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Grand Trunk Road

Restaurants, Indian Woodford
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Pan-South Asian fine dining in deepest east London.

This new fine-dining restaurant, from the team behind Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Tamarind, takes its name from a vast road stretching from Afghanistan to Bangladesh. Accordingly, the menu promises a ‘gastronomic journey from Kabul to Kolkata’. It’s quite the claim, and certainly looks the part, subtly opulent with exposed bricks, lattice panelling and porcelain tiles.

But the food, for all its fancy presentation, was hit-and-miss. Delhi ki chaat – yogurt-drenched chickpeas studded with blueberries – made an interesting starter, but didn’t taste of much. Neither did lemongrass crab cakes: more school canteen than South Asia. Mains were better, but neither an obscenely rich prawn and coconut curry, or heat-packed Kabul lamb kebabs, tangy with lime, justified prices of £16.95 and £12.95, respectively. A truffle naan with zero truffle flavour was particularly disappointing.

So why three stars? Because it was a lovely place to be, filled with smiling punters and generous, attentive staff. At present, the restaurant does little justice to the 1,600 miles and four countries’ worth of wonderful cuisines its namesake passes through. But on an A-road connecting east London with Essex, it’s still a glamorous, welcome addition.

By: Matt Breen



Address: 219 High Road
E18 2PB
Transport: Tube: South Woodford
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.
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