been more tender. Pleasure was unalloyed, though, at the nutty, light texture of moong dal, finished with fried slivers of garlic and toasted cumin: simple, rustic and very tasty. Desserts are pedestrian and not worth ordering.