Lunch at Tandoor Chop House
Indian food in London has certainly come a long way. Yes, you still have plenty of choice when it comes to your traditional curry houses thanks to Brick Lane, but there's been an uprising of Indian hotspots that go beyond your usual curry offering. You have your upmarket Gymkhana, the always popular Hoppers, the brilliant Kricket (who've just opened a second site - they say it's Soho, but really though, it's more Piccadilly) and of course, Dishoom, which I have yet to see quiet ever.
With all that fantastic choice, you could probably stop there. But this is London, why would you do that?! And so I bring you to Tandoor Chop House. Opened back in November, it's described as being the 'meeting of a North Indian communal eatery and a classic British chop house'. The aim is to bring together the characteristics of the two traditional restaurants - namely the tandoor ovens, Indian spices and marinades, select prime cuts of meat and a buzzing atmosphere - with an end result being somewhere you can come and socialise over drinks and hearty, comforting food.
From my recent visit, I'd say the above sounds about right. What the above fails to mention is how photogenic it is, combining all my favourites in one place: dark wood panelled walls, mosaic tiles, marble tables and impossibly pretty plating. I already had a good feeling about this place, and that was just from settling in to the corner table.
The menu isn't overkill. You have your 'Snacks', 'Tandoor', 'Naan', 'Sides' and 'Sweet' to pick from, and, if like me, this was your first and only meal of the day then chances are you'll go wonderfully overboard too.
We ordered a good selection of everything and shared the lot. Plates are perfectly sized to do so, so make sure you do the same. Start with the Bhaji onion rings with burnt garlic chutney, 'IPA' battered & spiced squid and prawns with chilli chutney and the tastiest of the lot, the Seekh kebab roll with green chutney and pomegranate. Get them all, you won't regret it.
For mains, we chose a beautifully buttery Black pepper chicken tikka and generously sized Lasooni paneer which was as delicious as it looked. Teamed with sides of Green chilli, garlic and cheese naan, Gunpowder fries, more-ishly good Black Dahl, and Tandoor broccoli (though I don't think I would order this one again - a bit too charcoal'ed for my liking!). Full but filled with intrigue by the Halva "sticky toffee" pudding & clotted cream, we ordered a bowl and two spoons. The dessert itself was surprisingly light but made indulgent by the beautiful sticky toffee sauce that accompanied it. A few mouthfuls each hit just the spot, you wouldn't need one each that's for sure.
A charming new addition to the restaurant scene, Tandoor Chop House is a great place to go with friends wanting somewhere casual, with reasonably priced food full of flavour. Sounds ideal, right?
psst - a little hint if you want to snap away your meal, book one of tables by the window for the best light. It also happens to be one of the cutest spots in the restaurants.
8 Adelaide St, London WC2N 4HZ