Tips from City AM readers about hot new openings that might otherwise slip below the radar are always particularly welcome. One such message – to firstname.lastname@example.org – alerted us to this newcomer on the Isle of Dogs.
The walk to the restaurant from, say, Canary Wharf tube is a little bit under ten minutes, but on the way you will pass at least two other Indian joints with broadly similar menus. So the obvious question that presents itself is: why keep going? Three reasons.
The first is that this is an unusually comfortable mid-price restaurant. Well-situated on a quiet corner and with large windows, the premises have been stylishly decked-out in an easy-going contemporary manner. Were it not for the Bollywood movies on the (mercifully small) screen, there would be no particular hint that this is a subcontinental restaurant at all.
The second reason is that the food here is pretty good. There’s not really anything ‘wow amazing’ about it, but it’s conscientiously-prepared, attractively presented and reasonably-priced. From our visit, we’d suggest sticking to the classics. Our only attempt to go off-piste – with a sort of crab spring roll – was not the greatest success.
For us, however, it’s the third thing – the service – which really makes this place stand out. It was a former editor of Tandoori magazine who once took a potshot at Indian restaurant staff for too often being ‘miserable gits’. He may have overstated his case, but some readers may still feel they understand what he meant. Here, however, the service is exemplary: friendly, engaging and efficient. They really give you the feeling they want the restaurant to succeed. If they can keep that up, it probably will.