Tamarind is a Michelin starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair, right next door to Angela Hartnett’s Murano. After a recent disastrous lunch at Amaya in Knightsbridge (also an Indian with a star), we were hoping this would be much more of a success, and although our meal was far from perfect, it was ten times better.
The basement dining room was a really elegant affair; fresh flowers everywhere and tables adorned with white tablecloths. We were seated next to a window looking into the kitchen which was a nice touch.
We were asked if we wanted some poppadoms to start, which actually turned out to be £3.95, a little steep you could say. Even so, they were really light and crispy and the accompanying chutneys (couldn’t tell you their flavourings) were really delicious.
To start, I went for the Pudhina lamb chops (£14.95) which had a delightfully minty aroma and taste. They were however let down by their cooking; being so overcooked they were actually dry and chewy which was such a shame – they should have been served pink.
My gentleman companion opted for the Gilafi Reshmi (£10.25) which was a chicken kebab with cheese, spices and mixed peppers. The chicken had also been slightly overcooked making it dry and squeaky. There was plenty of flavour at least as the chicken was really spicy.
For mains, both the Murgh Makhni, basically butter chicken (£19.75), and the Malabar prawn curry (£22.75) were really enjoyable. The chicken was moist and the sauce was really buttery. It was the prawns that really stole the show however as they were humungous yet perfectly cooked and smothered in a rich coconut curry sauce.
A side of Methi Paneer (£9.75) which was a mix of spinach and paneer, an Indian cheese, was super rich but divine in flavour. The cheese and coriander stem stuffed naan (£4.95) tasted like that of a normal naan bread – the coriander and cheese was non existent. It was a well made naan bread though.
For dessert, we shared the orange and chocolate tart (£7.50) which didn’t look particularly wow but the custard tart filling was impressively light. The accompanying chocolate ‘sorbet’, which was more of an ice cream, was a great accompaniment.
Our meal at Tamarind was very pleasant indeed, but I couldn’t quite see how the food was of Michelin star quality. The curries were certainly tasty, but the sort of thing I’d expect at my local curry house, and they were presented the same way too. When you compare our meal to that at Trishna or Gymkhana, the quality of the food and its cooking doesn’t even come close. If you’re after a bog-standard yet very enjoyable curry at Mayfair prices, in a lovely room with lovely staff, then Tamarind might be the place for you.