Tamarind has recently undergone a ravishing, multimillion pound makeover. There are now two dining options when visiting this Mayfair Indian stalwart; upstairs for lunch or downstairs for dinner. Up (where we go) is a rather bright and airy affair with views of the neighbouring rooftops. In the basement it’s more sexy with an open kitchen for added drama.
We’re prepared a mini tasting of highlights from the menu which starts with a wholly delicious Rajasthani churi chaat. Chaat is a savoury street food snack originating from India made moreish here with the addition of sweet chutneys and pomegranate seeds. Mega yum.
A plump scallop, cooked just right, sits in a puddle of gently spiced red lentil and curry leaf sauce. It’s a cuddle of a dish. Next up, fat spears of asparagus are best dunked in the tomato chutney and eaten with your fingers.
Best of a great bunch is the crispy lobster which sees chunks of crisp fried lobster covered in spicy red chilli jam sandwiched between the head and tail for presentation. It’s a looker and it tastes just as fabulous.
Rabbit seekh kebab is another stonker. The meat and its spicing is so delicate while the dried tomato and raisin stuffing is marvellous. Hyderabadi goat chop curry has a sauce you’d want to drink by the pan load.
Hyderabadi lamb biryani has fragrant and fluffy rice with big chunks of soft fatty lamb. The whole thing has masses of flavour. A side of jaipuri aloo, that’s crispy baby potatoes, is just as vibrant with a generous seasoning of cumin and coriander.
Chicken thighs, semi-deboned to make little lollipops have a blistered skin from the heat of the tandoor oven. There’s something about the blend of crisp and soft chicken skin that always makes me weak at the knees.
The food at Tamarind was less rich and heavy than I was expecting. We ate plenty but left feeling comfortably full rather than totally podged-out. The use of spicing is well thought out and the quality of the ingredients is top notch. Very lovely indeed.
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant