One of the reasons why I love Indian nosh is because it’s normally the exact opposite. There’s nothing quite like getting stuck into a hearty bowl of curry mopped up with a fistful of naan.
Trishna, a Michelin starred Indian restaurant located in Marylebone, finds itself caught between these two camps.
At it’s best, their Indian food is immense; expertly spiced and skilfully cooked. However, it’s let down by some poncey portions and mildly annoying service.
A couple of examples of my gripes with the service:
- Having a set lunch menu offering between 2-5 dishes per person and then being given the raised eyebrow treatment by the waiter when you try to order more than 3 seems a bit odd. It also does nothing for my insecurities about the size of my appetite…
- Waiting for your glass to be topped up with water (as the jug is squirreled away somewhere) whilst dealing with the effects of a chilli after-burn is an infuriating example of “refined” service.
A mix of poppadoms, one notably light and crisp like a prawn cracker, served with delightful tomato and mango chutneys, kicked off things in style.
A salty, spiced lassi (£4) packed with roasted cumin, fragrant coriander and a kick of green chilli was a deliciously savoury drink. My loyalty towards my old friend the mango lassi however remains unshaken.
The three of us ordered a selection of starters to share:
Quail pepper fry was the unquestionable standout. Crisp, battered nuggets of tender poultry, golden onions, curry leaf and a good twist of black pepper combined to moreish effect.
Vada, crisp and light lentil donuts, accompanied by rasam, a thin, spiced tomato soup, was also given the thumbs up.
The other big winner was hariyali bream; a juicy fillet of fish, coated in a lush green marinade of coriander and chilli, was accompanied by smoky tomato sauce.
The only disappointment was a very tasty yet tight-fistedly portioned, single piece of tikka paneer. Delicately charred and topped with sweet corn it lacked the complexity of the other starters.
Mains were winners across the board.
Andhra lamb masala was a heady mix of tender lamb, aromatic curry leaf and coconut.
Exquisitely spiced Chettinad baby chicken was married with a mound of crispy potato shreds, inside of which nestled intensely spiced, soft leg meat and stellar peanut chutney. However, it’s plating on a stupid curved rectangular plate meant there was next to no room on the dish for any of the marvellous sides…
a creamy dhal with a tempered scotch bonnet chilli,
and tender spiced potatoes.
Dessert, aam malai, was average. A fragrant mango mousse with a soft base was accompanied by fresh cubes of the fruit, chewy dried mango and a shot glass of what I think was kiwi and mint juice.
Accompanying the bill were some dainty pieces of disappointingly dry walnut cake.
In spite of a few issues, Trishna is an impressive restaurant.
Furthermore, their lunch menu is great value – 3 courses, poppadoms, breads and a side dish will set you back £23.50 – surely one of the cheapest Michelin starred meals going.
Address - 15 -17 Blandford Street, Marylebone Village, London, W1U 3DG
Telephone - 020 7935 5624